Friday, August 30, 2013

Ron Howard's film set on La Gomera for 'In the Heart of the Sea' encounters bureaucratic obstacles

Local tradesmen from electricians to painters could apply at the town hall of Alajero to be hired for the shooting of Ron Howard's next film 'In the Heart of the Sea' until noon yesterday, but a problem with permits by local authorities was reported by local media at the same time.
It appears that most permits necessary have been obtained by the production company, but there is a delay of with some permits that are needed, e.g. one for the removal of a minor structure (an outdoor oven or barbecue) which is in the way of the large set. The most important documents and permits have been obtained and some concern 'Costas', a state authority that controls a narrow strip of land along all Spanish coasts, including all beaches. The main area to be used in the shooting of 'In the Heart of the Sea' on La Gomera is the remote 'Playa de Tapahuga' beach where most of the elaborate set including a large water basin will be constructed. While the town from which Tapahuga is accessed is Playa de Santiago in the municipality of Alajero, this beach is administered by the island's capital San Sebastian. 
Now sources close to Warner Brothers are concerned that the slowness and lack of coordination shown by the various authorities involved in all the bureaucratic paperwork is putting La Gomera as a film location at risk.
It is hoped that the final permits will soon be issued as the rehearsals for the film have already begun near London and work on the film set on La Gomera is due to begin very soon. 
Ron Howard tweeted this picture from a production meeting in London a  few days ago (right).
The film:
Interest in the production and the new film has been very strong, but again and again it is being called 'a remake of Moby Dick', which it is NOT. Melville's Moby Dick is a work of fiction based on two separate stories. One of them was the story of the whaling ship 'Essex' in 1820  which was for about 100 years the most talked about tragedy at sea until the Titanic sank. The other story that had fascinated Melville was an account of the difficult killing of an albino whale in the late 1830s. He worked the two stories into his famous novel of American Romanticism, which was many years later adapted for film.
'In the Heart of the Sea' is the meticulously researched account of the loss of the whaler 'Essex' and the ordeal the crew went through. It was written by Jonathan Philbrick and published in 2000 by Viking Press, winning the National Book Award in the US for its maritime history in the same year. Ron Howard's film intends to follow the true history of the 'Essex' as correctly told by Philbrick and will not concern itself with Melville's 'Moby Dick' fiction. That's the story, and I'm hoping for a great movie. The island of La Gomera is expecting an injection of five million Euros into the local economy by the film production and about 150 jobs.

Update 21-09-2013: Work begins on La Gomera set for Ron Howard movie
Update Nov. 4th:Ron Howard's Heart of the Sea getting ready to roll on location La Gomera. Latest images of preps + props ++

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