As a South African working in Creede, I had barely set foot in Creede when I was told of the biggest thing to ever happen here. This big event strangely didn’t include the Mine reopening; but rather the appearance of Hollywood star Johnny Depp and the shooting of the Walt Disney movie! This ‘The Lone Ranger’. This was big for the tiny town of Creede that, on a map, is only noticeable by a dot which is bigger than the town itself. Until recently, even those living in Colorado had not even heard of Creede, which was suddenly put in the spotlight with the arrival of the Hollywood’s favourite bad boy.
The euphoria was still lingering in the streets. People are speaking of the Johnny Depp episode with such excitement that it is as if he were still in town and, in their eyes, he still is! Restaurants have autographed memorabilia hanging on the walls and some even have drinks named after him. A town in enraptured by his presence!
Scott Lamb, the County Commissioner, explains how the town of Creede was chosen as a location for the movie. “After the director Gore Verbinsky was shown photo’s by his location scouts, he came to check out Creede and immediately fell in love with it!” Verbinsky wasn’t the only one either, it seems Creede had rubbed off on the rest of the Walt Disney team. Johnny Depp was seen wearing jewellery bought from “Rare Things” during his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. What’s more, he gave “shout-out” to the public when Creede was under fire threat.
Scott says he was privileged to be allowed on set to watch some of the filming. “The set was amazing!” he recalls rather excitedly. “They built a legit railroad track with ties and everything! And when the canyon was lit up with all the big spot lights, it was magical!” Often entire shoots can be cut out of the final movie and Scott was very pleased to see that some of his favourite scenes had made it to the big screen. “Not only was there a good portion of Creede featured,” he says proudly, “but it was an important part of the story line!”
About 60 residents from Creede attended the Premier together as a block booking organised by Connie Weller from the Underground Community Centre. “It was unique to share the experience with fellow “Creedites”! It gave it the movie theatre an atmosphere that was so enjoyable” she shares. They were enamoured seeing their little town in the spotlight of a Disney blockbuster movie.
The question is will it be a blockbuster? Some critics haven’t given it a good rating. I myself am eager to see the film before answering that question! However, with the residents of Creede it was nothing but praise, awe and excitement, the most important critics of all seem very satisfied indeed!