THE LIGHTHOUSE FILM
In the spring of 2018, the Cape Forchu lighthouse property in Yarmouth County, N.S., along with a hanger at the Yarmouth Airport, was transformed into a movie set for the production of the film 'The Lighthouse.'
The movie stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson and was directed by Robert Eggers.
It is set for release in 2019.
The following is collection of stories written by the Tri-County Vanguard newsroom about the filming of the movie during 2018 and the release of the movie in 2019.
Set construction for the feature film The Lighthouse is underway on the Leif Ericson trail at the Cape Forchu lighthouse. The movie is about a lighthouse keeper in the early 20th century, starring actors Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.
Indirectly, almost every business in town would be receiving a slice of the big pie provided by the thriller movie being filmed in Yarmouth County, said an industry executive at the time. When asked what businesses they were working with locally, location manager ShaunClarke replied it would be easier to list the companies that they weren’t doing business with.
A large hangar on Yarmouth airport property has been temporarily repurposed as a sound studio for a film company.
“When we were having conversations on potential tenants we never dreamed of renting the entire hangar space to a production company, but we’re certainly thankful for it,” said interim airport manager Alain Muise at the time.
A co-owner of East Coast Scaffolding remembers how he felt when approached to build a skeleton scaffold for The Lighthouse movie being filmed at Cape Forchu.
“I was extremely excited,” said Dean Pearce, who owns the company with his father Vince. “This is exactly the type of scaffolding we enjoy and love to do.”
The skeleton they built will be used as the lighthouse once construction is complete. Covered with plywood, the structure will then be wrapped in a thin sheet that resembles brick facing. The scaffolding was to 44 feet high with another 18-20 feet added for the lantern, which is being made in Halifax and was described as “quite beautiful.”
The set for The Lighthouse at Leif Erikson park at Cape Forchu is nearing completion and filming will soon begin. Although marine traffic was expected to be able to come and go unimpeded, curiosity seekers aboard private vessels were asked to stay away from Cape Forchu until the completion of filming.
As had been earlier indicated by those involved with a film project in Yarmouth, public access at the Cape Forchu property where the movie "The Lighthouse' is to be filmed was being restricted. Barricades were up with public access to the lighthouse property only expected to reopen around May 11.
The town was all abuzz. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, blockbuster stars in The Lighthouse, now in production at Cape Forchu, would soon be here.
Or.... maybe they were aready here...
Since news about the filming of The Lighthouse at the Cape Forchu Lighthouse property was published by the Vanguard on Feb. 21, viewing traffic to the webcam on site had quadrupled.
Ralf Pickart, the founder of Nova Scotia Webcams, says the webcam is currently the most visited site of all his 80-plus cameras around the province. “There have been close to 100,000 page views since it (the film) has been made public, with 15,000 unique users,” he says.
Mysterious activity was taking place at the tip of the Leif Ericson trail at Cape Forchu lighthouse but it was hard to say exactly what’s happening. But some residents of Cape Forchu could get somewhat of a peak.
Milford Lloy, who lives in the last house on the left heading towards the lighthouse, says it’s been interesting, especially on the day an “old relic of a boat” was brought out to be filmed.
But he said it’s hard to tell what the film crew is doing most times.
“You can see them running back and forth between the two buildings, but you never know for sure what they’re doing. Sometimes you see a lady waving at the gulls and I think there’s a kid behind her feeding them but I’m not really sure what’s going on. It’s interesting to watch when you have time.”
IN THIS POSTING.....
Glenn Bourque’s Spidey senses were tingling. The Yarmouth resident was heading into Yarmouth Superstore to go shopping when he saw Willem Dafoe entering as well. Dafoe is in Yarmouth as part of the filming of the movie ‘The Lighthouse.’
“He was down to earth. He was very polite.”
Bourque is a big Spider-Man fan and Dafoe played Normal Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, in the 2002 film. On the off chance that he saw Dafoe while he was in Yarmouth, Bourque had his Spider-Man Blu-ray trilogy movie set in his car.
People loved the lighthouse used for the film production so much they wanted to see it stick around for a while after the filming wraps up for the opportunity to see it up close.
But that wouldn’t be happening.
The film company that recently wrapped up filming of The Lighthouse on the Leif Ericson trail at the Cape Forchu site was busy returning the property to its former state.
October 2019: Building the enchantress – lens maker’s creation has important role in The Lighthouse film
In one of the scenes in The Lighthouse movie Thomas Wake (portrayed by Willem Dafoe), declares to his new helper that he’s “damn near married to this here light.”
He also informs the apprentice, Ephraim Winslow (played by actor Robert Pattinson), that the latter’s predecessor died after raving about sirens and some sort of “enchantment” in the tower’s light.
When Dan Spinella, owner of Artworks Florida Classic Fresnel Lenses, was contacted by Jay Van Hoy, one of the producers for the film, and Craig Lathrop with production design, about building the period lens for the movie, he was told they needed the element to be very detailed and accurate.
“They said, ‘It’s really going to be a character in the movie and it’s going to be a contention piece between the lightkeepers,’” said Spinella.
“It has to transport the audience,” he was told.
The Lighthouse movie that was filmed in Yarmouth last year has been receiving great reviews by those who saw the movie when it premiered in Cannes. And the reviews are offering a glimpse of what people can expect when the movie eventually hits theatres.
Tickets for the much-anticipated movie filmed on the craggy tip of Cape Forchu went on sale at the Yarmouth Cineplex for the first showing of the movie in Yarmouth on Oct. 24.