Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Tenerife Goes Hollywood Crazy


Fun this week, amidst the crappy stuff. Filming will begin in April or May for Clash of the Titans 2, and it seems as if the entire island has gone loca for the movies! Not surprising because the production company did a very good job of blanketing the island with posters and flyers advertising that casting for extras would take place this week, add to that the high unemployment rate and you can guess at the result!

This was the official trailer for the first movie, which was also filmed here:

Whilst I can promise you that there are no monsters here of any description (well, other than the human variety), those landscapes are very familiar. If you look at some of the photos of the Teide National Parque on my Tenerife page you will be able to spot some of them. The area around the volcanic crater at the summit of the island, where the movie was filmed, is most often described as a “moonscape”, obviously perfect for the atmosphere the makers needed to create.

Tenerife has been used frequently in the past for location shooting. Most famously in One Million Years BC – and I warn you, this trailer from 1968 is to be viewed only under advice – if you have had any surgery or dental work recently which precludes laughing for a while – DON’T watch it!

So, you guys, take your eyes of Raquel and look at the scenery. That’s Tenerife minus the monsters again, oh, and the volcano is dormant too!

So…..Cristina and I thought it might be fun to go to the casting (not to mention that the money would be useful!) to see what it was all about. Cristina is very knowledgable about the profession, but my interest is strictly amateur – going to the movies twice on a Saturday in my early teens, enthralled in Universal Studios and MGM, and a movie buff at one time, though circumstances changed that for a while.

Wednesday morning, the first call: I was busy until midday, but we met up shortly afterwards and drove up the TF1 towards Arico Viejo. Even though Cristina is Canarian, she hadn’t been there before and we weren’t totally sure where it was, but it was very easy to find (this is a small island, after all). We wound our way up from the autopista into the foothills, with that pleasant sensation of leaving the hustle and bustle behind, which I often get when I turn inland. Even when we arrived in this tiny village it didn’t seem too busy.

Then, we hit a crossroads with a policeman on traffic duty, and assumed that this wasn’t something that usually happened on a lazy Wednesday afternoon here, so we knew we were close. When we asked him where the casting was he laughed out loud, and told us that, yes, it was the road ahead, but there was gridlock, we would have to make a right and do our best to find parking. Not good, but we managed quite well, and walked back. By then we had realized that the village had been overwhelmed by the number of people who’d arrived, hoping for their “fifteen minutes of fame” (Andy Warhol was SO right, judging by the rest of what happened!). We turned a corner, the street wound upwards steeply, and as far as we could see there was a straggle of folk, waiting in the hot sunshine. We walked a little way, but with no end in sight, decided to go back and ask the first people in line how long they’d been waiting. It was around 1.30 by then, and it turned out that they had been waiting since 9.30 in the morning. “No way”, we thought. It just wasn’t worth it, so we turned back, down to the coast and lunch, and decided maybe it was worth a try the next day if we went earlier.

We checked out the location after lunch, and it turned out to be just around the corner from where I’m living, so we decided 8am was maybe early enough but not so early as to lose beauty sleep (at my age I need all I can get!). There was already, at 4pm Wednesday a guy waiting to be first in line when the place opened Thursday at 10am, and when I passed later, around 10pm, there were 20 or 30 people.

Thursday Morning, the Second Attempt: Normally at 8am I’m supping my first coffee of the day, but the next morning, bright and early, I put the coffee into a flask and strolled around the corner. Cristina arrived about the same time, and came prepared, as you can see!

Those chairs were pretty comfy. I almost fell asleep! I can’t ever remember queuing this way for anything in my life. I usually look with derision on people waiting to spot a gloved, royal hand as it waves from a limo, or for tickets to a concert, where they will be so far away from the action on stage that I can’t see the point of going, but, then, there is a difference between camping out on, say, London’s wet streets and a sunny promenade by a beach here. The atmosphere was quite cool in fact, almost party like, and the people watching was absolutely first class. The majority were “youngsters,” in most cases the girls with beautifully applied makeup and mini skirts, and the guys favoring looks which fell somewhere between smouldering Latino macho and punky rapper. I guess Hollywood is just full of people like these, hoping to be discovered and become the next big star, and reality tv has done everything to make them believe it will come true. They preened and checked their looks as the sun began to make the make-up greasy and melt the hair gel. El Médano being Tenerife’s hippie haven there was an abundance of Rastafarian hair, baggy pants and beards too. This look, in fact, is what the publicity had indicated was required, so I’m thinking these are the guys who will get the work most likely. The four-hour wait, to be truthful, passed quite quickly, what between the good company, the people watching and the guy who seemed to have taken it upon himself to provide entertainment for the crowd. A big, well-made fellow, he appeared in a couple of different Carnaval costumes, charging about with a plastic sword, and yelling with abandon. The tv cameras, there to film what people will do to be in movies,  loved him, or he loved them. I don’t know. I hid!

Then, all of a sudden our group was in. A while before we’d been given a form to complete which had a number at the top, we presented this and our other documentation at the first desk and proceeded to the next room where our measurements were taken. This tickled me. There was a space on the form for measurements, but we were told not to fill them in. I can only assume that people will usually lie about them! After that, a photo, holding our assigned number – not unlike those photos of criminals you see on tv shows, hard to stifle the giggles, and that was it. All done in time for lunch.

It was kind of fun, and it was certainly a new experience.  Local press reported 1,000 people Wednesday and 1,500 Thursday, plus those who turned up today in La Laguna, I didn’t see the news tonight.  I’d have put those stats the other way around, but it adds up to the same.  Probably around 3,000/4,000 people in all have applied for work, so I don’t expect that a fairly tall and pale woman of a certain age has much chance, but if I do this will be the first place I come to shout it out!


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

22 thoughts on “Tenerife Goes Hollywood Crazy

  1. Wow, I never knew they’d take measurements of potential extras – unless it was for a particular requirement, ie a race of wee short aliens 0r something! 🙂

    • LOL! Either they need a matching set or it was for costumes. I didn’t ask because I was far too hungry by then! They took shoe size as well (length, mind you, not width!) so my guess is the latter!

  2. so …. we await your own version of Raquel Welch then? lights, camera, SOFT FOCUS, action. Good luck.

  3. Yeah – right. Not so much with the soft focus up in these mountains!

  4. Fantastic…that’s incredible. The glamour of Hollywood eh? Hope you get picked 🙂

    • LOL! I don’t even live in hope, but it was fun. I was hooked on movies in my teens, and then became fascinated again when we began to go to Univeral Studios and MGM when my kids were older.

  5. LOL You forgot people who are just a little bit incontinent amongst the laughter warnings for the One Million Years BC clip! I’d forgotten just how unconvincing stuff was then, which, relatively, isn’t that long ago.

    • Ooops. I knew there would be something/someone I forgot! Anything which I remember doesn’t seem that long ago. I do remember at the time being aware that they were taking liberties with history, but also remember thinking, “Oh well, that’s what they do in Hollywood.” So maybe some things have changed for the better! Never did see it, either!

  6. something really worth remembering. that dreaful movie was our first date – George and me in 196?. OMG so long ago they even had apart from adverts a cartoon feature along with the main feature – mind wandering – when did B movies stop?? must have been just after then. quite a bapstim of dreadful taste for our first date eh?

  7. You did well to match up to Raquel Welch then!

  8. Fabulous. Go for it! I left the island too soon, but I knew why I am so fascinated. Although getting away isn’t all that easy, Santa Cruz is still #1 on my choice of places to live. Thanks for your comment on nostalgia travel. See you next time.

    • Then I hope to meet up with you next time! You are quite right about an island not being perfect when you need to get off in a hurry, although that’s much easier than it was in my early days here. Getting off cheaply is another matter altogether! And I often feel trapped to be honest, but, that said, nowhere is perfect. Like you, given my druthers, I’d probably opt for Florida, but no puedo!
      Your piece was especially interesting to me because I am planning a similar trip next year. It was slated for this year, but next year there is a big class reunion as my year all turn 65, so it seemed apt to tie it all in and plan it properly instead of just jaunting off as I’ve done in the past. I had thought about going back to live there, but, also like you, the weather is against me. I’m having tests at the moment, and probably have arthritis in my neck, so looks like I need a warm climate – “(staying) where the weather suits my clothes!”

  9. Fun experience! Hope you make it in the film. I’m always interested in knowing about locations that movies have been filmed when I visit a place.

    Thanks for the One Million Years BC trailer — quite a blast from the past!

  10. I was with some people in a bar last night who had also been to the casting, and we agreed that we think the hippies will get the parts, they probably are already half way to the look required! The only thing in my favor is my age, because most of the hopefuls were young, maybe they won’t have so many older people as they need! I agree it would be fascinating!

    Wasn’t that trailer something, though! I was laughing so much, sitting here alone at the computer, that my poor dog thought I was in pain! Thanks for commenting.

  11. What fun! Loved the trailers – and I do believe I caught a glimpse of a sea turtle in One Million Years BC. Can’t wait to see the trailer of the new film featuring you and your friend.

  12. Wasn’t the 1 Million Years one a hoot! I put it on FB too, and everyone was quite taken with it, especially those who remembered the movie! Can’t believe that in the 60s they were still producing stuff like that! Reminds me of those films of the 40s or early 50s you see in Disney World! Did you ever to to the Sci-Fi Diner in MGM? It would not be out of place there!

  13. Oh, I’m sure you’d love it! You sit in a replica of an open top car, eat kind of upmarket fast food and what these corny old movie trailers and ads on a big screen, so it’s as if you’re at an old drive-in cinema. The food was much better than expected, we went for the fun, and went right back the next day! And every time we went to MGM thereafter!

  14. Too funny! I’ve done extra work so much living in L.A.- it’s interesting to see how they pick them from other places!

    • Is it very different? I imagine Hollywood being full of all people like the glam, young ones in the queues, even though it clearly wasn’t the look they were looking for! I’m thinking that there will be an awful lot of disappointed people next week!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

  15. I call myself a film buff but I’ve seen neither of those films. Epic fail there!
    That’s awesome that you auditioned to be an extra though, and queuing doesn’t seem so bad in those bright orange chairs and summer sunshine. It’s not far off sunbathing!
    Skinny girls in miniskirts are overrated in Hollywood, they are always looking for a variety, which is much more believable!

    • Oh Million Years BC was back when even I was young – so not surprising you haven’t seen it! Clash of the Titans was released last year, but you didn’t miss much unless you’re addicted to special effects! I only watched it because it was filmed here, and to be fair, there was a lot of location work, even though they then superimposed all the monsters! It’s one of those movies you could have a lot of fun watching with a bowl of popcorn, some beers and some crazy friends who are good at making sarcastic comments ;=)

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