The Great Movie Shoot!

Holy cow, what a weekend! On August 10, part of "The Road Within," an indie film starring Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel, and Zoe Kravitz, was shot here at The Groveland Hotel and around Groveland.

The first scenes shot, in the morning, were in and around The Iron Door and Firefall Coffee Roasting Company, next door to the hotel. Yours truly (Willow Polson) got to be a featured extra and get cussed at by the main character, "Vincent," played by Robert Sheehan. The next bit was filmed in the creek next to our parking lot and had Vincent looking for one of the other main characters, "Marie," played by Zoe Kravitz. After lunch, filming resumed on the upper veranda where Vincent and the other male lead, "Alex," (played by Dev Patel) get into a confrontation, much to the delight of the crowd assembled across the street at the Iron Door General Store to watch the action. The day's work, and the shoot itself, was over at about 9:30 PM to much applause, shouting, and tears of joy as the principal photography on "The Road Within" wrapped.

Since The Groveland Hotel was the final location on the final day of shooting, the informal "wrap party" gathering enjoyed food, wine, desserts and more up on the back courtyard terrace. Then, after the bulk of the crew went off to their off-site condos, the few who were staying at the hotel itself (the three main actors, two producers, and the director Gren Wells) migrated over to The Iron Door (along with me!) to enjoy music, drinks and a few games of pool before they finally kicked everybody out for the night at 2:30 am!

Everyone was gracious, patient, polite and had a fantastic time. Several of the cast and crew said they'd be back with friends and family, including one of the producers who's driving all the way up in October to pick up one of our newborn kittens, who will be eight weeks old and ready to have a new life in Los Angeles.

"The Road Within" is the biggest film to be shot in Yosemite in decades, and possibly the biggest one ever shot in Groveland. It's from Troika Pictures, which recently produced "The Call" with Halle Berry earlier this year. "The Road Within" will be released next year (2014) and it's hoped that it will be selected for the Sundance film festival. Watch to see if a family having sandwiches in front of Firefall Coffee makes the final cut -- the woman on the far right is me!