“Base camp” at the set of the next M. Night Shyamalan movie, “The Happening,” may be as inglorious as it gets.
Rows of white vans, RVs, trailers and portable toilets line the perimeter of a dirt and grass parking lot just off Pa. 82 in this tiny town, surrounded by rolling hills, hayfields and chirping crickets.
It’s all for the film’s 200 crew members and 50 extras, including star Mark Wahlberg — just a small part of what $57 million, the purported budget for the movie, will buy you.
They’re here, of course, not for the parking lot, but for the hundreds of contiguous acres that comprise Cuyler and Katie Walker’s hay farm just up the road.
“It’s beautiful here, iconic,” said location manager and Kennett Square, Pa., resident Andrew Ullman. “There are a lot of visual choices. The storyline puts us in the middle of nowhere. You could get lost on their property.”
Other Pennsylvania sites where the crew filmed include the 30th Street Station and Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Phoenixville and Lower Merion, Pa.
“This area is critical to the story,” Ullman said of the Brandywine Valley. “It’s the turning point in the movie.”
He provided no details.
Location scouts were at the Walker farm last April, said Katie Walker, who was hanging out in her house while the crew filmed on a “closed set” less than an acre away.
She had showed them around, she said, “because I thought it would be cool to have a movie in the area.”
Shyamalan’s crew had scouted the area for the 2002 movie “Signs,” but for that movie, they were looking for cornfields.
The Walkers, who own about 1,000 acres, grow hay.