It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

Rob Forde is waiting to hear if he’ll become The Basement Doctor in his own reality show

There’s nothing about the outside of Rob Forde’s house in southern Chilliwack that sets it apart from those of his neighbours’. Yet, if a visitor to Forde’s home were to go around the side and enter through the back door, they’d be instantly transported across time to various decades throughout modern and ancient history.

READ MORE: Raising a pint to ‘The Irish Viking’ pocket pub

Upon walking through the entryway, one of the first things that may catch a guest’s eye is The Bomb Shelter, an area directly across from the door that’s been creatively decorated to look like a 1940s bar, complete with its own incoming mustard gas canister. Or perhaps it’ll be the newly completed Houdini pinball cage that will distract and delight those entering what Forde has dubbed “Doc Studio.”

“The basement acts like my resume,” said Forde. “And my goal when people (enter Doc Studio) is to help them figure out what they like,”said Forde as he sat near to what used to be his Montreal, Quebec scene, complete with the wooden shinny boys in Canadiens jerseys he carved with a chainsaw.

This isn’t ”just about the creating and the building,” continued Forde about Doc Studio. “It’s the picking, the searching for treasures. Finding those cool things, whether it’s at an garage sale, an auction, or whatever. I’m always on the hunt and it’s a good day when you come home with something fun.”

Forde, who’s quite literally a very handy man, has been a practicing doctor of chiropractic for more than three decades, however, during many of those years, he was also a well-known competitive chainsaw artist.

And now that he’s begun fixing up spaces creatively during his semi-retirement, the doctor’s latest artistic hobby may have lead him all the way to Hollywood.

“I didn’t ask specifically how they found me, but I‘m assuming it was from (The Progress) article,” explained Forde.

Last July, as word spread about the doctor who was remaking basement spaces into immersive scenes, Forde was featured in the newspaper’s Scene & Heard section. A few months later, he opened his email and found a letter from Brian Catalina Entertainment asking if he’d be interested in hosting his own reality show.

“It caught me out of the blue and I was flabbergasted,” said Forde. “It was two different TV producers from L.A. that contacted me and said, ‘We’re interested in doing a television show about what you’re doing.’”

Although the offer was unexpected, Forde says he was intrigued and wanted to hear more. “So from there we had a couple of Skype interviews … and then they had us do a photo shoot down here, which we (then) sent to them.

“They edit down the Skype interview and the photos and send that out,” explained Forde. “They’re looking for a network to pick it up.”

Brian Catalina Entertainment is the idea-maker behind several popular reality shows, including Swamp People, which is going into its ninth season, The Raft, and Ultimate Survival Alaska.

“Their role, if I’m understanding correctly, is to be the middle man and get a cut of the action,” continued Forde. “If their idea of The Basement Doctor, which is the title of the show, takes hold, then the network probably pays them (something for the show’s rights).”

READ MORE: Chilliwack man creates unique themed spaces in your own home

Talking about the process up to this point, the semi-retired chiropractor laughs when explaining how one of the producers didn’t quite understand the concept because of where he grew up. “He’s from Florida, and they don’t have basements in Florida,” said Forde.

“But the other producer totally got it because he’s from somewhere up north where they have basements. He said it’s going to be so cool because everyone’s basements are just a mess, and if you can turn it into something special, the transformation would be fun to (watch).”

Although he doesn’t know for sure which networks have been pitched his show, Forde says he guesses it’s gone to stations like Home and Garden TV (HGTV) or the Do It Yourself Network (DIY).

As for how the actual show would play out, much of that’s still based on guesswork as well. “They didn’t give us too much information other than I’d be the host and (my wife) would be helping me.

“I’m assuming they’d provide me with a crew … so it only takes a week or two to do a basement. Then they just film the process, edit it down, and there’s the show. But again, it’s all new to me,” said Forde.

Signed into a nine-month contract, Forde says it isn’t so much about if the show will take place, but rather when the show will take place.

Rob Forde doesn’t only do large spaces, the talented chiropractor also does small spaces that pack a large emotional punch, like this space he created to commemorate his father and the family’s horse farm. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress)

“I’m not even sure if they’ll say no, I think it’s more of a case of waiting until,” said Forde.

“If enough time went by I would eventually assume that it’s probably not going to happen, but then a year from now it could pop up again. The concept is out there, so all it takes is somebody in some office somewhere to like it, and if they like a doctor doing people’s basements, then you’ve got a show!”

“In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, it’s going to happen!’ I just don’t know how soon.

“It’s like fishing, I’m betting (the entertainment company has) cast a lot of lines … and if just one of them bites, they’ve got some money coming in.”

“But if it doesn’t happen, that’s (okay, too),” said Forde. “As long as I’ve got people wanting me to help them with their spaces here in Chilliwack, that’s all I really want anyway. My main objective in all of this is to let people know this exists,” said Forde. “If they don’t know it exists, they can’t find it.”

However, at the end of the day, Forde says it’s all about “bringing people (and families) together and helping them feel proud of space when friends come over” and he’ll be happy to achieve that anyway he can.

For more information on Doc Studio, email Rob Forde at rdf9060@telus.net, or visit him on Instagram.

Stay tuned to The Progress learn more about when Chilliwack’s Basement Doctor will begin making house calls and transforming unused spaces into beloved places.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jessica Ogden, who calls herself a water protector, not a protester, has lost an internal police complaint following several interactions with the RCMP and the legal system in 2019. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Kootenay logging blockader loses police complaint, files counterclaim against company

Court actions and police complaints stem from blockades in the Balfour and Argenta areas in 2019

Nelson Amnesty is holding its annual Write for Rights campaign Dec. 12 at the Nelson Public Library. Photo: Submitted
Amnesty International Write for Rights relevant during the pandemic

Nelson Amnesty will host the annual event Dec. 12 at the Nelson Public Library

RNG plant
Construction on ground-breaking RNG plant in Fruitvale set to go in spring 2021

REN Energy partners with Calgary engineering firm for innovative West Kootenay gas plant

Katrine Conroy’s swearing in ceremony. Photo: Kootenay West Katrine Conroy Facebook
Forestry Minister West Kootenay MLA Katrine Conroy talks about her new role

Conroy will also oversee Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Treaty

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Most Read