The Lodge at Deadwood News

IMAX crew films in Hot Springs

Posted: Mon, November 07, 2011

Curt Nettinga | Rapid City Journal

HOT SPRINGS -- The indoor confines of The Mammoth Site echoed Wednesday with the sounds of movie-making.

"The movie will be called ‘The Ice Age,'" veteran filmmaker Dave Clark said between takes at The Mammoth Site. "It will be released in IMAX 3D Theaters in the fall of 2012 and will also be released in digital 3D."

In addition to filming at The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, Clark and his crew of more than a dozen sound, light, camera and other personnel shot film throughout the Southern Hills.

On Wednesday, a collection of visitors, Mammoth Site staffers and several children became extras, strolling along a walkway and looking at the west bone bed while lead investigator Larry Agenbroad described the area.

Clark said that after a 30-year career making dozens of science and nature films for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, he is intrigued by realism achieved in 3D.

"This is my fourth IMAX 3D film, and I really love to see the production on the large IMAX screen."

Clark is the writer and director of "The Ice Age," which looks at what took place at the end of the last Ice Age between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago, when the earth began to slowly warm after centuries of being covered in ice.

"My focus is on the mega-mammals of North America," Clark said. "The mammoths, saber-tooth cats, short-nosed bears and Dire Wolves that became extinct following the thaw."

He said that other mammals from that same time - bison, elk and most notably humans - shared the area with those that perished.

"I believe that human hunters, combined with the relative slow rate of reproduction of the mammoths, contributed to the eventual extinction of the species," Clark said.

Clark is making the movie for Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema. He said that the film will feature The Mammoth Site and that he and the crew also have spent time in Custer State Park and at Yellowstone National Park. The crew also will be filming at the La Brea Tar Pits in California.

"In fact, when we leave here, we are headed back to Yellowstone to film some aerial shots," he said.

For Black Hills residents, the nearest IMAX screens are in Denver. Clark said that local theaters may pick up the digital 3D version of the film.