High country Hollywood
A little magic recently made its way into Marble and Redstone.Last weekend, Touchstone Pictures was on location in the Crystal River Valley shooting scenes for the film “The Prestige.” The $40-million movie, about turn-of-the-century rival magicians, starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie, is set in London and Colorado Springs. The Colorado scenes were filmed at the Redstone Castle and along the road toward Marble Friday and Saturday.”There were a lot of electricians and carpenters – probably about 110 people involved. It was a big deal in Marble. I went up there,” said Joyce Illian, a clerk at the Redstone General Store, where many of the film’s crew came in daily for coffee breaks. “They used the area near the Nordic Ski Center for the train station. And they used the castle as the hotel where one of the magicians who traveled to Colorado Springs was visiting for an experimental lab with Nikola Tesla, who was a rival of Thomas Edison’s.”
Jackman was reportedly the only lead actor on location this weekend. Although he can’t boast any celebrity spottings, Glenwood Springs resident Joe Llewellyn, who drove a dump truck filled with snow in case the set needed it, said he heard Jackman was filming.”I was told he was there, and he was the second big actor in the movie,” said Llewellyn, a Sunlight Mountain Resort ski patroller. “We were going to haul snow if they needed snow, but it turned out they didn’t even need any. They manufactured snow.”Being on a movie set was the first Hollywood experience for Llewellyn.”I’d never seen a film guy on a boom filming like that from above before,” said Llewellyn, who helped build the roads leading up to the coal mines in Redstone before retiring. “They had a railroad car mounted on the back of the truck and they used that to show a train pulling away. They had a stage coach there, and they hauled horses all the way from California.”
Llewellyn worked all day during the film crew’s 12-hour shoot Saturday, waiting to deliver snow. He said he heard the footage shot would probably be brief.”They said 45 seconds is all it would be in the movie,” Llewellyn said. “I also heard they had some black hats and black cats that they turned loose at the castle and filmed.” A third-generation, lifelong resident of Glenwood, Llewellyn said he isn’t the only member of his family to see the magic of Hollywood come to the area.
“When they were making ‘The Great K&A Train Robbery,’ Tom Mix was here,” he said. “That was my mom’s era – she got to see him.” Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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Independence Pass opened just before 2 p.m. Friday after closing earlier this week because of a series of snowstorms, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Friday.