Michelle Ball of Lewiston recently spent her 15th birthday in a most unusual way: starring in an IMAX movie.
Filming on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, Ball was cast to play the role of an ancient Polynesian girl retrieving water for her family from the top of a waterfall.
The scene was filmed atop an exotic falls on a private ranch where "Jurassic Park 3" was filmed near Kapaa. Ball was delivered by helicopter to the top of the falls. Once there, she was filmed by Reed Smoot, the director of photography from "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never." He used a camera suspended below a helicopter, which was flown by Craig Hosking, Ball's stepfather.
Hosking and Smoot were co-directors of the movie. The two have each worked on the biggest movies in Hollywood, including "Inception," "Dark Knight," "Eat Pray Love," "Die Hard," "Mission Impossible," "Indiana Jones," "Hannah Montana," U2 projects, and hundreds of other projects.
Ball's safety above the falls was provided for by her stepbrother, Ryan Hosking, an experienced filmmaker who has worked on shows such as "Fear Factor" and "The Bachelor," and on films including "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight."
After her scene, Ball was flown back to the ranch, where the entire crew celebrated her birthday in a more traditional manner: with singing and cake.
A representative of the owner of the ranch and longtime resident said it is unlikely any human has ever touched the ground where Ball stood.
The actress has studied her craft at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, the Shakespearian Festival in Cedar City, Iowa, and starred as Jasmine in the Lewiston-Porter High School play last year.
Hosking said the movie doesn't have a name yet.
"It's for an experiential, large-format movie at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu," he said. "It will be the type of theater that takes you on a ride with moving seats, vibration, heat, water spray, etc. The Polynesian Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation of the culture of all of the Pacific Islands."
He said the movie will open late this year (estimate: October), and will run for at least 15 years. An expanded DVD version will be sold in early 2012.