September 16, 2013 - 3:26 PM
THE STARS HAVE LEFT, BUT ENDERBY GOT ITS CLOSE-UP
VERNON - Hollywood and its stars have gone, but an Okanagan film commissioner says Tomorrowland’s presence will be felt in the community for years to come.
Disney has wrapped up the scenes it was shooting in Enderby, and headed to the coast for some studio work with actors George Clooney and Hugh Laurie in tow. Film Commissioner Jon Summerland says the set, which was built in an empty field, is being demolished due to liability concerns. No one will be visiting the exact place where Tomorrowland was filmed, but Summerland says there are other ways it will benefit tourism and the economy. The fact Disney left happy bodes well for an expanded film industry in the Okanagan.
“They left, which means they got what they needed,” Jon Summerland says, noting they might be back if they need more. “From what I heard, they had a great experience.”
The producers were nervous about prying eyes during the early days on set, but Summerland says “it was for nothing.” The public backed off and respected their privacy, allowing the $250 million Tomorrowland to remain a secret.
“I know nothing about the film,” Summerland says. “I can’t wait to see it.”
Tomorrowland publicist Lee Anne Muldoon is in the loop, but her lips are sealed.
“There’s not much we can say... The majority of films are the same. The producers put out very little, and as it gets closer (to hitting theatres) they give out more and more,” Muldoon says.
Aside from swarms of wasps and an ultralight aircraft swooping into the set, everything went smoothly.
“It (ultralight) was a bit noisy but we were on our lunch break, so it didn’t matter,” Muldoon says.
She says it’s not out of the question for Disney to return in the future with a new film.
“Whatever a movie needs is specific. If the Okanagan can offer what they need, I see no reason why they wouldn’t come back,” she says.
Spin-off benefits won’t entirely be known until the movie is out around Christmas of 2014, but Summerland says we can expect Enderby to be put on the map.
“I have to be vague, but there are some very big applications from this film,” he says.
There have already been boosts to the economy with set workers staying in area hotels and eating in local restaurants. Enderby locals have been inspired to make their own fun with life-sized Clooney cutouts which have in turn boosted business.
“The positive experience will just go on and on,” Summerland says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013