Elephants’ begins filming in Fillmore, CA
May 23, 2010
Movie Locations Travel Examiner Debi Willis
Production for ‘Water For Elephants’ began in Fillmore, California, on Thursday, May 20. (Image courtesy of WaterForElephants.com.)According to director Francis Lawrence’s twitter stream, production for his newest film, ‘Water for Elephants’ starring Hal Holbrook, Christoph Waltz, Reese Witherspoon and Rob Pattinson, began on Thursday, May 20. The first footage for the movie was shot on location in Fillmore, California, and the production is expected to continue in nearby Santa Paula, Piru and Los Angeles over the coming weeks. The director tweeted on Friday that they had “just shot Rosies intro,” in reference to an elephant that plays an important role in the story.
‘Water for Elephants’ is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Sara Gruen. It tells the story of 23-year-old Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), a trained veterinarian (sans degree) and his experience working for a travelling circus during The Great Depression. Gruen stated the story of “Topsy” – an elephant deemed a danger to society whose subsequent electrocution became the subject of an early Thomas Edison film – served as inspiration for the story.
The story’s narrator is Jankowski as an old man in a nursing home (Holbrook), who relates the events involving the circus’ head animal trainer August (Waltz), a brutal paranoid schizophrenic, and his wife Marlene (Witherspoon), a star performer in "The Benzini Brothers Circus" with whom Jacob falls in love. The screenplay was adapted by Richard LaGravenese.
Production design is being handled by the talented Jack Fisk, and a fan site for the film – WaterForElephants.com – includes a bevy of photos to give you a flavor of what it will look like. There are some good shots of the newly sheared Pattinson, of course, a haircut he debuted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the day before filming began (see video below).
According to imdb.com, we will unfortunately have to wait until 2011 to see the film.