Locals come out to see and participate in 'The Ring II' filmingThe temptation was too much.

Between takes, Mike Mattingly covered the distance from the sidewalk's edge to the middle of 14th Street where the dark blue Jetta was parked. He stretched out his arm until his fingers were on the back of the vehicle.

"Take a picture of me touching it."

"It's like a waste of a picture, dude."

But his friend clicked the camera anyway, because it wasn't just any Jetta. It's Naomi Watts' Jetta in "The Ring II."

KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian

Naomi Watts and fellow cast members of "The Ring II" listen to direction during filming of the first scene Saturday. Danielle Anneman, Naomi Watts' double for the movie, said, "She's a very lovely woman, who has a wicked sense of humor when you get her going.""She's pretty cute," admitted Mattingly, a fan of the first "Ring" movie.

But he said Watts can't compete with his first taste of Hollywood - Mattingly was 6 years old when he waved at Arnold Schwarzenegger, in town filming "Kindergarten Cop."

Astoria was rich with curious onlookers and rubbernecking drivers Saturday when "The Ring II" claimed several blocks of downtown for filming.

LORI ASSA - The Daily Astorian

Naomi Watts, between takes on filming Wednesday, plays the principle character Rachael Keller.Cousins Anthony Osborne, 13, and Rain Goza, 11, arrived on skateboards to watch for famous actors. They stood enthralled as Watts, and before that her double Danielle Anneman, walked up and down a set of wood stairs burrowed into the earth. Rain hoped to get his hat autographed.

"I don't see how they edit all this stuff out" Anthony said, admiring the camera booms, trees and buildings around the filming area, which could easily edge into the corner of a lens.

It was a full day, with the cast and crew shooting 10 scenes including David Dorfman walking, Watts at a rental car agency and Watts pulling up at the relocated The Daily Astorian offices at dusk. The crew also lined up the scene introducing viewers to the city, wherein Watts, having purchased a sofa, leads the delivery driver to her new home on 10th Street. However, weather delayed actually completing it.

One of the first shots found Dorfman crossing the street from Columbia Chocolates to the Community Store. Dorfman looked around lazily, a satisfied smile on his face, then noticed that his shoe was untied. He paused in the middle of the street to lift up his pant leg and retie the offending shoelace, then continued walking.

The scene, which onlookers were told would make more sense in context, was repeated ad nauseam until it was perfect. While the crew doctored the lighting and camera angles, and in ultimate irony, a water truck sprayed the streets to make them sufficiently rain-drenched, Dorfman entertained himself by dancing side to side and play fighting a light post.

About 100 extras were used in Saturday's filming, the majority were needed to drive cars to simulate traffic.

KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian

Production crews for "The Ring II" take over the parking lot and old Safeway building downtown Astoria Saturday.

Extra James Ubank, a part-time Astoria resident, was selected to be an assistant mover. His job was to sit in the passenger side of the moving truck as it drove along.

"I like it," he said of his tiny part. "I have a degree in film studies. I just like watching the whole process even though it takes forever."

Creating movie-traffic meant regulating the real traffic on Duane, 14th, Commercial streets and Marine Drive.

Astoria Public Works Director Mitch Mitchum said the city had five police officers, 14 flaggers and six utility workers to help with traffic controls and other movie related issues.

"We want to make making movies here as good of an experience as we possibly can," Mitchum said.

KIM ERSKINE - The Daily Astorian

Orange cones line the streets downtown Astoria Saturday for the filming of "The Ring II."

He estimated the 210 cast and crew members will spend $1 million locally during two weeks of filming. More importantly, 50 to 100 million people will see the movie.

In addition to allowing them to block off streets, the city has made smaller accommodations. The crew turned parking signs around, so when one-way streets are used going the wrong direction they still look realistic. Astoria also allowed the crews to wire some of the streetlights so the light intensity wavers. Not to mention the prior rental of two police cars and a sheriff's car for a homicide scene. (The cars were returned washed and waxed.)

Thursday, Mitchum said a helicopter is taking beauty shots over the Column and downtown. There are also plans for a drop-off shot at Astoria Middle School, and filming at the "hospital," which is actually John Jacob Astor Elementary.

Mitchum said the crew might return to Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue for additional takes. The park there has been on 24-hour guard since Tuesday so no one alters the landscape in case the crew wants to film another sunrise. In the movie, the sunrise will actually be used as a sunset.


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