Flies into Battle Mountain
Kevin Costner Scouts Marigold Mine for Movie

   By Steve F. Lyon
   Battle Mountain Bugle

A major Hollywood star backed by a major studio is scouting film locations in northern Nevada, including the Marigold Mine about 15 miles west of Battle Mountain in Humboldt County.
The personification of Tinseltown's less glitzy side, Kevin Costner, who is slated to act in and direct "The Postman," jetting in unannounced Tuesday with a location crew for an up-close look at the mine.
So clandestine was Costner's visit that only a handful of people showed up at the airport in Battle Mountain to meet the star. Costner and crew arrived from Burbank, California, at 8:45 a.m. and were quickly ushered into a van and shuttled to the site.
Nevada's Marigold Mine is only one of several locations in Oregon, Arizona and California currently being looked at by Costner's production company. The futuristic thriller would be made for Warner Bros. and is scheduled to begin shooting in March, sources close to the film said.
Officials with the state's film commission are keeping what they know about Costner's plans under wraps. Fearing a jinx this early in the game, they refused even to confirm Costner's visit. Tri-County Development Authority based in Winnemucca also is involved in recruiting the project.
Undoubtedly, they would like to woo the big budget production, which one TCDA official guessed could employ



employ 1,000 locals as extras and pour upwards of $1.5 million into the economy.
Costner, the leading man in a number of films, including Dances With Wolves and The Bodyguard, has creative control as director over where filming takes place.
The last of more than a dozen people to get off the plane, Costner was obviously prepared for the chilly weather Tuesday, sporting a down vest, hat, jeans and boots.
The Gulfstream G-3 idled on the tarmac for about four hours
while the actor-director and a bag-toting location crew scoped out the mine site.
TCDA and film commission representatives served as guides for the visit. Marigold officials escorted the group to the inactive gold mine on the company's property.
Gaylyn Spriggs, Marigold mine's manager of administration, said Costner and entourage walked a mile around the open pit, looking at the site from rim to bottom and shot yards of film in the three hours they were scouting.
"They were very professional. They really knew what they were doing,"


 
she said, adding that Costner was courteous and a "regular" guy.
Costner learned of the northern Nevada location after reviewing photos of the site taken by a location scout. On the working tour Tuesday, he reportedly asked mine officials if a lake could be created in the unused "8 South" pit and liked the "benches" terraced into the walls of the mine.
Spriggs said she's unsure of how safety regulations would come to bear on filming in the mine pit, but acknowledged the movie would be a boon to Winnemucca and Battle Mountain.
The group returned to the Battle Mountain airport windblown and muddy about 12:35 p.m. A rushed Costner and crew did not comment on the visit to the one reporter staked out at the airport.
The box office heartthrob with the easy smile posed for a couple of quick photos before kicking off his dirty boots and bounding up the plane's steps in white socks.
Within 10 minutes, the movie makers were off to check out the Christmas and Black Iron mines in Arizona and other locations.
"It looks so good right now," a buoyant Tri-County Development Executive Director Terri Williams said about chances the film




could be partially shot in northern Nevada.
In relating what struck the actor and director visually on the tour, Williams said Costner definitely liked the open pit and even a stretch of I-80 near Battle Mountain.
Reno resident Tim Wilson, who works on contract for the state film commission to photograph areas in the state for the movie industry, said Costner will have the final say on where the film is shot.
"It's all up to the director," he said Tuesday morning while waiting for Costner's arrival. "It's what the vision is, in his head."
Wilson did the initial legwork earlier this month at the Marigold site and took the photos that found their way to Costner's people in Los Angeles.
Wilson said at this early stage of the movie it's "all so speculative" where the film will eventually be shot. "We're really trying to figure out where we're going to make it."
Williams with Tri-County said they expect to hear back within two weeks if Nevada is picked as a location.
The Nevada Film Commission referred all questions to Wilson and would not say anything about the movie.


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