'Isopod' filming begins Monday; Georgetown is site for thriller

The calendar may say September but with the help of some movie magic, it'll be the Fourth of July in Georgetown next week.

Filming for the science fiction thriller directed by Barry Levinson will start on Monday in the city's historic downtown waterfront district.

The first scenes to be filmed will be a Fourth of July festival in Francis Marion park on Front Street, said Chris Eldridge, Georgetown city administrator.

Eldridge said the crew will be on Front Street from Sept. 13 to 15, and filming will shut down portions of the street.

Glenn Peison, the set decorator for the film, said the festival will feature many local vendors, who will be setting up their wares in tents.

Peison said getting vendors with jewelry, food and crafts to participate in the filming was "the easiest way" to decorate such a scene.

He also said having "the real deal" goes along with the style of the film.

The movie will be shot in a documentary or home movie style, similar to "Cloverfield" or "The Blair Witch Project."

But Peison said the shooting will be very different from those movies.

"It's definitely doing its own thing," he said. Asked to elaborate, Peison simply said "you'll have to see."

Members of the crew have not released much information about the plot, but many movie industry websites have purported details.

Some of those same sites also say the name of the movie has been changed from "Isopod" to "The Bay."

Peison and Eldridge said they hadn't heard that the name had been changed.

"It's running rampant on the Internet," Peison said. "As far as I know, it hasn't changed."

Peison did say the movie was set in a small town in Maryland. Eldridge said it is about "something that infects people some way or another."

But, he said, city officials "haven't seen a script."

After filming in downtown Georgetown, the crew will move to other locations in the area, like a hospital and Georgetown County's coastal waterways, Eldridge said.

Ronda Wilson, Georgetown Memorial Hospital spokeswoman, said there will be scenes filmed in the hospital, but she would not say where in the hospital or when the filming would take place.

Tona Dhalquist, the extras casting director, said previously that the movie needed amputees to be extras in a hospital scene.

Dhalquist said she still needs people of all ages, but especially adults, to act as extras, and Peison said he is still looking for vendors for the festival scene, especially small games vendors.

Vendors interested in being a part of the festival scene can e-mail glennpeison@ , and people interested in being extras should e-mail georgetowncasting .