Director M. Night Shyamalan is about to start shooting his next film in his home state, like usual. The Reading (PA) Eagle is reporting that production on Shyamalan's The Last Airbender is set to start tomorrow in Reading, PA. Here's an excerpt from the article.
Most of the work for the Paramount picture this week will take place at the Pagoda on Mount Penn, following the company's return Monday after 15 days in Greenland.
Production designers and special-effects crews have been working for several weeks to prepare the local site for the film, which is set in a series of mythical nations - Air, Water, Earth and Fire - and is based on the Nickelodeon animated TV series of the same name.
Pamela Shupp, vice president of Berks Economic Development, said the organization was first contacted several months ago about filming the entire movie in Reading.
"They needed buildings to shoot all the interiors," Shupp said. "They were looking for a group of buildings with high ceilings and specific column spacing. We showed them a number of buildings, but we couldn't come up with enough to meet their requirements. So the interiors will be shot in Philadelphia (where Shyamalan is based)."
That's when the location director noticed the Pagoda, which - despite the structure's recent renovation - will serve as an ancient temple in the film.
Shupp added that the Berks County Conservancy assisted in locating specific rock formations and trees, and that First Energy jumped through hoops to help prepare the Pagoda set.