Yesterday, Thursday the 28th of November, we were surprised (and thrilled) to see the beautiful Altos de Chavón Plaza set up as a scene for a movie…
Cameras, stagehands, technicians and actors were seen across the cobbles of this magical place. Without losing anytime, and with camera in hand we captured the moment, soon discovering that the filming was for the much-awaited Dominican-French film entitled “La Extraña”, being filmed exclusively in the Casa de Campo resort, by Casa de Campo villa owner Sergio Gobbi and Leo Proaño. [Click here to read our interview with Leo Proaño about Cristo Rey.]
We came face to face with the famous Dominican actor Frank Perozo hero of the recent Dominican film “¿Quien Manda?”. As well as the emerging talented actress Evelyna Rodríguez Rodriguez, both taking part in a scene on the Chavón plaza, with the stunning view of the Chavón river in the background.
So eager were we to get great photos of the action, we were almost captured on film ourselves… had it not been for the sharp eye of director César Rodríguez, who with a resounding cry of “cut” had us removed from the shot.
The chance to see the filming of just one scene being made, allowed us to appreciate all the work that goes into making a movie. The sheer number of repeated takes… especially those re-taken due to background noise, and not to mention the endless patience of the actors and crew in having to repeat and perfect.
On this beautifully sunny day in Altos de Chavón, the glamor of the actors mingled with the heavenly atmosphere. Listening to the dialogue between Frank Perozo and Evelyna Rodríguez, they seemed like any other normal, loving couple enjoying the splendid view of the Chavón river… were it not for the mass of cables, lenses and staff accompanying them.
“We chose the Chavon Plaza as a great place for this shot, because it is a popular site for walking, a romantic meeting place for couples. Perfect for the drama of a love story,” revealed Gianfranco Fini, the film’s Art Director to Casa de Campo Living.
For many people in Altos de Chavón yesterday it was their first opportunity witness the realization of a live film. Altos de Chavón employees, including security personnel, as well as the tourists who visit daily, gasped at the display made by the company Compañía Dominicana International, the producer’s of the film.
A large group of Russian tourists watched mesmerized, one commenting, “it’s the first time I see the making of a film. It’s a story I will tell when I return home.”
“La Extraña” is a remake of the French film L’ètrangere produced by Sergio Gobbi in 1968. And was in fact Sergio Gobbi’s first world-wide hit, which led him to being contracted as a producer by Charles Bluhdorn, then president of Paramount Pictures.
First takes of “La Extraña” were filmed in the Marina Casa de Campo
Filming of “La Extrana” began on the 30th of October. The first scenes were shot in the Marina Casa de Campo, then in various locations around the Casa de Campo resort, used to recreate scenes set in Santo Domingo. Now the shooting continues in Altos de Chavón, where as many as half the scenes of the entire movie will be shot.
“We have been inspired by Casa de Campo, it is the starting place of the personal story of Alberto Caba (being played by Frank Perozo), and it is here that the entire story develops,” said Director César Rodríguez.
“La Extrana” is a romantic drama and action movie, not a comedy, and glancing at the script and the actors involved, there can be no doubt that the success of this film will be secured well before the gala premiere is announced.
Filming in Altos de Chavón will continue throughout the weekend, and according to the director César Rodríguez, a preliminary tape of the movie is expected to be ready by the end of February.
“La Extrana” is scheduled for release in the Dominican Republic in spring 2014.