Through the use of natural lighting and Chiaroscuro lighting, which creates strong contrasts between light and dark, they were able to create this cinematic look. “Bob didn’t approach the series as a television show, but as a movie,” says Kevin Sullivan. Brian Harper joined the crew as director of photography for the last two seasons of the show. He carried on the naturalistic and cinematic style of lighting that Bob had achieved, upholding Wind at My Back’s unique and authentic style.
Several towns across Southern Ontario became the backdrop for Wind at My Back, including Tottenham, Bowmanville, Orono and Port Perry. In the beginning, the idea was to approximate the magnitude of a city by actually filming in towns. So the Sullivan crew entered local communities and shot from people’s homes, town halls, churches and local stores. They wanted to create an authentic feel for what it would have been like living in the 1930s by using existing structures and locations.
However, after the first season ended, the process of finding these filming locations and setting up there became time consuming. Though many of the crew loved the challenge and creative process of filming the series in this way, it was decided that the town of New Bedford should be resurrected on the backlot of the Sullivan studios in order to maximize filming time.
Since then, the same sets on the back lot have been transformed for many other Sullivan productions, including Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story, Sleeping Dogs Lie, Super Rupert, Love on the Land andMozart’s Magic Flute Diaries, among others.