January 31, 2014

Hollywood North goes Bucolic, Part Two

Last summer I wrote a post about a television show being filmed in our little town, which, through the vision of set designers and the skill of carpenters has been transformed into Wayward Pines, Idaho. I wrote about attending the casting call with my youngest daughter and about hoping she would get a call-back. She did not, but judging by the experience my friend Sue had of standing in the pouring rain in the middle of the night for four hours after spending five hours waiting in the high school gymnasium and earning minimum wage for her troubles, my daughter decided that being an extra might be better left to more hearty types on this occasion at least.

The cast and crew of the appropriately named Fox TV show Wayward Pines directed by M.Night Shyamalan have returned once per month since September to film the local outdoor scenes for each episode, and each time they come it seems the weather is either incredibly rainy or punishingly cold. The crew, dressed in multiple layers of black clothing scurry or stand around, depending on their position, drink plenty of coffee and maintain a general demeanor of helpful politeness to our town's citizens.

During actual filming, while the crew handles the flow of traffic around the site and answers questions, I have seen Matt Dillon posing for photos with local groupies between takes and M. Night talking with curious children. Overall, I think our town has embraced the project. The local businesses are benefitting financially from providing services to the crew and from the inconvenience of being part of the set. Our downtown has improved in appearance - so much so, that an artist friend returning briefly at Christmas from his studies in Ontario, and having no idea of the filming taking place, asked me what was 'with' the main street, and was it some kind of downtown revitalization project. The fact is, the additions to our downtown community have improved it and most of us will truly miss the extra pretty buildings, the whimsical signage, and general aura of 'lights, camera, action' which have made our quiet town, temporarily at least, a more vibrant place.

All the initial press about the show indicated that filming would wrap up this February. If the show is renewed for another season I suppose we will get to keep our pretend shops for a while longer, or they will, at least, be returned to us later in the year - I am not sure because I am quite shy about asking the crew a lot of questions. The one crew member I have managed to have any kind of real chat with was telling me about an area of Vancouver where a western-themed TV show is filmed. The set has been up for ten years now and has become a fixture in that community. This morning, not knowing the fate of our own particular set, I took my camera out in the frigid January sunshine to photograph it for what might just be the last time.

On the days leading up to filming, the crew adds the signs and other details to existing buildings:

The Newspaper office becomes a cafe

We suddenly have a theatre in town

This 'stone' bank is a wood and styrofoam facade...
 It covers an auto parts store

A welcome addition to our town if it were real

My friend Joanne's print shop becomes the Wayward Pines Chamber of Commerce

The facades that line the North side of the street fool visitors when their storefront windows are decorated and the signage put up: 

And this little sign in a shop window gives an indication of how things really are in the mysterious fictional town of Wayward Pines: 

This evening, the crew are going to 'blow up' a vehicle during filming. I might walk down with my younger daughter and check it out. If it's not too cold.

Click on the photos for an elarged-version slide show. And have a great weekend!


  1. ha. that stone building being a shell...hard to believe...its crazy...how much does it mess life up to have them filming there? pretty cool they used locals as extras...i need to check out the show...that notice is pretty crazy too...ha....

    1. The bank is impressive, isn't it? It doesn't mess up life much at all - they do everything they can to make things easy for the public. They used a few locals for extras, but not many.

  2. Isn't it extraordinary the lengths they go to? We watched Rye being transformed for filming The Monuments Men. I expect the moment on screen will be so fleeting that we could blink and miss it. The security men were so helpful and everyone seemed happy to have them there. The undoing of the sets was just as fascinating but just a little sad.

  3. It is, Lucille! Monuments Men seems like it will be a great film - I'm looking forward to it. Yes, when the sets come down it will feel like someone just rid my house of its art.
    I plan to watch a bit of the show being filmed here, I also expect to find our town a bit unrecognizable.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!