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How Hollywood keeps a big secret in a small town

George Clooney jetted off to the Venice Film Festival after a brief stay in Enderby. "All the George Clooney sightings are funny," Gord Wylie says. "He wasn't even in the country."
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August 30, 2013 - 10:07 AM


ENDERBY - Those involved in the filming of Disney's Tomorrowland have done everything short of disguising themselves before visiting the set to keep Hollywood's secret intact.

The flick, which stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, is filming scenes in various B.C. locations, including Enderby.

Okanagan film scout Gord Wylie says keeping a big secret in a small town wasn't easy, but the public was on their side.

"I haven't had to put on a pink dress and high heels to make sure no one's following me," Wylie says, but he did have to sign a six page disclosure form which legally bound him not to speak about a single detail of the film, or take any pictures of the set.

"The production company doesn't want to give things away that are surprises for the viewers. There's enough of that already with leaks and spoilers," Wylie says.

Tomorrowland has already had at least one leak, Wylie says. An official description for the movie says it's about a former boy-genius inventor who embarks on a danger-filled mission with an optimistic teen to unearth the secrets of an "enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland."

A synopsis leaked back in March provides a few other details: the boy-genius was kicked out of Tomorrowland, and the duo is joined by a girl-robot. Their mission is to discover what happened to Tomorrowland in order to save Earth.

But if Hollywood gets its way, we won't know much more than that before Tomorrowland hits theatres sometime in 2014. A lot of the mystery is riding on Enderby, and how they choose to handle the privacy of Disney and its stars. For the most part, Wylie says the community has been great.

"There was one person who called to complain that there weren't any directions to the set, as if it was Disneyland or something," Wylie says, adding the location may never be made public. "I hope for the property owners that it isn't."

Overall, residents have given the crew space, which might also have something to do with the set's security people. Wylie says there are various check points around the set, and only authorized people will make it through.

"It's all part of being a film-friendly (place) where people respect the privacy of the production," Wylie says. "If there are a bunch of leaks, these big production companies aren't going to come back."

Gossip about George Clooney being spotted at the IGA or coffee shop has been harmless, Wylie says, simply because most of it isn't true. Clooney was on set only a handful of times, then he was off to the Venice Film Festival.

"He's not even in the country," Wylie says.

Hugh Laurie, on the other hand, was spotted a little closer to home, playing an impromptu piano tune at a jazz club in Vancouver.

Wylie sees good things for the future of the film industry in the Okanagan. One sign that residents are embracing the industry is that people are calling in to offer their properties up as locations.

"People are stepping up, offering their farms and homes, which is really helpful," Wylie says. "Maybe a script will come in and we'll have exactly what they're looking for."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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