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Site Update Oct 13 01: Well the information just keeps rolling in, we've now received a script summary! We've posted it on a separate page just in case you'd rather not know what happens, you can view it here. But, as far as we can tell there is no trademark Shyamalan twist this time around, this seems to be confirmed by one of the crew who recently said "the movie will be eerie, but does not necessarily contain a surprise ending as in Shyamalan's previous hits". So this isn't a spoiler.
We've had word of another cast member, Lanny Flaherty a character actor who's previous films include "Blair Witch 2". "Natural Born Killers", "Waterworld" "Sommersby" and "Miller's Crossing". Flaherty was involved in the recent shoot in Newtown PA.
Wow, what a week this has been, with so many location shoots going on we've had a flood of information about the movie. The latest includes a copy of the entire press release recently put out by the production, accordingly we've updated our "General info and project background" page with all the names of the principal characters and a quote from the press release about the plot, they're still not giving much away, but that's to be expected.
We've just received some fantastic photos of both the Buckingham Township shoot and the first full colour shots of the entire Doylestown set including the Farmhouse (pictured right, more here) and Barn built for the production. Most exciting of all, we now have the first shots of the crop circle that has been created in Doylestown for the production (pictured above, more here). Hats off to our covert-op Kel who managed to get these shots for us, so dedicate was he in his pursuit of a good photo that he even used a bucket truck to get an aerial view of the Doylestown set for us, 10 out of 10 for ingenuity! You can view all of Kel's new photos in our "behind the scenes images" section.
Site Update Oct 12 01: It looks like the flurry of recent location shooting will conclude today with a shoot at a farmhouse in Bedminster. The production will then be moving back over to the - now not so secret - makeshift studio they have created inside a warehouse in Bensalem. Pictured right is Gibson leaving the Bensalem studio earlier this week in the white Yukon van that has been shuttling him between locations. Photo: John K.
We've added some photos of the Morrisville shoot to the "behind the scenes images" section.
Site Update Oct 11 01: Filming continued today at Burns Pharmacy in Morrisville (pictured right, photo credit Jay Crawford) and in Buckingham Township, on Byecroft Rd and Upper Mountain Rd where they were filming more driving scene, there seems to be a heck of a lot of driving in this movie! They also shot scenes on a farm near Peddler's Village. According to Eileen who was one of the few people on set in Buckingham, when Gibson's SUV arrived (including a police escort) he was sound asleep with his mouth hanging open, busy day Mel?
Hundreds of fans turned up to get a glimpse of the action in Morrisville. Joaquin Phoenix kept a low profile being spotted slipping out of a trailer and into a black van at one point (pictured here). Gibson played to the crowd again, he bought three boxes of ice pops and tossed the sweets to the crowd. He also spent some time talking to them, at one point through a cardboard tube! He spoke to one little girl in the crowd asking her name (pictured right), but refused to give her an autograph "because it wasn't fair to everyone in the crowd" he said. Photo: Beth Garry.
We've reorganised the "about the movie" section of the site, splitting it up into two sections, "general info and project background" and "behind the scenes images". Hopefully this will ease navigation of the sites content.
We've added John K's photos of the second day of shooting in Newtown to the "behind the scenes images" section. They feature the shoot at the Newtown Hardware House and the Book and Record Exchange next door. There's also a great shot of Night Shyamalan's Directors chair, complete with signs logo and crop circle pictogram (see below)!
Well, we've had our first tangible reference to the crop circle designs that might appear in the movie. On the back of the directors chairs (pictured right) used during the Newtown PA shoot is a crop circle design. To be honest, if this is the type of design they're planning to use it's a little disappointing. The design is a crop circle cliche, reminiscent of the first pictogram formations that appeared back in the early 90s. In the intervening 10 years the circles have evolved in leaps and bounds in both scale and complexity. For example look at this years spectacular formation at Milk Hill in Wiltshire England, it spanned a staggering 780ft and incorporated 409 separate circles into the design, with some measuring up to 70ft across. Any circlemakers worth his salt could create the formation depicted on the back the directors chair in a matter of minutes, lets hope the formations in the movie reference contemporary "jaw dropping" circles and not those that appeared over a decade ago! Photo: John K.
Apparently in an effort to make sure the scripts that are on set are kept confidential and not copied they've printed them on red paper, making unauthorized photocopying pretty much impossible.
With the shoot moving to the more visible location of Newtown PA, media interest in the movie has suddenly increased. There have been features on local radio shows such as the Y100 Morning Show
(100.3 out of Philadelphia) who tried to prank their way onto the set (read our informant Raphaela's report about it) and TV channel NBC10 did a live report from the shoot on Tuesday. You can view the NBC10 report at their website. There was also a local FOXTV crew on site. (Pictured above: The NBC10 live report. Photo:© NBC10). View photos of the shoot.
Site Update Oct 10 01: We've received some fantastic up close and personal photos of the Newtown shoot from our covert-op John K, who managed to get right up to the action after befriending one the productions lighting techs (always a good strategy!) The photos are of the shoot at Mom's Bake-at-Home Pizza, which has been transformed into "The Two Aldo's" by the production. There are also shots of director M Night Shyamalan leaving the set and of the two child actors. View all the photos.
One reason why the production team have managed to remain so low key whilst filming in Bucks County is because they've been filming many scenes inside a warehouse in Bensalem. The warehouse is located at the Atochem Company on State Road. It's been transformed into a mini-Hollywood studio in recent weeks, complete with motorhome dressing rooms, a front office and large props in the background. Limos were seen entering and exiting the building throughout the day on Saturday. A small sign at the front of the warehouse reads "Bucks County Films." One of the production team said the warehouse was being used for "inside shots, It's set up with rooms... and replicas of other inside locations."
The above photo was snapped by Dave Sommers whilst Gibson was shooting at Langhorne Presbyterian Church.
Apparently the owner of Burns Pharmacy in Morrisville where they are shooting on Thursday will receive between $5,000 and $10,000 to use the store, not bad for a days work!
The production company has now put out a press release which reveals a few more details about the plot and characters. It states that "Signs" is a thriller about crop circles which mysteriously appear on a family farm in Bucks County, and leave townsfolk befuddled. Gibson, whose character name in the movie is Graham Hess, is a family patriarch and town pastor whose faith is tested in his quest to find the truth behind the circles. Joaquin Phoenix, the actor who starred in "Gladiator," plays Merrill Hess, brother to (Gibson character) Graham and a former minor league baseball star.
As well as the shoot in Newtown yesterday, the crew were out and about in Chester County. They shot two scenes, one at East Fallowfield Township at a covered bridge and another at an intersection in Highland Township. They took about 24 takes in 4 different directions of a blue Ford Taurus arriving at and leaving from the bridge. Although Gibson and Phoenix were not on site, body doubles kept their seats warm in the car for the shots. Thanks to Samantha for the info, she was there directing traffic whilst the shoot happened and was able to mingle with cast and crew "all the crew were great to work with, Frank Marshall was pretty cool too" she said.
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