Set Visit: Poseidon

Warner Bros, the studio that jumpstarted the whole "online set visit" trend, has decided to kick the ol' braintrust once again, coming up with an innovative way to bring interesting new content to online fansite readers. Instead of shipping about 10-15 different sites to the same place at the same time for the same movie, where they can all stand and watch the same 4-hour scene being re-shot a thousand time and then press "record" on their tape recorders during the junket-like press conferences now standard at these affairs, they've decided to invite only 1 website a week to the set of Wolfgang Petersen's POSEIDON adventure for the duration of the film's shooting, such that each site can have a different perspective on the movie, the scenes, the actors, hence...greater interest for you, the reader. Makes a whole bunch of sense and then some! Last week, the folks over at MovieWeb.com started this off (CLICK HERE for their report) and this week, it was our turn (and next week, it's FreezeDriedMovies' turn, CLICK HERE for their report). Take it away!

On August 24th, JoBlo.com went behind the scenes of Wolfgang Petersen’s latest disaster flick at sea, POSEIDON, a remake of the 1972 classic, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. Warner Bros. intends to release this film around Memorial Day 2006 as its pre-summer blockbuster.

The ensemble cast for POSEIDON is filled with screen veterans, new talents, and up and coming actors. The film stars Josh Lucas (“Sweet Home Alabama”), Richard Dreyfuss (“Jaws”), Kurt Russell (“Escape From New York”), Emmy Rossum (“The Phantom of the Opera”), Jacinda Barrett (“Ladder 49”), and Mike Vogel (“Supercross”).

For anyone who hasn’t seen the original THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, the story goes like this: a luxury ocean liner, called The Poseidon, is turned upside down by a colossal tidal wave. The passengers (those who survive) are left, trapped in the wreckage, and must join forces to find a way out.


JoBlo.com ventured to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to spend a little time on the set. The set we visited was upstairs inside the Staples Center , in the luxury booth seating. Wolfgang Petersen and crew, using colorful lighting and hundreds of dancing extras, turned most of the room into a nightclub that is located inside the Poseidon. Immediately it was clear that this film is going to be a much more modernized version of “The Poseidon Adventure”, just because of the clothes people were wearing and the recent music playing in the nightclub.

The scenes being filmed consisted mainly of wide pans of the club and people dancing, so the atmosphere wasn’t tense. Many people seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it made the set very lively. Even Petersen, who demanded the take be repeated until perfection, along with director of photography, John Seale (“The English Patient”), seemed to be relaxed and enjoying doing the film. His presence almost seemed to be a comfort, because he clearly knew exactly what he was doing, and the actors can rest assured that they are in good hands. I did hear from Warner Bros. personnel that Wolfgang demands decent soup at 11 a.m. every day, and at that point in filming it was close to noon; so one can always attribute his relaxed mood to a good soup.

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After spending a little time at the nightclub set, we got the opportunity to visit the Warner Bros. lot and look at the sound stages containing the sets to “Poseidon”. Warner Bros. has recreated the interior and some exterior parts of the ship, and then built them all again, except upside down (including an upside down replica of the nightclub set we were just at.) Both versions of the ship take up 5 whole sound stages! What was left of the sets was more than intriguing, especially the lobby which was flipped up side down and built on top of a huge water tank.

The lobby set was so detailed and so alive I wanted to jump into the flooded room and get in on the action, but stunt sequences were being filmed later on that day. Apparently, several stunt sequences were also going to be shot by the 2nd unit later on that day. The Warner Bros. friendly security staff was also nice enough to show us a few sets that had already been partially dismantled. They included a grand ballroom stretching across two sides of a soundstage and a giant propeller, which belonged to the Poseidon. These sets, however, were just as awesome as the others, even though parts had been torn down! It’s going to be a real treat for audiences to watch them on the big screen.


Along with a brand new spankin' set report from every movie fansite that visits the set of POSEIDON, Warner Bros is also tossing them a behind-the-scenes clip to showcase to their readers. In case you didn't get a chance to watch the one from last week over at MovieWeb.com, CLICK HERE to check it out now. Once done, click on any of the screencaps below to get into Emmy Rossum's shirt...I mean...to watch this week's exclusive clip from JoBlo.com. Cheers.


And now…the interview! At the nightclub set, JoBlo.com caught up with Mike Vogel, a supporting actor who would appear later on in the same scene. The up and coming actor, who appeared in movies “Grind”, and more recently the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, was very friendly and excited to answer a few questions and talk about his character and the movie in general.

What are you shooting today?

This is the crazy club scene, which is really the precursor to where everything really goes south on the boat. The boat, as you know, flips over, so this is really the last scene of happiness we see before everything goes nuts.

Can you describe your experience so far working with the great Wolfgang Petersen?

Oh, he was the Austin Powers of his day. He was a sex god. Just the way he carries himself, he was a true pimp. No, but really he’s hilarious. There’s this huge budget dinosaur hanging over his back and everyone’s so tense, and then he’ll come dancing into the set saying (in German accent), “Hello, how is everyone this morning? Is my soup ready?” He’s the peaceful calm of the storm. It’s awesome to sit back and watch how he handles everything.

What was it like working with a diverse, big cast?

The cast is huge. You’ve got the veterans, Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss. You’ve got Josh Lucas, who’s blowin’ it up big right now. You’ve got the new blood, me and Emmy Rossum, so it’s a good mix of people. You get to sit and listen to Richard’s stories all shoot long; I think he knows every second of Hollywood there is, its incredible to me. And then Kurt, who is the character he’s playing, the everyday guy. Its been awesome hanging with everyone and getting to know them.

Can you tell us about your character?

I play Christian, the fiancé to Emmy Rossum, who play’s Kurt Russell’s daughter. Basically my time in the movie is spent trying to prove myself to Kurt because he looks at the two of us as still kids. She hasn’t broken the news to him yet as half way into the movie that I proposed to her, so as we go through the list of crazy events, the whole time I’m just trying to prove to him I’m worthy of his daughter and that she’s safe with me. And by the end he realizes I’m worthy man and she’s safe with me.

After “Grind” and “Supercross”, what is it like being a part of a big budget disaster movie?

It’s a different kind of feel. I came out of that extreme sports world, so a part of me will do movies like “Grind” and “Supercross” and want to see them succeed and do well, but Hollywood still holds its breath. Then you become a part of something this enormous. The sets and effects are just mind-boggling. I’ve heard they make “Titanic” look chintzy, and its true. They’re incredible. Being a part of something like that has its own surreal magic to it.

Why did you choose to be a part of Poseidon?

The reason I became an actor is to make epic films and make films that trigger some feeling or emotion in you. An offer to make something that could possibly do that and achieve those goals, and be that big was a no-brainer.

How different is this movie from the original “Poseidon Adventure” apart from the fact that it’s more modernized?

It’s hard for me to say, because when there’s a remake I don’t like there to be a pre-conceived notion of what’s there, or how I’m supposed to be. I know the ending is different and the characters don’t quite match up. I don’t even know if there was one of Emmy or me in the original. There’s no priest in this one. It follows the shell of the original, but how it plays out is very, very different.


Keep an eye out Memorial Day 2006 for “Poseidon”!

Source: JoBlo.com



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