Call it a wrap; Movie filming expected to finish this weekend with downtown scenes | SierraSun.com
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Call it a wrap; Movie filming expected to finish this weekend with downtown scenes

SHERRY MAYS, Sierra Sun

The spotlight on Truckee will soon be darkened when the Warner Bros. crews rap up production on Frost this weekend.

No thanks to the uncooperative weather, production units have been changing filming schedules and locations and have had to recreate an Olympic Heights home and part of downtown Truckee at other locations.

One thing the weather did do in cooperation with downtown decorations, was to convert Truckee into a winter wonderland – again.

“We wanted snow, but with heavy snow backgrounds get washed out,” Warner Bros. publicist Maureen O’Malley said. “Lighter snow would be just perfect, but there’s no telling when that might happen.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is the final date for shooting in the area. Crews must be back in Burbank by this weekend. O’Malley said there may be a few people left to finish up fill-in shots for the movie.

“We’ve tried to get things done, but it has been frustrating,” said Patrick McIntyre, production manager.

Filming for downtown was moved from the beginning of the week to Friday or Saturday, and filming at the Smiths’ home in Olympic Heights is also on hold, but the minutes are counting down.

“They have been pushing to finish up the changes they need for our home,” Walt Smith said. “We just want to get back to normal around here and start planting our spring flowers again.”

Smith said the film company completely changed his home. They painted the house, changed the stonework with a fake stone facade and changed the front door, because they wanted it to open in the opposite direction. Street lamps were added, as well as Christmas decorations. They even painted a weather vane on Smith’s cupola.

Smith said his only regret was seeing his 20-year-old Juniper bushes torn from the soil in the front of his home.

“We planted those bushes when we moved in,” he said. “It was hard to see them go.”

Smith, whose father worked for Warner Bros. for 30 years, said this experience has been worth it.

“When they change something inside our house, they have to make the same changes at the house in southern California,” he said. “Every detail is thought of over and over again.”

Gary Polcari, Truckee Ace Hardware manager, said his experiences with the crews were also enlightening. The production staff was at the store for an entire day last week forcing the store to close for the day.

Crews are planning to return for one last shot, explaining why Christmas decorations still hang outside the store, along with a Colorado state flag.

“It was a lot of fun to have them (the company) film here,” he said. “It wasn’t easy, but it was interesting.”

Polcari said actors Kelly Preston, who plays the movie mother, and Mark Addy, who is best known for his character in the Full Monty, filmed several scenes in the hardware store.

“There were so many people in here,” he said. “I know now why movies cost so much.”

He said he thought the location was less then perfect for the movie, but when he saw the filming on the monitor, he said it looked great.

“Our store is set up similar to a sound studio,” he said. “We are small and we have an upstairs that worked out perfectly for camera locations.

“We have had nothing but good experiences with the Warner Bros. staff,” Polcari said. “We would do it again.”

Town Manager Steve Wright and Truckee Downtown Merchants Association President Ed Candler agree.

“We are working with the company as best as we can,” Wright said. “The weather has been frustrating for everyone.”

Town heavy equipment is being loaned to the company while it is in town.

Candler is praying for good weather.

“We have decorated the town and now we have to wait for the weather to clear,” he said. “I think it looks great down here (downtown). I just hope the company leaves behind the decorations they supplied.”

Candler said the wreathes which hang about the street lights were supplied by the company.

“The wreaths together with the Boy Scout trees that hang on the posts would look great next year,” he said.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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