Friday, October 26, 2007


^Peter Jackson

^Jackson looking at the pizza

^Salomon House

^Creepy Doll in back seat of the Mustang also has a great photo gallery which can be found by clicking here:

Here is an article from
Film crew transforms Chesco neighborhood

Ready for its 1970s close-up.

By Kathleen Brady Shea
Inquirer Staff Writer

Hollywood has come to a suburban street in Willistown Township and,
through its transformative magic, succeeded in making the thoroughfare even more
The effect, done for the shooting of the movie The Lovely Bones,
is to rewind the street back to the 1970s.

Up went the rooftop TV antennas and out went the modern patio
furniture. In its place: white wicker with worn fabric cushions and aluminum
folding chairs with striped, plastic webbing.
Even the trash got special
treatment: dented metal cans replaced today's plastic variety.
reviewing about 75 sites, DreamWorks Studios selected the street as one of
several locales in the Philadelphia area for the film.

The Lovely Bones, to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, was adapted
from Alice Sebold's best-seller by Peter Jackson, a multiple Oscar-winner for
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The story revolves around a
14-year-old girl who is raped and killed and who looks down from heaven on what
happens to her family afterward.

The site boasts a connection to Sebold, who grew up in Paoli and
attended Great Valley High School. The author, though never saying outright that
the novel is set here, dots the story with references to Norristown, Chadds Ford
and Route 202.

Sharon Pinkenson, who heads the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and
who loved Sebold's novel, said she first contacted one of the producers in July
2003, initiating a "passionate" four-year pitch to have the movie shot

"It's always best creatively to shoot where the story is set,"
Pinkenson said.

Landing the movie, she said, ultimately produced "a huge win" for the

She said the film would inject $60 million into the region through
direct and indirect spending. Sixty percent of the approximately 150-member crew
is from the area.

Pinkenson said the region's allure to moviemakers has been boosted by
$75 million in state film-tax credits approved in July as well as by plans for
two film studios, one in Norristown and one at a site that has not yet been

Eight to 10 film projects have landed in Chester County in the last
several years - two by local filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, she said. Until this
latest surge of movie-making, The Blob, a 1957 sci-fi classic starring Steve
McQueen, was generally regarded as Chester County's cinematic high point.

In the case of Willistown's 50-year-old neighborhood, some serious
tweaking took place before filming began on Monday. About 20 split-level houses
were treated to a face-lift that, down to the smallest detail, created a look
more evocative of 1970s suburbia .

Balancing her 16-month-old daughter Ally on her hip, Moira Banister
said she and her neighbors had to sign off on the changes and received
compensation from the filmmakers commensurate with their level of

"It's been fun watching the changes," Carol Anderson whispered.

She kept her voice low because Jackson was filming a dog-walking scene
down the block, and a gaggle of security people had just shushed the small group
of onlookers.

"We couldn't have asked for a more hospitable community to shoot in,"
said Claire Raskind, the film's publicist.

Fans elsewhere in the Philadelphia region craving a glimpse of their
favorite stars - including Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Michael
Imperioli and Stanley Tucci - will be disappointed. The set is closed to all but
residents, cast and crew, and it is secured by Willistown police officers.

"They've been great," said Banister, who baked a batch of brownies in

She said the major downside of her neighborhood's brush with fame had
been the periodic inconvenience of not being able to walk, park, or drive in
certain areas. Only vintage cars are visible, and one block is lined with trucks
and equipment such as lighting balloons, 15-foot-long inflatables that provide
ambient illumination.

The access to the action offsets the negatives, neighbors agreed.

An added perk: The film crew rakes leaves, stockpiling them in case a
scene needs to be reshot after the foliage has changed.

Banister said neighbors who barely knew one another were now trading
thoughts about what scenes will make the final cut and how they can juggle
requests from family and friends for visits.

Mary Gallen of Wayne made advance reservations.

She moved to the home of her daughter, Kelly Hennessy, on Sunday night.
By Tuesday, she had been joined by her cousin Margaret Dolan of Rosemont.
thought it was so interesting that I suggested she come over," Gallen said as
Dolan fixed her binoculars on Jackson.

Conestoga students Dan McKinney, 18, of Wayne, and Henry Rome, 16, of
Strafford, who work for the school newspaper and TV station, got turned away at
one blockade but succeeded in grabbing some images and interviews with
spectators without violating a second security point.
McKinney said their
perseverance was prompted by their teacher's mandate: "This is a big story; we
need team coverage."


Hotoke said...

awesome shots

Amy said...

The Salmon house is actually the peach-colored house on the corner. They set up a swingset in the side yard and a dog house in the back for the dog, Holiday. I've been to the set numerous times this week and the weeks leading up to the shooting. My sister lives in the neighborhood - it was pretty amazing to watch the houses being transformed.

The Banister's said...

Amy is right about the Salmon house I live in the neighborhood! the brownish house in your picture is being rented by dreamworks.

*Laur* said...

I am a teacher in Exton (not to mention a huge Mark Wahlberg fan). I know everyone is saying this set is totally closed but is their anyway for me to even take a walk down the street to catch a glimpse. Tomorrow is my birthday! Can anyone make my day a little brighter with some info :-) Thanks!

No said...

Today the set (10/30/07) is in Swiss Pines Park. in Charlstown Township off of Charlestown Road


Crew staging is at 3222 Phoenixville pike, Malvern, PA 19355

Crew staging area has some cars and stuff ready to go. One with the Doll (Buckley??? I don't remember) in it.