Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Visit to the LOST Beach
Because so many of my friends are LOST fans, I decided to write up a longer description of what happened when we visited the beach where LOST is filmed.
First of all, we ended up visiting a lot of places where LOST is filmed without realizing it. There is a Web site called LOST Virtual Tour which can guide you if you set out to find the specific sites. However, looking at it after the fact showed me that we had been to a couple of the spots already. For example, there is a lookout point next to Hanauma Bay where Desmond confronted Kelvin. We went there, but didn't realize that's where we were. We just liked the view.
Since we had planned to visit the northern part of the island that day, we decided it would be fun to see the beach where many of the scenes from LOST are filmed. It's called Papa'iloa Beach and it's actually just a short drive from La'ie where BYU Hawaii is located.
We walked out on the beach and right away recognized some of the places where key scenes were filmed. We saw a group of people further down the beach, but still didn't realize it was the film crew. We assumed it was another group of tourists. Just then this kind of lanky older guy came walking over to us. He asked us if we minded walking up higher on the shore so we wouldn't end up accidentally on camera. It turned out he was one of the production guys for the shoot and they were actually filming a scene that day.
The cool thing is that since all Hawaiian beaches are public, he couldn't order us away, he could only ask. We readily agreed to move (because we're nice like that) and he asked us if we were coming out there to watch the filming. We explained that we didn't even know they were filming, but we wanted to see the location. He said, "Well, come with me. I'll take you around to the other side and you'll be able to see better what's going on."
The next thing we knew, we were walking through the makeshift campsite set up by the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors. We could see shelters with airplane wreckage and suitcases. We were in the middle of the set! I took a couple of pictures. We were passed over to a security guard who nicely asked me to not take anymore pictures. He said they were pretty paranoid about spoilers and that if I was seen taking photos, they might throw us out. We went around through the jungle past all these different props and sets, past trailers and miscellaneous crew members. I don't know if it was because it was Hawaii or what, but everyone was super mellow and nice. They seemed to go out of their way to say hello to us. I have visited a set or two in the past and can say that is not usually how it is. Everyone is usually all uptight.
So after pausing a few times to allow for something that was being filmed, we were escorted out past Eko's church structure to the beach. We stood there watching as the character Ilana was filming a scene where she kicked a guy and pointed a rifle at him after he fell. They did it again and again as the rain fell.
Just then Shauna grabbed my arm and said, "Oh, my gosh. That's Ben!" I looked through my rain spotted glasses and sure enough Michael Emerson, the actor who plays Benjamin Linus was sitting with another security guard under a tarp. He was chatting with the guard and at one point stood up to empty the rain-filled tarp.
We were there a few more minutes and then I looked up and saw a familiar face walking out to the tarp. It was Locke! John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) was standing maybe 40 feet away from us. He walked out and shook hands with Ben which I found sort of funny. At one point, he turned around and looked at us, but did not make eye contact. I don't blame him. I'm sure he didn't want to deal with a bunch of fans. Besides Shauna, Matt Hyatt and me, there were four other people there watching. At one point another person came out and was greeted enthusiastically by the two actors. It was a blonde woman, but it wasn't Juliet or Penny.
We realized we needed to leave because it was raining and we had tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center that night. The snag was, the guard who brought us out there told us we couldn't just walk out. He said we needed to go over to the guard who was sitting with the actors and tell him to radio for someone to come get us. I wondered how reasonable it was to approach a guard who was with the actors. In the end, Shauna did it. However, the guard seemed to misunderstand her. Instead of radioing for an escort, he took us himself. He was pissed off because he wasn't supposed to leave the set. I told him like three times that he was supposed to radio someone, but he didn't listen to me. He was the only guy on the set that was jerky about us being there.
Again, we were held up in the production area. I head a familiar voice saying, "I gotta do an interview in a minute." I looked to my right and in the trailer right next to us, maybe 10 feet away this time was Terry O' Quinn again. We didn't push our luck to ask for an autograph or anything, but it was cool to be there. The same hippified old production dude took over for the guard and took us back out to the beach. I apologized for our causing a hassle with guard and he said, "Ah, he'll do what we tell him to."
We went out to the beach and left. Shauna took a couple of pictures of Ben under the tarp as we left, but it was zoomed in and shaky. It's not the best picture, but it's what we have.
Honestly, we thought we would be lucky to see the beach, but to be taken through the set and to see a couple of the actors was so far beyond what we expected. Plus, everyone was so gracious (the one guard excepted) and were even saying goodbye to us as we were leaving.
One picture is included in this note, but this link will take you to the rest of them, if you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/LOSTBeach09