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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN DEAD MAN'S CHEST

On to the Caribbean
On February 28, 2005, the cast and crew of DEAD MAN'S CHEST packed their bags, kissed their loved ones, and wedged themselves into a chartered L-1011 jet bound for the distant West Indies…and a location journey of nearly a year's duration which would prove to be as much of an adventure as anyone could have predicted, and as much of a challenge as anyone could have imagined.

First destination: the island republic of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 13 degrees north of the equator. Because it's not highly developed for tourism, which is one of its great charms, St. Vincent's airport cannot contain anything bigger than a two-engine prop commuter plane. Thus, the "Pirates” jet had to land on the neighboring island of St. Lucia, situated between St. Vincent and Martinique, and ferry the company, over rough seas for two hours, to their destination. And if seasickness was to become something of a motif throughout production, the "Pirates” crew had some good practice on that initial voyage.

Meanwhile, a monumental amount of equipment and material were already on their way to the islands via air and sea in a deployment which again echoed a military campaign. "Priority equipment went by air,” recalls unit production manager Doug Merrifield, "but we also chartered a freighter, loaded it up with all of our rolling stock and containers, and it sailed to St. Vincent, and later to Dominica and then to the Bahamas. It became afternoon entertainment for the island people to watch a procession from one end of the island to the other as our equipment came out of the port.”

Some 300 crew members were imported to St. Vincent from Los Angeles, Great Britain and many other home bases, with their numbers considerably increased by local islanders also employed in a myriad of departments. As St. Vincent lacks large resorts, crew members were housed at 43 different hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, condos and apartments sprinkled across the western part of the island. For many in the company, it was old home week, as the first "Pirates” film shot in St. Vincent for nearly two months.

Also making the journey to the Caribbean was a veritable menagerie trained and accompanied by Boone Narr and Mark Harden from Animals for Hollywood, which included two capuchin monkeys, two macaws, a dozen goats, three pigs, two white horses, two carriage horses, three dozen chickens, six cows and 14 ravens. In the first "Pirates” film, some of the on-screen creatures—including the Prison Dog, Jack the Monkey and Cotton's parrot—had their moment of stardom, which was about to be repeated. The silent Cotton's parrot is actually portrayed by two macaws, spicy and spirited avian creatures appropriately named Chip and Salsa. "One's a good flyer, the other's a good sitter,” notes David Bailie, who portrays the tongueless pirate. "God, if you heard him squawk! You have no idea what that squawk is like at a two-inch range. Your head just rings.”

The Prison Dog, a beloved character both in the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the first film, is now played by Chopper, a friendly and unbelievably smart eight-year-old terrier mix. Twister, who portrayed the role in "The Curse of the Black Pearl,” is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement after years of film and television work. However, like many stars, Chopper needed time in the makeup trailer to correctly align the color of his coat with Twister's. "Chopper has an air-conditioned little trailer that he stays in, and sometimes he allows me to go inside,” says Boone Narr ruefully. "Then, on his day off, he expects me to run around and take care of him. Usually, I'm at his bark and call. He's got me well trained.”

Once again, the beautiful inlet of Wallilabou Bay, due north from the island's small capital of Kingstown, would be the locale for both Port<

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