Pirates of the Caribbean crew lands at Lennox Head
A PIRATE crew of more than 200 has landed at Lennox Head, but instead of plundering the small seaside village they were shooting an instalment of the blockbuster film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The identity of the stars who were on location yesterday was also being guarded more tightly than a treasure chest.
"It is a closed set, it is closed from the beginning to the very end," publicist Michael Singer said.
But he did confirm the crew was filming a "couple of very key scenes" involving "principle actors" from the film.
Dead Men Tell No Tales is due to be the fifth instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and will be shot entirely in Australia, mainly in and around the movie's base at the Gold Coast.
Stars of the swashbuckling pirate adventure include: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario and Orlando Bloom.
The day of shooting took place on the Lennox Headland, overlooking Boulders Beach.
"It's absolutely beautiful; a wonderful place to shoot," Mr Singer said.
Filming would be limited to one day and involved more than 200 crew, supported by 100 vehicles and at least one helicopter.
The filming may produce as little as one minute of the full-length movie which is due to hit cinemas in 2017.
It was just as well security was tight because the presence of the large crew had generated plenty of interest from inquisitive locals.
Ursula Kotwa and Nicole Crosgrove were on the Boulder Beach mixing up a bit of whale watching with star spotting.
But the women were definitely keener to get a look at Johnny Depp, than any sea mammals.
But even armed with binoculars they weren't been able to positively identify any Hollywood A-listers.
A fleet of buses, trucks and cars took over the Skennars Head Soccer Fields, which also became a makeshift helipad.
The crew stayed there the night on Sunday so they could an early start on Monday.
Ballina council did what it could to accommodate movie makers, but they still do have to apply to film in the region, a spokesperson said.
Applications were screened to make sure they complied with open spaces, environmental and other regulations.
Film makers also pay the council to film in the area, but these fees were set to recoup any costs the council incurred in helping to make filming possible, the spokesperson said.
WHO WAS THERE?
We know at least one of the main stars of Pirates of the Caribbean was present for filming at the headland, the question is which one (or ones?).
JOHNNY DEPP (Captain Jack Sparrow)
Unlikely. After the furore with his illegally-imported dogs, Depp was last seen winging his way back to the US where he is apparently attending his daughter's birthday.
ORLANDO BLOOM (Will Turner)
Seems likely. There were unconfirmed sightings of Bloom at Lennox Head yesterday.
GEOFFREY RUSH (Captain Barbossa)
Possible. No sightings of him though.
KAYA SCODELARIO (Character's name not known)
Possible, again, no sightings though.