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Hollywood Comes to Rosario Beach

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It isn't often that a major motion picture gets filmed in Deception Pass State Park. In fact, it has been almost a decade since the last film, The Postman, starring Kevin Costner, was shot here.

But, last week, an independent movie production spent a full day at Rosario shooting the next-to-last scene for its story line for a new motion picture, planned for release next year.

With a misleading working title of "Captain Fantastic", the crew was indeed blessed with fantastic weather for their shoot. Sunshine filled the skies all day with hardly a breath of wind to tussle the long hair of Viggo Mortenson (also known as Aragorn to Lord of the Ring fans) and his six 'kids' of various ages (some of whom are also experienced actors and actresses), gathered around a funeral pyre.

Written and directed by Matt Ross, also a familiar face to many, the story focuses on a father raising six kids in the woods who has to face challenges in an urban setting elsewhere.

The film has been on location throughout the state, shooting at Mount Baker, Index, the coast, and at Sea- Tac Airport and many other places.

The producers paid a significant amount of money to reserve the parking area at Rosario, much of Bowman, and pay several rangers overtime to oversee the safety of the area and guide visitors around and away from the working set.

Some special effects were handled by a local Whidbey Island expert who proved his value with the challenging shot.

Location manager Dave Drummond said the shoot went very well, and that they took some fabulous footage that they think will be a key moment in the movie.

I personally appreciated their respect for the sacred nature of Rosario, and for the sensitive environmental and cultural features of the area. I also appreciated a chance to chat with Matt Ross and see a kind and thoughtful man behind the famous personage he brings.

The production took from sunup to sundown, and portions of the day before as well for setup. All of that will produce maybe a minute of time in the movie.

But what a dramatic setting for a movie!