Pembroke native goes to Camp Rock
GUELPH – The Ottawa Valley will be represented when Disney’s Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam hits television screens across North America this summer.
The sequel to the hit Camp Rock which features singing sensation Demi Lovato of Sonny With a Chance and the uber-popular The Jonas Brothers, includes an extra born and raised in Pembroke.
Peter Hewitt, 19, son of Darrell Hewitt and Judy Hewitt, is studying marketing at the University of Guelph, and through some savy-Internet research, found himself working as an extra in a couple of scenes in the upcoming movie. Not only that, he had an opportunity to hang out with the Jonas brothers for an afternoon and play a little baseball.
A graduate of Fellowes High School in 2008, Mr. Hewitt said he is passionate about film making, but did not have much acting experience going into the production.
“I wasn’t in drama or anything. I’d been in plays in elementary school and I was a stage hand in high school (for the Fellowes’ production of Cinderella), but I didn’t have much experience so this was just crazy,” he said.
He, along with a group of fellow University of Guelph students, were spending a Saturday at a conservation area near Guelph when they found a replica of a cabin from Camp Rock, signs covered with garbage bags, references to a movie called “Coin Flip,” and some canoes with the Camp Rock logo.
Once back at the university, Mr. Hewitt used the Internet to investigate the filming of the sequel to Camp Rock, eventually finding someone’s blog with an email address for a casting director. He fired off an email asking if the production required any extras.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything because I didn’t even know if (the email address) was real so I was really surprised when I got an email back three weeks later,” he said.
He received instructions on where to meet a bus that would be bringing group of extras from Toronto out to one of the filming locations, a camp in the Haliburton region of Ontario. The bus was departing Toronto at about 2 a.m.
The bus arrived at the Haliburton Camp, in the dark, at about 6 a.m. The extras then signed in, turned in their cameras and cell phones, and were presented with a pass for the set before being herded off to a holding tent.
After changing into Camp Rock appropriate attire, came the wait. The assistant director would occasionally come into the holding tent and pic some extras for a given scene. It would seem something about Mr. Hewitt caught this person’s eye.
“I got picked for almost every scene that day. It was great,” Mr. Hewitt said.
While the movie is set in a summer camp, the actual filming was taking place at the end of September.
“Here it was, 7 a.m., and it’s chilly and we’re pretending we’re having fun at summer camp. I was brave and chose shorts and a t-shirt to wear so maybe that was why I was picked more,” Mr. Hewitt laughed.
Mr. Hewitt really isn’t allowed to discuss the plot or what he knows about the movie to avoid spoilers before it is released, however, he did say that he was in some individual shots with the Jonas brothers, namely Kevin, Nick and Joe.
“In some scenes I’d start off right beside them. You’re really not supposed to approach the stars unless they approach you first and they were great about engaging in small talk. I wasn’t too star struck. Some of the girls were pretty starstruck. I respect (the Jonas brothers), and like their music and it was pretty cool to be around them,” Mr. Hewitt said.
During the lunch break, the Jonas brothers were relaxing by playing baseball and decided they wanted to play a game. Mr. Hewitt said he was one of only four extras they asked to join them.
Around six p.m., after the day’s shooting was over, the extras were loaded back on the bus and taken back to Toronto.
Mr. Hewitt was asked back one week later only this time the shoot was near Guelph in Rockwood where Mr. Hewitt and the other students originally come across the set. This shoot was for a scene at the end of the movie.
While he did get to stand near Ms. Lovato, he didn’t have an opportunity to talk to her. He did have a chat with actress Chloe Bridges, along with Jonas brothers Joe and Nick and Frankie (not in the band), and a little bit with Kevin.
“Overall it was pretty exciting. I went to see The Jonas Brothers in Ottawa with my little cousin the month before so to see them and then be in a movie with them, is pretty cool,” Mr. Hewitt said.
Now, having done some background acting, he intends to contact an agency in Toronto to see if he can do more.
Watch for Camp Rock 2 – Final Jam staring the Jonas brothers, Demi Lovato and Pembroke’s own Peter Hewitt this summer on the Family Channel in Canada.
Anthony Dixon is a Daily Observer reporter