High School Musical star Zac Efron struts stuff in Steveston
Local teens won't likely get a better chance to get close to heart-throb Zac Efron, who will be in Richmond next week filming scenes for The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.
The drama set for the big screen in 2010 also stars Hollywood mainstays Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger, and a Lower-Mainland actor will be playing Efron's love interest.
The movie will be shooting in a waterfront restaurant in Steveston for several days.
Langley-born and raised actor Amanda Crew will be playing the role of Tess, Efron's girlfriend in the movie. Efron gained an enormous following after starring in the successful Disney High School Musical flicks.
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, to be released next year, centres on the titular character, played by Efron, who is overcome with grief when his younger brother Sam dies.
But Efron's character, who takes on the caretaking job at the cemetery where his brother is buried, retains a special bond with his brother, a link that enables him to see him even after his passing.
The pair continue to play catch and talk each night, until a girl named Tess, played by Langley's Crew, comes into Charlie's life.
Charlie's then faced with the difficult choice of remaining committed to his brother or moving on with his own life.
Gerry Biggar, owner of Shady Island Seafood Bar and Grill, said he was thrilled when asked if his restaurant could serve as the on-screen watering hole for the movie.
Site scouts searched for a place with a rustic feel to it, and took a shining to the restaurant's murals, mahogany wood decor, and articles reflecting Steveston's fishing history, Biggar said.
Other parts of Steveston village will also be filmed, Biggar said he's been told.
Asked if he's concerned his restaurant will be deluged by teenaged girls seeking out Efron, Biggar said: "I don't blame them for coming out and saying hello and we'll be prepared for them...If they get a chance to get an autograph or a picture of what's going on, I applaud that."
Biggar hopes Steveston will gain greater prominence as a unique shooting location for other films as a result of this movie.
"If we get this opportunity to be on film, it's going to do us all a great recognition for the spot that we're at...Like I said, Hollywood on the Fraser, at Steveston."
The restaurant will be closed from Sept. 21 to 26 to allow for set up and shooting, but chief filming at Shady Island isn't expected to occur until Sept. 23 and for the following two days.
Also a couple of things from the Coast Reporter.
First a small blurb from an editorial:
Zac Efron sightings have been plentiful. He was mobbed at Sunnycrest Mall, had teen girls screaming for autographs, and oh yeah, there was a little movie shooting going on too.
The cast and crew of The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud are nearing the end of their shoot in Gibsons. It’s been a positive experience for mostly all involved. The community has been respectful allowing the crew to do their work and the crew has been appreciative of the co-operation. While the spin-offs from the Hollywood production are not know yet, once the movie hits the silver screen and Gibsons is in the spotlight, the tourism boom could be substantial. This community needs to embrace more movie and television productions like they did this one. The economic benefits are surely enough reason to do so.
And a bit of a wrap up on what filming was like in Gibsons:
Efron movie shooting final scenes
Sechelt – Lights buzzing and film rolling, shooting for Universal Studios’ The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is nearing a wrap at its Gibsons’ locations.
Residents around town have been curious about the film’s sets and A-list stars Zac Efron and Kim Bassinger since shooting began after Labour Day.
For the most part, filming in Gibsons has been a smooth experience, according to location manager Kirk Johns.
“It’s worked out quite well.” Johns said. “Everyone’s been very co-operative and friendly.
Despite many young girls hanging around the set, Johns said there has been no disruption from fans eager to catch a glimpse of Efron. At times, some fans have even been allowed to approach the set for a better look — so long as they are quiet.
“When he’s been available… Zac’s been able to sign a few autographs for people too, which is nice,” Johns said.
Filming locations for Charlie St. Cloud have included Gibsons Harbour, Hopkins Landing, Gibsons Curling Club and Molly’s Reach, temporarily repainted green and renamed “Flynn’s Reach.”
Jim Conway, assistant harbour manager for the Gibsons Harbour Authority, said despite shooting on the wharf, the filming has had little impact on the goings-on of the harbour.
“We’ve been able to keep our daily operations with maybe minor delays accessing the wharf head by vehicle,” he said. “It’s been a very positive experience. They have been extremely professional in their dealings with us and our customers.”
Nancy Hache, executive director of the Gibsons Landing Business Association said she has heard almost exclusively positive things about the filming,
“I think most of us here in the Landing have all thought it was a great idea that there’s movies filmed here. I think that’s fabulous,” she said.
Hache said despite the fact there hasn’t been a boom in shopping during the filming; she believes people will be drawn to Gibsons when they see how beautiful it looks on screen. And tourists are good for business.
“I think it’s really good because it’s just another thing that puts Gibsons on the map. It will end up in the credits in the end of the movie… That’s a positive,” she said.
But not every business is pleased with the filming. Peter Beauchamp, owner of Molly’s Lane Market has had access to the lane cut off by the film crew’s trucks.
“It has not been pleasant,” he said. “With all the trucks and equipment coming and going out of the lane, no one’s been able to get in or out of the lane so it’s definitely killed our business.”
Beauchamp said he has tried to work with the film’s location managers, but he still feels the situation was handled badly by both the Town of Gibsons and the studio.
“I think when things like this happen in the community, they should discuss it with the business people before they allow it to happen,” Beauchamp said.
When the film debuts next year, sharp-eyed viewers may notice Gibsons Coun. Bob Curry strutting to and fro in the background of some shots on Gibsons Harbour and in Hopkins Landing.
Curry was scouted to be an extra during a casting call after the Sea Cavalcade parade this summer. He resisted the idea at first, but found himself having headshots taken — just in case.
“They called me, so for the last two days I’ve walked up and down the wharf here more times in the morning than I have in 15 years,” he said. “Take 15,” he said imitating the director.
Curry called his foray into acting a fascinating experience, especially seeing the level of co-ordination it takes to run a film set.
Despite having to repeat his scenes “innumerable times,” Curry said he enjoyed his time on the set.
He added he would like to see more filming done in Gibsons.