'Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' filmed at Magens Bay over weekend
Published: April 26, 2011
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ST. THOMAS - From Friday evening to the breaking dawn of Saturday morning, scenes for a major motion picture were filmed at Magens Bay - but no one is talking about what the movie is.
No one except the Hollywood blogosphere, that is.
According to a number of fan websites, the film crew was shooting scenes with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."
On Thursday, a barge appeared in Magens Bay along with film crews setting up on the far end of the beach. Magens Bay Authority General Manager Hubert Brumant said it was "nothing unusual."
Monday, the V.I. Tourism Department issued a statement that said a portion of a major motion picture production was filmed at the beach, but Tourism spokeswoman Luana Wheatley would not disclose the movie, the names of the actors, or the production company's name.
However, multiple blogs and websites have been reporting since last week that Stewart and Pattinson would be in St. Thomas last weekend to reshoot honeymoon scenes for "Breaking Dawn."
While that has not been confirmed by official sources, websites posted plenty of photos, as well as a video of a kissing scene.
More than 40 pictures and a video from overnight Friday show Stewart, wearing a green bikini, and Pattinson on the beach and in the water, and almost a dozen pictures from Monday show Pattinson leaving King Airport, with a guitar slung across his shoulders, according to the website.
Wheatley said the secret film shoot took place from about 5 p.m. Friday to about 6 a.m. Saturday. The beach was closed to the public during that time.
"In keeping with other high-profile productions of this kind, this was a closed set," Wheatley said.
She said Tourism's film division worked with the DPNR Marine Division as well as the Magens Bay Authority to secure permits.
The film shoot employed more than 60 residents and secured services from several local businesses, Wheatley said. She estimated three to four dozen people flew into the territory for the project.
About $1 million was spent in the territory over a one-week period on professional services, hotels, food and other expenses, she said.
DPNR used a vessel to clear out other boats from the bay to ensure the privacy of the film shoot, and the V.I. Police Department also played a role in keeping the beach private and providing security, Wheatley said.
Brumant, who also would not say what the production was or who the actors were, said everything went well. He said a few people who normally walk along the beach in the early morning hours were turned away, but most people understood what the situation was.
"We just had a few disgruntled locals, but I really want to thank the community for cooperating," he said.
The government's ability to provide a privacy helped make this an attractive location for this production, according to Wheatley.
"We have to maintain that level of privacy because some of the past experience that they had created a lot of disturbance," she said. "So we tried to avoid that."
She said she cannot release any further details about the production until she is given the OK by the unnamed production company.
"I think they probably have to do all the major editing before they want to officially release any information," she said. "It's not like we want to sit on it. We want to get the word out too."
Each year, the territory competes against the rest of the world to be a film location, Wheatley said. In June, the department will attend a film trade show to attract that kind of interest, she said.
"That's a great place to get in front of Hollywood," she said.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 774-7882 ext. 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.