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Set for something wicked.

Byline: Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard

The scene Friday morning at Crescent Village, an upscale development of high-end apartments, boutique shops and eateries in northeast Eugene, was far different from the usual knots of latte drinkers lolling among vibrantly painted buildings in the late spring sunshine.

Instead, the trendy main street appeared to be the scene of a bad accident, with a man down in the street and a girl screaming in horror.

That's exactly what Scott Chambers - co-founder with colleague Dan Giustina of Merchant Films and also an executive with his family's longtime business, Chambers Communications - intended as he watched a bustling cast of dozens set up scenes for Merchant's latest feature film, "Something Wicked."

The movie, targeting an audience in their 20s, Chambers said, is officially described as "a current-day action thriller set in a mid-size American community (Eugene, Oregon) in the Pacific Northwest. Christine and her boyfriend, James, have just graduated from Highland High School and are looking forward to enjoying their future together. Everything appears to be going well until Christine and James realize that she is being stalked by a psychologically tormented and obsessed young man, who in the end, will stop at nothing to be with her."

That may include running over somebody with an old pickup truck - the action the cameras were focusing on Friday morning at Crescent Village. And, somebody let slip that a scene to be shot later in the day at Edison Elementary School - which will have a different name in the movie - would be another "mow down."

Friday was Day 20 of 28 filming days. So the "vanity camp" - industry parlance for the cadre of wardrobe, prop, camera, sound, grip and electrical trucks plus star trailers and changing trailers - that has been home to the crew of about 70 plus 30 extras during their 12-hour work days, will be disbanding in a few days.

Then comes the editing and soundtrack and all the other elements that will turn the days of filming into a film to be released by early winter.

"It doesn't take nearly as long as it used to to finish a movie, because of all the technology we have now," Chambers said. "For example, on our Apple iPhones, we can view every scene we shoot within two hours, and if we need to fix something, we can do it right then."

A Portland company, Rumblefish, has the contract to drop in the soundtrack, "because they have 28,000 songs available, and they do all the negotiations with the artists and publishers so we don't have to," Chambers said.

In some ways, the movie has turned out to be a family affair. Kellie Chambers, wife of Scott, is the art designer for the movie. Her mother, Karen Brust, is an extra. Chambers himself was pressed into service as an extra because he was the right size for one of the security guard uniforms that needed to be filled. At least one of their three daughters also will play a role.

Film buffs can keep tabs on "Something Wicked" via blogs and tweets on Facebook's "Follow a Film," said Laura Fry, the movie's collaborative media manager.

The movie's large cast includes Shantel VanSanten, John Robinson, Brittany Murphy, James Patrick Stuart, Julian Morris, Betty Moyer, Lance Rosen, Robert Blanche and Jerry Buxbaum.

If the movie's name sounds familiar, it might be because Shakespeare used the line "something wicked this way comes," in his tragedy, "Macbeth." Since then, it's been used as the title of several novels - one by science fiction writer Ray Bradbury - at least one other movie, as well as TV episodes and songs.
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Title Annotation:City/Region; Film crews use Crescent Village and Edison Elementary for backdrops
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 23, 2009
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