Revolution Studios.

Revolution Studios Film To Be Shot at the Cliffhanger

The talk of the mountain lately has been: “What is going on at the Cliffhanger Restaurant on Highway 18 near Crestline?”

Most of you probably know by now they are building a movie set for the Revolution Studios sci-fi thriller Next starring Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel.

The film will be directed by Lee Tamahori with credits such as Die Another Day and Along Came a Spider. The movie is based on Philip K. Dick's short story, The Golden Man and has been adapted by Gary Goldman of Total Recall.

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Cliffhanger Restaurant Makeover (The Mountain News)
By Doe Huff

The talk of the mountain lately has been: “What is going on at the Cliffhanger Restaurant on Highway 18 near Crestline?”

Most of you probably know by now they are building a movie set for the Revolution Studios sci-fi thriller Next starring Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel.

The film will be directed by Lee Tamahori with credits such as Die Another Day and Along Came a Spider. The movie is based on Philip K. Dick's short story, The Golden Man and has been adapted by Gary Goldman of Total Recall.

The gist of the movie is Cage's character can see into the future and change the outcome. The FBI is in hot pursuit trying to get him to help to prevent a global terrorist attack. Cage must decide whether to save himself or the world.

Just what will take place at the “Cliffhanger Motel” is a tightly held secret, but set construction is planned to take six weeks and is proceeding on schedule despite our less than perfect weather.

“We are not allowed to talk about the script,” Will Jorgenson, assistant location manager explained. “I can tell you filming should be near the end of April at this location and scenes will also be shot at various other towns on the mountain during April and May. This is the only set being constructed in this area.”

The motel was initially constructed in a warehouse in North Hollywood and transported piece by piece up the mountain. Watching the set take shape has been like observing a large puzzle being assembled.

“We didn't actually put the entire structure together prior to bringing it to Crestline,” Neil Saiger, construction manager explained. “The walls and other pieces are individually constructed and numbered and built according to the plans once it is on the site. It took three weeks to lay out the prefab construction in a controlled environment.”

Saiger oversees a crew of 19 consisting of carpenters, painters, laborers and drivers working 12-hour shifts, five days a week. They belong to union Local 44 and have constructed sets for both movies and television. Saiger has been doing this for 30 years and has over 70,000 hours in set construction.

The crew is staying at the Lake Arrowhead Resort during the week, and has frequented local restaurants when they are off the clock.

“I purchased a barbecue so we can eat our lunch on location,” Saiger said. “We don't have the time or the transportation to go back to the hotel. Our driver is also our cook.”

The crew is using nothing but the best materials. The paint is top grade and the trim on the building is made to look aged. The windows on the patio and gazebo have all been taken out so the structure can be painted to look fresh. Even the backside of the building has been refurbished.

The original Cliffhanger sign has been removed and a new back lit sign is being made. The crew will also get all of the lights working which have been out of order for several years.

The “motel” consists of four walls of facade, complete with chimneys, flower boxes and decorative railings. The interior scenes will be filmed on a sound stage.

Security for the set has been contracted to the Trojan Security Group with guards working 12-hour shifts. Gustavo Casillas has been working on sets for 20 years.

“I always find set construction very interesting,” Casillas said. “I have been very impressed watching this crew work.”

After the filming is completed, the set will be dismantled and returned to the warehouse. The Cliffhanger will either be left with its new color scheme or returned to the way it was before set construction. The choice is up to the owner. My vote is to leave it the way it is now. I think it looks much better and has become another page in our mountain history.

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