TROUT RIVER Filming wrapped up on the movie "Hold Fast" in Gros Morne Park this week with rain, fog and wind. Everything that makes movie making, or anything really, in this province a challenge.
But the crew didn't seem to care as they shot some of their final scenes at Trout River's lookout area. "Hold Fast" is based on a Governor General's Award-winning novel of the same name by Newfoundland author Kevin Major and is about a 14-year-old boy whose parents are killed in a car accident. He and his brother are sent to live with relatives in a city, far from the fishing village in which he grew up.
The book was originally published in 1978. Major was at the set Friday in Trout River. They've been filming mainly around the St. John's area up to last week.
"They scouted this setting about six months ago and I'm pretty pleased with what I'm seeing," said Major. "This seems to be a pretty special place here in Gros Morne."
The film crew is from Rock Island Productions based in St. John's. Producer Rosemary House wrote the screenplay, which Major said came out nicely.
"You always want it to reflect what the book is about from the author's perspective and it came out that way fortunately," he said. "It's very much a Newfoundland story and I was hopeful that it could be done here with Newfoundland actors and that's what happened with one exception."
British Columbia actor Molly Parker is the only non-Newfoundlander in the production. Parker has landed roles in television shows like "Deadwood" and "The Firm" and Major called her a terrific addition to the film. Her scenes wrapped up earlier in the week, he joked, when the weather was better.
House said she read the book in 2009 and decided it would make for an excellent movie. She started developing it as a producer and has spent the last three years putting the funding together, as well as bring in the staff and finding the actors.
A company called Markham Street Productions in Ontario came on board to help out in the production. E-One Distribution came on board last September, which is when House said when things really took off.
"What that means is we have market interest," House said. "They've committed to the project and it's very unusual to get a major distributor for such a low-budget film."
House said Gros Morne was a natural choice for filming. The book is narrated from inside the mind of the main character, Michael, and House set out to create a big journey for him and his cousin to set out upon. Gros Morne was the perfect spot for this journey.
"I stayed, in many ways, true to the characters and the story, but it's a movie and also an adventure," she said. "I wanted to come to Gros Morne because it's the most beautiful place in Newfoundland, it's spectacular."
Now that production has wrapped up House said they have about nine months of postproduction. "Hold Fast" is directed by Justin Simms and is expected to be released in spring or summer of next year.