Wednesday, May 16, 2007


So much drama! Part of filming occurred in the Virgin Islands back in January, and I guess the residents there are used to the easy life because when production shut down a public beach to shoot for a few days, people freaked out. The article gives details about the scenes shot - apparently it will involve a storm on the beach.

"The venue was Honeymoon Beach on Water Island. And the production caused a stir when the film crew closed off the beach entirely to capture a scene with the stars, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

Some of Water Island's roughly 150 residents reviewed the V.I. Code, consulted an attorney and considered seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the closures. Given that the V.I. Open Shorelines Act provides that beaches, up to the high-water mark, belong to the people of the Virgin Islands, the residents wondered about the legality of closing beaches for any reason other than health or safety. They also were unsure about who truly has authority to restrict access.

We're kind of pleased and excited that they picked Water Island, but this is our only beach," Bohr said. "It was a nice opportunity for several businesses on St. Thomas and the film industry as a whole. It's unfortunate that there was no understanding of what a severe inconvenience and hardship this created on our families that travel down here at premium cost for the holiday week. The film dates kept expanding, and more and more access was denied."

On most days of filming, a portion of the beach was taped off. But the beach was closed entirely the afternoon and evening of Jan. 5, when film stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett filmed a scene that took place under a pavilion, while a "rain bar" outside simulated a storm.

Water Island residents were flattered that Paramount Pictures chose their island's Honeymoon Beach to shoot scenes for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" earlier this month, Water Island Civic Association president Joanne Bohr said.

At the same time, however, residents were dismayed that the shore was closed around the New Year's holiday, when many had family and friends visiting who were counting on using Water Island's only beach with public land access. In addition, residents who moor their boats off Honeymoon had to move them; the residents were paid $100 to do so.

The Department of Housing, Parks, and Recreation had drawn up a lease to allow Paramount use of the beach for 13 days at $100 per day. Paramount Pictures spent an estimated $1.5 million in the territory during the four days of filming.

No comments: