Making Movie Magic

The big topic of conversation in these parts has for the past couple months been the fact that Twentieth Century Fox is filming scenes for X-Men: First Class right here on Jekyll Island.  Apparently, after what has seemed like endless preparation, they actually did some shooting today – the huge construction cranes that had been at their site had mysteriously vanished this morning, and when we tried to take some kids to the north end beach via bus this afternoon we discovered that the section of the beach front road near the set was closed off.

Here’s what the set looked like when a coworker and I walked up the beach to investigate last weekend.

That’s the one photo I managed to snap before the security guard noticed me and told me no pictures.  (Hey, I’m officially a paparazzo!)  Apparently the movie involves a plane crash at some point.  What’s interesting – and what makes this post at least tangentially relevant to this blog’s theme – is those palm trees visible behind the chunks of airplane.  Those are not our native cabbage palms.  Every single one of those was brought in by the production company when they constructed the set, and they seem to be tropical species that would normally be found significantly south of here.  I wonder where this scene is actually supposed to be set, and where they got all those palms, and what on earth they’re going to do with them after they finish.  Also, temperatures here the last couple nights have definitely dipped to around freezing – if these tropical plants are damaged by the cold, will it hold up filming while they come up with something to replace them?

Just some food for thought.  The movie comes out in June and stars James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon and January Jones, none of whom I’ve actually spotted, though clearly they must be lurking here on the island somewhere.  Fox, you’re welcome for the free publicity.

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10 thoughts on “Making Movie Magic”

  1. That is uber cool! Good one! Maybe ET or some other celebrity news team will pick up your blog and want to use your picture! You could go viral!

    Also, I notice it is snowing here. On (in) your blog. Nice.

    1. I did do a Google search for X-men and Jekyll Island, and found an entertainment news site with some similar leaked photos. Oddly, they were speculating that Jekyll may be standing in for an island that figures into the X-men comics that’s located off the coast of Scotland. Palm trees off the coast of Scotland? I think not.

  2. Rebecca, LOL! You sure raise some good questions about those Palm trees. Jeez what are they thinking? I enjoyed seeing your cool pictures. Hope you can sneak a few more. :)

    Congrats on the Brown-Headed Nuthatches sightings. They are very delightful birds and I adore their little “squeaks”. :-D)

  3. Movie folk do weird things. I remember back in the early 80’s they filmed a segment of a TV series or movie at UGA in Athens, Georgia. I think it was “Breaking Away” or some such, not really sure. But I remember it was freezing that day, the wind chill made it even colder, and the movie magicians were out there wiring fake leaves to some ornamental cherry trees for a “summer” scene.

    Later, the actor and actress did their shot in shorts and t-shirts. Immediately after the director yelled “cut”, they ran out and threw a heavy fur coat on the actress. Can’t remember what happened to the actor – probably died of frost bite.

  4. Scottish palm trees? Now that is really funny, considering the photos from my friend in the south of Scotland with huge snow piles…..

    Seriously, watching a movie being made is fun. My husband and I were extras for the Pimloco Special scenes in Seabiscuit. Long day, boring, cold, miserable — for four shots! And you can’t even see us in the movie, after all that. Gave me far more respect for what is involved in shooting a film.

    1. That’s so cool that you were extras for Seabiscuit! The movie Shawshank Redemption was shot in my hometown and I know a couple people who were extras in it. Always fun to watch that movie and see the familiar scenery.

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