Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

With local filming of Netflix’s upcoming movie Bird Box out of the way, local officials are reporting the production was a needed boost to the local economy.

Interim City Manager Eric Wier said from the city’s standpoint, the visit was seamless and the challenge was how to accommodate up to 300 people.

“It’s my understanding they booked out a lot of the local hotels,” he said.

He said the overall response from film and production crews was positive and they had no problems locally.

Wier said some of the stars were even seen enjoying Beachfront Park and exploring local attractions.

He said the additional revenue in the city was a welcome benefit of the production.

Del Norte Chamber of Commerce Interim Director Sarah Caron confirmed the production booked up several local lodging providers, as well as generating a boost to local restaurants.

“They rented the Cultural Center for three weeks,” she said, “but we just had to close it for a couple days during that time.”

Caron said the production generated a boost to local revenues in general.

“It’s been an honor to have them here,” she said.

Police help

While filming on the Smith River, officers from California Highway Patrol and the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic control, safety and relocation of large equipment.

Undersheriff Bill Steven explained sheriff’s personnel were not taken off regular beats, but could sign up to work overtime at film locations. Steven was on location for a couple days as well. He said members of the sheriff’s boat crew monitored the production from the banks of the river at times and estimated that five or six total DNSO personnel assisted during filming.

CHP Sgt. Stephanie Hamilton estimated CHP personnel assisted for a total of about nine days, using as many as five CHP units assisting. At one point, officers were working both U.S. 199 and California 197 at the same time, she said.

She said CHP’s roles in the production were to slow traffic in some areas where filming could distract drivers, to escort large equipment during moving and to stop traffic when needed.

“A lot of it was done just to slow cars down,” she said, noting onlookers near the Hiouchi Bridge briefly created a safety issue at one point.

She said while moving some equipment, both lanes had to be stopped for no more than five minutes at a time.

The film stars Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. IMDb estimates the film will be released in December.

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