PORT TOWNSEND — The Palace Hotel was transformed into a movie set this week as stars and crew took over Room 3 for “A Twist of Time,” an independent fantasy/time travel film.
“The Palace Hotel was selected for its authentic Victorian decor and atmosphere, and sets the perfect stage for Princess Anastasia to return from 1917 Russia,” said Kit Wilson, writer and producer, based in Gig Harbor.
The plot revolves around the teenage Russian princess Anastasia and her efforts to save her family. She is transported to another reality — modern times in Port Townsend — for three hours, and bonds with a grief-stricken widow who is considering ending her life. The widow regularly visits the hotel and is surprised to find a historical figure transported through the wardrobe in her room.
“The director really loves the aesthetic of Port Townsend, and it is a really film-friendly town,” said Grace Foxworth, script supervisor.
“He chose the town for its ability to work with filmmakers, and chose the Palace Hotel for its realistic historic, deep rich environment.”
Although it is rumored that the hotel is haunted, the film crew said they have not experienced any ghosts during their stay.
The film stars “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Eryn Rea and William Michael Paul, as well as local indie talent Nicole Moriarty and Dave Schecter.
The film crew wrapped up its two-day Port Townsend filming Wednesday. The concluding scenes of the film will be shot later this week in Seattle at Boeing’s Museum of Flight. The film’s release date is being planned for later this year.
Janette Force, executive director of the Port Townsend Film Festival, said the town is a natural set for movie makers.
“We are beyond fortunate,” Force said. “We have every conceivable set in Port Townsend. Producers get big eyes when the come down the hill into town. Click — there’s a set. Click — there’s a set. It’s magical. There’s the old ferry dock, the old Water Street Hotel. It happens all over town.”
Force said the last movie filmed here was in 2013, a period drama, “A Person Known To Me,” by Steph Argy, which featured the interior of the Hastings Building.
Next up, Port Townsend will be featured in a short film by French producer Robert Herald who will search for locations next week. Force said he’s looking for crew and camera people.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]