On Set With Ramona and Beezus
A year after Kid Reporter’s set visit, movie opens nationwide
Ramona and Beezus, a movie directed by Elizabeth Allen, is finally coming to a theater near you this weekend! If I seem excited it’s because I’ve been thinking about this movie for some time now. I visited the set in Vancouver, Canada, last spring—more than a year ago. I’m ready to finally see this movie!
While I was on the set, I watched the actors who play the two main characters in scenes where they argue . I also watched them film a very sweet sister moment.
Ramona is played by Joey King, while Beezus, the big sister, is played by Selena Gomez. The way the two argued on set was definitely different from how they got along off of set. Gomez and King were inseparable, always laughing and hugging and even coloring together.
“She’s like the sister I don’t have," Selena said of her movie sibling. "So when people ask me if I have a sister, I can say Joey."
Joey said much the same thing when asked about her relationship to Selena.
“She’s real sweet," Selena said. "She’s like a real big sister to me and she’s my best friend. I’ve learned so much from her and I love her!”
The last scene they shot together was really touching and more true to their real relationship. In the scene, the girls comfort each other because they are both nervous about moving to a new school.
The movie is based on the book Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary. In the book, Ramona and her family live in Portland, Oregon. During breaks the actors, Selena and Joey, helped a stage artist color a 60-feet drawing of Portland that will be seen in the movie.
The crew filmed in a real house in the suburbs of Vancouver for 27 days before moving onto a sound stage. They recreated the house on the sound stage so they could shoot darker scenes. They also used the sound stage to shoot scenes where they needed a camera way up in the ceiling. I could not tell the difference between the sound stage and the real house, so you certainly won’t be able to in the movie.
The day I visited, Selena and Joey were the only two actors filming. I got to sit in one of the actor’s chairs while I watched on a screen the scene that was being shot. Before filming actually begins a crew member shouts, “Pictures up, rolling, action!” Then everyone gets quiet except for the actors at work.
I talked to the girls’ tutor, who said that they had school for a minimum three hours a day. If the actors are too busy for school during the week, they have to make up the time on the weekends.
Life on set seemed pretty great to me—other than the fact that the studio was so dark that when you step outside the sun blinds you.
The tent where snacks are kept was always loaded with sandwiches and drinks. The crew was always prepared to fix make-up, hair, and other small details. And the young actors’ mothers were also on set for support.
Being in Vancouver for the shooting was a great experience. I thought it was really special when Director Elizabeth Allen gave me a personal tour of the set. She was also the director of the movie, Aquamarine.
When I’m watching the movie this weekend, I’m going to keep an eye out for a water fight scene between the Kemps and the Quimbys, because Joey told me it was her favorite scene to shoot.
I’d love to hear what you think about the movie if you go see it! Use the comment section below to send in your thoughts.
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Grace Choi (left) with actors Selena Gomez (center) and Joey King on set of the movie Romana and Beezus in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo Courtesy Grace Choi)