Home News Filming The Pilot Of Gilligan’s Island Came With Piles Of Frogs

Filming The Pilot Of Gilligan’s Island Came With Piles Of Frogs


He noted that executive and cast cottages were downhill from the main building where the rest of the crew stayed, and the area was so steep that Jeeps were needed to get from one spot to another. But “there was another problem,” Schwartz wrote. “Frogs. Every night frogs would gather by the hundreds, maybe the thousands, outside the door to our cottage.”

The deluge of amphibians made nailing down last-minute rewrites of the episode tough, especially since, in 1963, there were only a few ways to send a draft to the team without showing up in person. When Schwartz tried to call his secretary Lottie, whose lodgings were on the opposite side of the grounds as his own, she didn’t answer her phone (she was confused by the newfangled Swedish phone system, apparently). Thus, Schwartz had to hike up the hill several times in one day to deliver new additions to the script, and in the book, he describes the pile of frogs in an increasingly hilarious way each time.

“I pushed open the door to our cottage, scattering frogs in all directions,” Schwartz says in one paragraph, and in a later one, “frogs flew everywhere as I opened the door.” In his interview with the Academy, the writer-producer noted that just opening the door to get in or out was almost impossible, as the frogs seemed perfectly happy to make the spot in front of it their home. “You couldn’t even open the door. You had to push all these frogs away!” he recalled, noting that his in both versions of the story that his wife was repulsed by the whole situation.

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