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You are here: Home > Recent > News > "The Majestic" in Ferndale - First week in review
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"The Majestic" in Ferndale - First week in review
25 Mar 2001    

The first week of "The Majestic" production at Ferndale has passed by and our Anonymous location correspondent makes a round-up of all the happenings in town, including also a set report from one of his friends, who was selected as extra. Illustrating his article are several wonderful pictures sent by Ferndale Fritz, and by Gary Franklin.

Period storefronts

Period storefronts
Period storefronts.
© Gary Franklin
«After that very long first day of shooting, the film company moved up into the Ferndale cemetary: this place looks like a movie set even without any help from Castle Rock---its on a fairly steep green slope with dense evergreen forest at the upper end, and a beautiful view of the town below. There is a black wrought iron gate and fancy archway at the entrance back of the former Methodist church. There are hundreds of very old gravestones and monuments inscribed with the names of local settlers as far back as the mid-19th century. It appeared in Salem's Lot, and it's a local jewel, full of stories about the people who lived in this town. In the middle, Castle Rock found a spot to put all of the prop graves of veterans who did not return from the war, in the story.

In town, all of the pictures of servicemen in the windows of the shops are actual Ferndale residents from WWII, copied, framed and placed there by the set dressers.

On Thursday, the movie crew moved down to Mabel's Diner, where they spent all day shooting inside: this is a beautiful re-creation of an old diner---stainless steel outside in a racy 'moderne' design of the 40's: inside, the illusion is perfect: working grill, ceramic tile and 40's props and furniture make the diner a great visual. A lot of the local people here want the diner to stay...some even want the Majestic building to stay, too, but that's another story. The diner sits in front of Lino's service station which is still wearing its paint and makeup job from 'Outbreak' filmed here in 1994.

Mabel's Diner shoot
Mabel's Diner shoot.
© Gary Franklin
Interior view of Mabel's Diner
Interior view of Mabel's Diner.
© Ferndale Fritz
Another view of the interior
Another view of the interior.
© Ferndale Fritz
Detail of the Diner's sign lit
Detail of the Diner's sign lit.
© Gary Franklin


On Friday, the crew was back on Main Street in front of the hardware store, filming a scene with Martin Landau (as Jim Carrey's father) and David Ogden Stiers playing the town doctor whose office is next door. At the end of the day, they cleared the streets for a drive-by shot inside the old fashioned police car being driven up the street with Jim Carrey in back: by now he's changed his clothes--- light colored pants and a clean cream colored shirt, with a clean white square of gauze over the wound on his forehead.

From what I gather, this is going to be a very different kind of Jim Carrey movie: gone are all the rubbery faces and the wild comedy. I think viewers will be very surprised and pleased with the change. It may mean a whole new Jim.

This was quite a week for little Ferndale: Main Street was closed down most of the day on Tuesday and Friday as they filmed.
The usually busy street was eerie in its silence: now and then you could hear the production assistants relaying the messages: 'lock it up'---'rolling'---then 'cut' echoing from one assistant to the other up and down the street. Crowds have been light, and are handled by local conductors who keep them away from the action. So far, I've only heard a second hand report of a girl who burst into tears when she glimpsed Jim Carrey from a distance...

Actor James Whitmore apologized for their taking up so much time away from Main Street businesses when I said hello to him, pushing his own shopping cart at the the local grocery store---I guess it'll all work out. The Main Street merchants all received roses from Castle Rock on Friday, thanking them for their patience.

Mr. Whitmore though has been gracious and friendly to everybody in town: we'd love to have him as a neighbor. He can come plant his vegetable garden and sprinkle Miracle-Gro all over town as far as I'm concerned.

The movie company is taking the weekend off: I'll bet most of them are asleep. This is the first real break they've had since they began building in January. They'll be back Monday, lights, camera, and extras all dressed and ready.

Ever wanted to be an extra in a movie? My friend applied and was chosen. Here's what he said about it:

"Up AT 5:15 A.M. Had a banana & orange. To wardrobe, changed, ate breakfast offered (fair), got a detailed rundown on what to expect how an extra performs etc. (revealing). Planned for waiting call up to camera, and waited and waited till we had lunch (fair).

Expected call to action, but delayed and delayed and delayed until 6:15 P.M, then excused at 6:45. Got our vouchers for the days effort, to be notified Monday if needed further. Went from Dawn to Dusk for $50 with some kind of overtime added.
However, all was not misspent, having enjoyed Mr. Whitmore's gracious manner (as you did).

It didn't seem entirely worth all the waiting about, and the 20 odd number of people hanging around for action, were somewhat disenchanted, by not being even grist for the cutting room floor."»

Editor's Note: Here's crossing fingers that the beautiful Diner set does stay in Ferndale.

-- With our most special Spanks to Anonymous, his friend, Ferndale Fritz and Gary Franklin @ KHUM.com, Ferndale's very own radio station. Click to comment this article.

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