Nicole currently lives in Chickamauga, GA, in fact, she grew up on West Cove Road which is the location of the Cross family farm that was transformed into the Jankowski home for WFE filming. Nicole had read Water for Elephants and loved it and when she learned that it was being filmed she became even more excited. Having Rob Pattinson attached to the project was a huge bonus and an even bigger thrill was that when word got out that they would literally be filming in her old “neighborhood” she knew that this was a once in a lifetime occurrence and would make the most of it … I appreciate Nicole’s ‘friendship’ and generosity with regard to her willingness to share her WFE set experiences and photos… Below are four separate accounts spread over the 6 days that the filming crew where in town. Thanks again, Nicole, for sharing!
July 30, 2010 (Friday) ~ “I arrived just before 12am on the Chickamauga set. There were maybe 12 people there at the time, by 4am at least 40. We were able to be right in front of the house, we watched all the trucks as well as Rob show up around 5:30am. Cops kicked everyone out at 7am, but we came right back like the loyal fans we are. The perimeter was set up 1/4 of a mile from set. Rob teased a few fans, about 30 of us standing at the perimeter early yesterday morning, by pulling up to the perimeter in a black SUV, he was in the back seat laughing. He was within a few feet of us, the people with very good cameras got good pix of him sitting in the back seat. Most had the pleasure of watching the crew film the sunrise over the beautiful mountains, we were very close to that as well. Around 10am I got to go close to the back yard where they were filming, he was sitting by a tent smoking… His body guard wouldn’t let me take a pic. We stood for a bit, Rob got up and went to the coolers (which we were standing behind) and got a bottle of water! He was so close to me I froze up! But I did get a pic of him walking towards the back of the house to film his inside scenes. I had to do it fast, its a lil’ blurry and it is from behind! But you can see him in his sexy suspenders, carrying the bottle of water he grabbed right in front of us. He was very quiet on set, we didn’t see him speak to anybody, not even crew. He was completely in character, and if you know the book you know he was supposed to be verrrrry sad. And he looked the part; I felt bad for him he looked so sad! We also got to see him film a scene in the front yard, if you had binoculars and a good camera, you could see him very well. Some got really good pix of his face! And while at least 100 fans completely behaved while watching, he showed no more love after the SUV incident. Most were brokenhearted, his publicist said he would not be signing autographs because he had been filming for 13 hours. I was there a total of 17 hours, and got to see him quite a few times. He left last night and was said to be heading to Chatt, but really they went down the road and filmed a scene! The crew came back to the WCR site, without Rob in tow. I had the pleasure of riding behind the old car Rob filmed in, my sis in law took pix while I drove lol. All in all the experience was amazing, it was so neat to see the filming, and even cooler that I got so close. Security was there, but plenty of people spotted Rob and got to watch him film. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and while nobody (besides people close to family land owners) got autographs, we still got to witness a film being made on a street I grew up on in the middle of ‘no where’ Georgia. To say the least, it was a once in a life time chance for most of us out there. I feel more than honored to have witnessed such an amazing book come to life. I never thought I’d be in the same state as Rob, much less with in feet of him!”
August 1, 2010 (Sunday) ~ “We got to the museum around four o’clock. The crew were setting up the back of one of the train cars, where I presume Rob will be jumping on. The crew was hard at work in almost 100 degree weather, we talked to them a bit. They were real nice, couldnt give us much info. I also met an electrician on the film, he informed me that the filming they will do on the tracks will be too far for anyone to see anything, saying, “It’s almost impossible for us to get back there, sadly it will be a waste of time for fans standing in the heat, we will be in a tunnel, nothing visible.” He was nice, and I believe what he shared with me. No filming took place today, but is supposed to early in the morning. Seeing the Benzini Brothers Circus Train was well worth the trip, I was happy to get great photos of them and see some props before they were hauled off. A few lucky fans got to ride the train that had the animal cages in it, I was gone by this point, but I am happy that some got the experience! That has to be one amazing memory. I know a few Rob fans are upset they haven’t spotted him, or haven’t got an autograph, but I think we all need to remember, this is huge for our area! I have made so many new friends, and have memories I will remember for the rest of my life. I am proud to say that I got to witness parts of this film, and I hope to see more soon!”
August 2, 2010 (Monday) ~ “We went to the Chattanooga set on Tunnel Blvd to catch some filming and possibly see Rob. To our surprise we were closer to Rob’s trailer than we were to the set! We got to see Rob multiple times all day. I had the pleasure of meeting Queenie (Uggy) who was cute as a button and a well behaved Jack Russell. It was super hot, and there was very little shade. Rob would drive by us and wave with the window up, because he was in the middle of filming and they couldn’t let us see him with his makeup and stuff on. We watched the train go back and forth and that’s pretty much all we got to see as far as filming. I left around seven or eight that night, and heard that Rob showed fan love by rolling down the window close to his fans and waving.“ (Note: the guy in the blue t-shirt is Rob’s stunt double)
August 3, 2010 (Tuesday) ~ “Had a long day on set. Arrived before eight a.m and didn’t leave until after ten p.m. Again, it was very hot, with the heat index over 100 degrees. Managed to get soaked in the rain, and bit by bugs and such. Still closer to Rob’s trailer than to filming, got to watch him drive by all day, and walk into his trailer. Later on in the day, the extras began coming out and speaking with fans. I got to meet Paul Darnell, who has been Rob’s stunt double for a while now, even in the Twilight series. He was so sweet! He signed autographs and took pictures with all the fans that wanted one, which then caused him to be tracked down by fans just arriving on set. He would stop and smile, sign and take photos. I told him he smelt good, and believe me he did. You would think a man working in 100 degree weather all day in a hot train car would smell awful but he didn’t. I also met a few extras, one named Terry (never caught his last name) was a roustabout. He was also very nice, he wrapped his arms around me and kissed my cheek in our photo, which was funny because I had no idea what to do! He spoke with fans off and on for the rest of the night. Very nice man, with a great smile. Rob spent more time filming than he did in his trailer, poor thing got a few short breaks but when he wrapped his scenes for the night, as well as for the whole movie, he drove by just a few short feet from fans and rolled down his window. Smiling that beautiful smile and waving at us. His smile was real, not faked in the least, you could really tell how much he appreciates his very loyal fans. I spent over 5 days watching Rob and filming, multiple hours in the sun and rain, and even had personal stuff to deal with in the process, but this is one of my top five most memorable moments in my entire life. Most never get to see a film being made, or a major celebrity, Tennessee and Georgia got to see both! Most may not understand the devotion, the curiosity and whatever else most of us observers felt. This was a huge deal for our area, and it was a sight not to be missed. No matter what I went through in the process, I am glad I did it. I love the book, and now have stories to tell when I see the movie. I do apologize for lack of good photos, it was hard to catch some things and I do not have the best camera. I remember every last detail so the images in my head will just have to do.”