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Smooth Sailing Lensing on Water
Cast and crew converged at the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club in West Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 31, 2009, to begin principal photography. It was here that the dramatic sailing sequence that opens the story was filmed. The race has Charlie and Sam aboard their beloved dinghy in a heated competition against many of Charlie's peers, including Tess Carroll. It showcases Charlie's brilliant prowess at the helm of his craft, his competitive spirit and his close relationship with his younger brother. Reveals Steers of the scene that opens the film: "We establish the character of Charlie as this guy who has everything going against him. He's dead last in a race against the rich kids in their fancy boats, while he and Sam are sailing an old, revamped boat they've named Splendid Splinter, a nickname for celebrated Boston Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams. Yet, Charlie is such a great sailor and strategist that he is able to outmaneuver the other boats and win the race.”

Filming at this location required a great deal of advance preparation by every department and member of the crew. Location manager KIRK JOHNS offers some insight into the intense logistical planning. "When shooting on water, you have to minimize everything,” he provides, "strip it down to basic necessities. Once you leave the dock, you don't want to have to come back. You need a great deal of planning beforehand. As well, because it's easier to move people than equipment, we ended up establishing a mother barge where we could station our equipment and wardrobe needs.”

This barge served as a base camp for the equipment that would need to be accessed by the camera, electric, grip, wardrobe and various other departments. A number of class 29 and 420 sailboats were purchased and members of the Eagle Harbour junior sailing program were hired to race them. A complex camera boat was rigged to shoot on the water and numerous support vessels were on hand to house and shuttle cast, crew and equipment from boat to boat to base camp. The team's safety was of paramount importance.

GARY CAPO was brought on board as second unit director and was a tremendous asset in the choreography of this and other sequences. As well, unit production manager and executive producer Michael Fottrell approached JASON RHODES, a sailing coach in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games to serve as sailboat coordinator. As neither Efron, Tahan or Crew had previous sailing experience, STERLING BANCROFT was tasked with teaching them to sail—a process to which all three actors thoroughly committed.

Efron has long admired the beauty of the sport, and he admits that he can now see how sailors become immersed in it. Says Efron of his introduction to sailing: "Initially, it was difficult to learn. There are so many factors that go into it. It's not just wind blowing into a sail and propelling your boat. It's incredibly precise. One mistake, one lapse in judgment, and it can very quickly capsize. I was shocked when I got out on the water in these small boats. On the first day of sailing lessons, my instructor made a point of capsizing the boat. The boat flipped over, and I was dumped in the water. I was scared, but I also got it out of my system.”

His instructor was impressed by Efron's ability to pick up the necessary skills. "Zac is such a strong sailor, and he loved it,” notes Bancroft. "I also showed him a few special moves that racing sailors will pick up on. My goal was that he have every badge of legitimacy and credibility that a sailor should have.”

Another substantial challenge Steers and the other filmmakers faced was locating an Open 50 Class (50-foot) racing boat to transform into Crew's boat, The Querencia. In the novel, The Querencia (in Spanish, "a place to ca

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