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Watch the 2015 Golden Globe Nominations!

For complete list of nominees click here

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Massachusetts Made Productions with Nominations:

Olive Kitteridge

Best TV Movie or Mini-Series

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie- Frances McDormand

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie- Bill Murray

The Judge

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture-Robert Duvall

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Marshfield anticipates Disney’s ‘The Finest Hours’ after shoot

By Lisa Kashinsky
Wicked Local
December 10, 2014

The film camera crew readies a camera on a boom for elevated shots along Ocean Street late Wednesday afternoon.(Wicked Local Staff Photo/Chris Bernstein)

The film camera crew readies a camera on a boom for elevated shots along Ocean Street late Wednesday afternoon.(Wicked Local Staff Photo/Chris Bernstein)

Two years ago, Sandy Young watched as filming for the Steve Carell flick “The Way, Way Back” came to Green Harbor.

Last Wednesday, Young watched as her town was yet again transformed into a movie set, this time for Walt Disney Studios’ “The Finest Hours.”

“It’s putting our town on the map again,” she said.

Crews spent Wednesday, Dec. 3 filming scenes at two locations in Brant Rock for the Disney movie, set for release in 2016.

“The Finest Hours,” adapted from the Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias book of the same name, tells the story of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue off Cape Cod after two oil tankers split in half during a February 1952 nor’easter.

Actor Chris Pine plays the hero, Boatswain’s Mate Bernie Webber. Casey Affleck and Holliday Grainger also star in the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie. Sherman, a Marshfield resident, said he worked closely with the screenwriters on the script and took his daughters to the shoot.

“It was a great experience for them,” Sherman said. “‘The Finest Hours’ has been the talk of the town and it is so special to be filming the movie based on my book just down the street from my house. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Production started midday at the Ocean Street seawall, where crews sprayed fake snow, took down street signs and installed old-fashioned streetlights to help create a 1950s feel for the shoot.

Snow-dusted cars from the 1940s were also driven in for the scene.

Young, who lives in the Brant Rock neighborhood, stood on the corner of the snow-covered street watching the shoot with fellow residents Lisa Crane and Patrice Parry.

“It’s fun. It breaks up the everyday life of working and school,” Young said. “It’s just a little excitement.”

Young added, “It would be great if we could get some big A-listers down here.”

Paula Henry and her 14-year-old daughter, Francesca, joined them.

“It’s not everyday you see Hollywood in your backyard,” Henry said.

After wrapping by the seawall, production shifted to The Latest Scoop on Ocean Street around 6 p.m. Scenes were filmed both outside and within the ice cream shop, which had been transformed into Murray’s Diner for the shoot.

The front of the gift shop next door, Shore Things, had been turned into an appliance store as well.

Crews had again installed old-fashioned streetlights and sprayed fake snow. Since the shoot was set around Christmastime, Christmas decorations that fit the time period were also brought in, Scott Levine, the film’s publicist, said.

“They do painstaking research into the time period,” Levine said of the set decorators.

While the main set is in Quincy, the movie also has scenes shot in Cohasset, Duxbury, and Norwell. The movie will next move to Chatham on Cape Cod, where the bulk of the story takes place, Levine said.

Marshfield was chosen for the shoot based on its look and its proximity to the Quincy set, Levine said.

“The movie takes place on Cape Cod and these towns have the Massachusetts coastal feel of the Cape, but you’re closer to your production center,” he said.

Some residents, including Young and Henry, said that movies filming in Marshfield could help restaurants and businesses in town by bringing both residents and crewmembers in during the shoot, as well as drawing visitors to town afterward.

Maddie Bowen and her mother, Anne, were among the dozen people gathered outside the Venus II Restaurant and Sports Bar around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night, watching in a light rain as crews filmed a car scene on the street.

Bowen said that movies filming in Marshfield help increase the town’s name recognition.

“To see a movie so big, a Disney movie, in Marshfield, it’s really unreal,” Bowen said.

Derek Maksy, a Lakeville resident who summers in Marshfield, was one of those taking in the movie magic from inside The Jetty restaurant.

He said he was doing work on his summer home in town when he found out about the shoot and decided to stay and watch.

“I think it’s great for the downtown businesses here,” he said.

Henry said that she hoped visitors would come back after the movie was done filming to “see that old New England charm by the sea.”

Young said she was looking forward to the movie’s release.

“It seems like forever waiting for the movie to come out, but it’s always exciting to see the final product,” she said.

Sherman said he hoped South Shore residents will pack the theaters when the movie is released.

“Disney is doing such a great job bringing the book to life and I can’t wait to see it in theaters,” he said.

Reach reporter Lisa Kashinsky at lkashinsky@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarshfieldLisa.

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Boston International Kids Film Festival & EF Educational Tours Film Contest

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Disney’s ‘The Finest Hours’ filmed in Cohasset

By Erin Dale
Wicked Local
December 5, 2014

Disney was in town to film scenes from the upcoming movie, “The Finest Hours,” shooting at the Cohasset Historical Society’s Pratt Building and along Jerusalem Road. With artificial snow and vintage cars, parts of town were temporarily transformed to look like a snowy Cape Cod town in the 1950s.

A production worker sprays artificial snow on a vintage car during the filming in Cohasset. (Courtesy Photo)

A production worker sprays artificial snow on a vintage car during the filming in Cohasset. (Courtesy Photo)

COHASSET-A little Tinseltown magic touched down on Cohasset this week.

Disney was in town to film scenes from the upcoming movie, “The Finest Hours,” shooting at the Cohasset Historical Society’s Pratt Building and along Jerusalem Road.

With artificial snow and vintage cars, parts of town were temporarily transformed to look like a snowy Cape Cod town in the 1950s.

The film, based on the book of the same title by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias, will tell the story of a 1952 U.S. Coast Guard rescue mission that was launched off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers broke in half during a nor’easter.

Cohasset, along with several other South Shore towns, including Duxbury, Marshfield and Norwell, will stand in for the Cape. Parts of the film were also shot in Quincy, with principal photography starting there in September. Production is also taking place in the Brant Rock area of Marshfield this week and will eventually move to Chatham.

This is not the first time Hollywood turned its lens on Cohasset. In the summer of 1986, the town was taken over by the “Witches of Eastwick” production, starring Cher and Jack Nicholson. Cohasset has also hosted film crews from 1992’s “Housesitter,” starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin, and “Sunny Side Up,” starring Parker Posey, in 2010.

Nor’Easter Productions, a Quincy-based company, sought the Board of Selectmen’s permission before setting up shop to film in town; the request was approved unanimously last month. Location scouts also reached out to the Historical Society.

The scouts were looking for municipal buildings and first checked out the Paul Pratt Memorial Library. They were referred to the Historical Society’s Pratt Building, which is where the town library was originally housed.

“They came to us and really liked the building,” said Lynne DeGiacomo, executive director of the Historical Society. “They probably came back with different people maybe four times to make sure it would fit their needs, and it did. We were happy to oblige; it was something different for the historical society.”

DeGiacomo, along with Linda Pratt, acted as a clerk of the works at the Pratt Building during the film shoot, which took place on Monday, Dec. 1.

The outside of the building was blanketed in artificial snow, which the production company also cleaned up. The historic building’s interior, meanwhile, was transformed into the “Cape Cod Telephone Company” in 1952.

Vintage cars lined South Main Street during the shoot, and again on Tuesday, Dec. 2 for a snowy scene shot on Jerusalem Road.

“The resources they have are unbelievable,” Historical Society President Kathy O’Malley said of the movie’s authenticity.

“It’s been a treat” working with the production company before and during the shoot, O’Malley added. “They’ve been very attentive and conscientious. They appreciate the building and have been very sensitive to the historic aspects of it.”

O’Malley said that the building’s furniture was put in storage while the film was shot; as of press time, most of the crew’s furniture and equipment was removed from the building.

The Historical Society is remaining closed throughout the week to accommodate the film and set up its next exhibit, which will carry on the Hollywood theme: a “Downton Abbey” inspired display featuring clothing and textiles from the 1920s. The exhibit kicks off with a cocktail party and fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 10.

“The movie crew helped dress us for Downton,” said DeGiacomo, adding, “They painted for us; they were very kind.”

Before the next exhibit goes up, however, the Society is keeping “The Finest Hours” theme going a little longer with a special lecture next Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. by Historical Society member Jim Campbell on the story behind the book and the film.

“Anyone who wants to support the Historical Society can come down and see where the movie was filmed,” said DeGiacomo.

“We’re gonna milk this one,” O’Malley joked, adding that the building will still look like it did when the movie scenes were filmed, even though the props will be gone by next week.

“We’re planning on setting up room the same size as the boat – people don’t understand how small the rescue boat is,” said O’Malley. “Our furniture won’t be back [by then] but that’s all right; we’re creative.”

So how does it feel to be almost famous? DeGiacomo said that while she didn’t exactly hobnob with the films’ stars – actors Casey Afflect, Eric Bana and Chris Pine did not shoot scenes in Cohasset – she did enjoy a brush with fame, meeting the film’s director, Craig Gillespie, and actress Holliday Grainger, who were both “very sweet.”

“None of the men stars were there,” DeGiacomo added, although she was asked to get some copies of the book autographed and managed to get the director’s.

She definitely plans to see the film when it’s in theaters, although it won’t be until sometime in 2016.

“I’m going to see the movie,” she said. “It sounds like a very interesting story. I have not read the book yet but it will be fun, having watched it being filmed, at least parts [of it].”

The best part will be seeing how Cohasset is integrated into the film. DeGiacomo recalled glimpsing parts of Cohasset in other films.

“You realize after you’ve seen ‘Witches of Eastwick’ how fast it goes by,” she said. “It goes by in the blink of an eye.”

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Disney comes to Marshfield for ‘The Finest Hours’ shoot

By Lisa Kashinsky
Wicked Local
December 3, 2014

The Brant Rock area was bustling with activity after setup began in the morning. Crews started shooting at the seawall along Ocean Street around 3 p.m.

Cars from the late 1940s were driven through water cannons down Ocean Street Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 3, as part of filming for Walt Disney Studios' "The Finest Hours."

The light rain that fell over the Brant Rock esplanade Wednesday night wasn’t enough to keep away spectators as Walt Disney Studios’ “The Finest Hours” shifted production from the Ocean Street seawall to The Latest Scoop.

Anne Bowen and her daughter, Maddie, were among the dozen people gathered outside the Venus II Restaurant and Sports Bar around 6:30 p.m., watching as crews filmed a car scene on the street.

“I just think it’s cool to see a movie being made where I walk and drive and such,” Maddie Bowen, 17, said.

“The Finest Hours,” adapted from the Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias book of the same name, tells the story of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue off Cape Cod after two oil tankers split in half during a February 1952 nor’easter.

Actor Chris Pine plays the hero, Boatswain’s Mate Bernie Webber. Casey Affleck and Holliday Grainger also star in the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie.

The Brant Rock area was bustling with activity after setup began in the morning. Crews started shooting at the seawall along Ocean Street around 3 p.m. before moving to The Latest Scoop at 263 Ocean St., for the nighttime shoot that started shortly after 6 p.m.

“It’s amazing to see how they spent all these hours for a 7-minute clip, or a 15-minute clip,” Anne Bowen said.

Residents came to watch throughout the day hoping to catch a glimpse of the action and maybe a movie star.

Francesca Henry, 14, came to watch with her mother, Paula.

“I think it’s exciting just seeing where I walk everyday and where I grew up on the big screen,” she said.

At the Ocean Street shoot, crews sprayed fake snow, took down street signs and installed old-fashioned streetlights to help create a 1950s feel for the shoot, along with driving in snow-dusted cars from that time period.

Around 3 p.m. spectators were ushered down the street as the crew prepared to test water cannons for the scene.

Sandy Young, who lives in the Brant Rock neighborhood, said she was excited to see another movie come to town.

“It’s fun. It breaks up the everyday life of working and school,” she said. “It’s just a little excitement.”

As darkness fell, production shifted to the area of The Latest Scoop, which had been transformed into Murray’s Diner for a scene. The front of the gift shop next door, Shore Things, had been turned into an appliance store as well.

Crews had again installed old-fashioned streetlights and sprayed fake snow. Since the shoot was set around Christmastime, Christmas decorations that fit the time period were also brought in, Scott Levine, the movie’s publicist, said.

Levine said Marshfield was chosen for the shoot based on its look and its proximity to the Quincy set.

“The movie takes place on Cape Cod and these towns have the Massachusetts coastal feel of the Cape, but you’re closer to your production center,” he said.

While some residents chose to watch the filming in the rain, Derek Maksy took in the movie magic from inside The Jetty restaurant.

Maksy, a Lakeville resident, was doing work on his summer home in town today when he found out about the shoot and decided to stay.

“I think this is awesome,” he said. “I’ve been here all day watching.”

Read the Marshfield Mariner next week for more on this story.

Follow reporter Lisa Kashinsky @MarshfieldLisa

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Disney, crew get Marshfield ready for ‘The Finest Hours’ shoot

By Lisa Kashinsky
Wicked Local
December 3, 2014

Shore Things Gift Shop owner Betsy Howley (right) and her daughter Katie (center), satisfy their curiousity peeking through the windows of the Latest Scoop next door to their shop, where crews were feverishly working indoors creating a set for a scheduled filming on Wednesday night. (Wicked Local Staff Photo/Chris Bernstein)

Shore Things Gift Shop owner Betsy Howley (right) and her daughter Katie (center), satisfy their curiousity peeking through the windows of the Latest Scoop next door to their shop, where crews were feverishly working indoors creating a set for a scheduled filming on Wednesday night. (Wicked Local Staff Photo/Chris Bernstein)

Come Wednesday, the front window of Shore Things, Betsy Howley’s Brant Rock gift shop, will look more like that of an old appliance shop.

Next door, the interior of ice cream shop The Latest Scoop has been transformed with everything from a new paint job to an old-time telephone booth.

These are just some of the changes the Brant Rock esplanade has undergone recently as Walt Disney Pictures prepares to film “The Finest Hours” in town today, Wednesday, Dec. 3.

“It’s been great, they’ve been so nice and accommodating,” Howley said of the film crew. “It should be fun to watch the filming.”

“The Finest Hours,” adapted from the Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias book of the same name, tells the story of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue off Cape Cod after two oil tankers split in half during a February 1952 nor’easter.

Actor Chris Pine will play the hero, Boatswain’s Mate Bernie Webber.

The movie will film in the Brant Rock area on Dec. 3, starting with a sunset shoot at the seawall from about 2 to 4 p.m. on Ocean Street between Colonial Road and the Victory Baptist Church, Marshfield Police Safety Officer Kevin Feyler said.

The production will then shift to The Latest Scoop at 263 Ocean St., and will start to film there around 8 p.m., Feyler said.

While the movie’s main set is in Quincy, it was also set to film in Cohasset, Duxbury, Norwell and Chatham.

Howley said that members of the film crew had been in the Brant Rock esplanade area for about a month building the set at The Latest Scoop.

She said her shop closed down for a few days as filming neared so that she could remove products from her front window and so the film crew could set up appliances for the shoot and put up a sign.

On Monday, crews were out removing modern streetlights to help set the stage for the 1950s-themed shoot.

“The whole reason they want this area is because they’re trying to make it look like the 1950s,” Feyler said. “They’re going to park cars in the area from that timeframe to make it look like the actual 1950s.”

Feyler said parts of the Brant Rock area would be closed from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday for the production.

Police will detour residents around the filming, he said.

For instance, Ocean Street southbound will be closed during the shoot at The Latest Scoop. Motorists will be detoured down Joseph Driebeck Way, where the bridge will be open, Feyler said. Detours will most likely run along Plymouth Avenue while the movie films at the seawall, Feyler said, as Ocean Street will be closed in both directions between Colonial Road and the church for that shoot.

Nearby residents have been notified of the detours and parking restrictions, Feyler said. Residents can park on side streets or at the beach parking lot across from the Brant Rock Market, he said.

For those interested in watching the filming, Feyler said police would set up areas for people to come and watch.

“A lot of people came down when we filmed ‘The Way, Way Back,’” Feyler said. “I’m sure we’ll have something so people can do the same thing down there.”

The Venus II Restaurant and Sports Bar will be closed the night of Dec. 3 to serve as a base for the film crew. Other restaurants in the area will remain open during the shoot, Feyler said.

Feyler said that the film crew was doing its best to making filming as easy as possible on residents and businesses.

“It’s a great thing that another film’s being filmed in Marshfield. It brings a lot to the economy,” he said.

Tracy Vaughan, co-owner of Brant Rock restaurant The Jetty, said that having the movie film in Marshfield was good for business.

“Part of the crew has been in here quite a bit for lunch,” she said.

Vaughan said that movie has helped draw people to Brant Rock, which also helps spread the word about her restaurant.

“It certainly brings people that might not ever make it to Brant Rock, to Brant Rock,” she said, adding, “Now people know about us. That’s a positive.”

Howley said she was excited for the shoot.

“All the customers have been coming in and asking about it,” she said.

Reach reporter Lisa Kashinsky at lkashinsky@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarshfieldLisa.

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Pendleton rescue vehicles reunite 62 years later

By Doreen Leggett
Wicked Local
December 2, 2014

Orleans Police Lt. Kevin Higgins with the 1946 Chevy Cruiser tht helped in the rescue of the Pendleton. ( DAVID COLANTUONO/WICKED LOCAL STAFF PHOTO)

Orleans Police Lt. Kevin Higgins with the 1946 Chevy Cruiser tht helped in the rescue of the Pendleton. ( DAVID COLANTUONO/WICKED LOCAL STAFF PHOTO)

In the teeth of a nor’easter in 1952, Orleans Police Chief Jack Higgins got a call from Chatham for assistance with a boat rescue, hopped into the department’s only car and sped out of town.

“He pulled into the fish pier with lights and siren,” said Orleans Police Lt. Kevin Higgins, recalling family stories about his uncle.

When the chief arrived in the 1946 Chevrolet Cruiser that blustery February night, Lt. Higgins said, his uncle had no idea that a four-man coast guard crew on the CG36500 had rescued 32 men from the stern of the sinking Pendleton.

Although how Higgins helped that night is lost to time, his nephew expects the ‘46 along with the long-disappeared tri-town ambulance (which served Brewster, Eastham and Orleans) helped take some of the rescued men to the hospital in Hyannis.

“Some of the history of the car has drifted off into never, never land,” admitted Higgins.

Since the events of Feb. 18, 1952 are soon to hit the silver screen, Higgins thought a rendezvous was in order. So the restored CG36500 – which also happened to be built in 1946, said Donald St. Pierre, of Chatham, who has helped watch over the boat – motored up to River Road Landing late last week to meet the antique, curvy police car.

“That (was) the first time the two vessels, so to speak have been near each other since ’52,” said Higgins.

The Chevy Cruiser, which was the first police car the town bought for $1,247 when town meeting formed a police department by a vote of 45-38 (before that the chairman of the board of selectmen was the acting chief), will be in the Disney movie, “The Finest Hours,” about the rescue. The movie tells the story of what is known as the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history and will be filmed in Chatham beginning Dec. 3.

The star of the movie, (Casey Affleck notwithstanding) the CG36500, won’t be in the film because of worries that the boat, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, could be damaged.

The ’46, like the Gold Medal boat CG36500, was forgotten and allowed to fall into disrepair before being rescued by local folks, but has some experience in the limelight. The antique car had a starring role in the W.B. Mason commercials, featuring the “low price budget detectives.” Higgins said about 36 advertisements were shot.

“Everyone has seen the commercials but you just don’t realize it’s our cruiser,” he said.

Those commercials stuck in the minds of the staff of Boston Productions, which is working on “The Finest Hours.” So Higgins got a call asking if the car would be available for filming when the Disney crew comes to Chatham to film and the answer was yes.

The ’46 is a bit of a local celebrity, too, but it was lost to the town for many decades.

The car was traded in 1952, sold to another dealer, and about 30 years later former Orleans Police Lt. John Fitzpatrick was able to track the car down in New Hampshire.

“They found it up there in a garage,” said Lt. Higgins. Fitzpatrick, with help from the police association and local mechanics were able to bring it to its “former splendor.”

The CG36500 also had to be rescued by locals who remembered it.

The Coast Guard’s plucky boat had been donated to the Cape Cod National Seashore and the federal government was going to turn it into a living museum. But lack of funding left the boat outdoors, and freshwater and wooden boats don’t mix well.

Thanks to town historian and noted photographer William Quinn, the boat was turned over to the Orleans Historical Society for some still photos of pivotal moments in Cape history.

The famous boat was repaired modestly but by 2003, when Peter Kennedy came on the scene, it was in need of serious work.

After hearing the historical society wanted some help fixing the boat, Kennedy – who has been in and around boats since he was a youngster – got involved. And once he started doing research he was struck by how important the boat was in the history of the nation and how few people knew about it.

“I don’t think it was widely known how significant this boat was,” he said.

Kennedy, and others, raised about a quarter of a million dollars to restore the boat and by features in local and national publications raised its profile as well.

“My motivation was to get it the recognition it deserves,” he said.

So it was only natural that when authors Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias called him for details on the boat he gave them an armful of research and earful of knowledge. He also told the two authors, who were working separately at the time, about one another and they collaborated on the book “The Finest Hours,” which Kennedy calls an amazing read.

When it came to having the movie made, Kennedy was called by the producer of the film and asked to come take a look at the set in Quincy.

“It was my first time on a movie set and it was just amazing what they do do,” he said.

Kennedy is hopeful that the movie, like the book, will introduce more people to the almost unbelievable rescue in 70-knot winds and huge seas. “You get an appreciation for what a phenomenal task that was,” he said. “The boat is just a national treasure.”

Although the boat isn’t in the movie, it will still be on hand and at the fish pier during part of the filming of the movie, and people are invited to go and see it.

The ’46 is also busy cruising about and has a penchant for appearing at different locales all over town.

For more information on the boat, visit CG36500.org

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How local businesses have profited from the filming industry

By Katheleen Conti
Boston Globe
November 30, 2014

A pizza restaurant was made over into a Cuban cafe on Revere Beach Blvd. across the street from Revere Beach to transform the look of the beach into Miami Beach where a scene from the movie Black Mass will be filmed there for the next several days. (John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff)

A pizza restaurant was made over into a Cuban cafe on Revere Beach Blvd. across the street from Revere Beach to transform the look of the beach into Miami Beach where a scene from the movie Black Mass will be filmed there for the next several days. (John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff)

A sampling of how some local businesses and organizations have profited from the local filmmaking industry:

■ Growth in membership of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 481: From 325 in 2006 to about 900 currently.

■ Number of local vendors used for filming of “The Equalizer” by Local 481 members: More than 3,000 in 45 communities.

■ Of the 40 film and television productions that Local 481 members worked on since 2011, 70 percent of shooting days were outside of Boston.

SOURCE: IATSE Local 481

Major productions (with budgets of over $250,000) filmed in Massachusetts:

2011: 9

2012: 15

2013: 23

2014: 30

From 2011 to 2013, 108 local communities hosted film productions.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Film Office

Financial benefits for Massachusetts:

■ New state revenue generated by the film tax incentive program in 2012: $10.6 million

■ Of $304.4 million in spending generated by the tax credit in 2012, $100.6 million was spent in Massachusetts.

■ 98 productions filming in Massachusetts in 2012 received $78.9 million in tax credits.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.

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Suburban businesses cash in when Hollywood comes to town

By Katheleen Conti
Boston Globe
November 30, 2014

Cast and crew from “Tumbledown” took over a street in downtown Concord while filming an outdoor scene in April. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff /file)

Cast and crew from “Tumbledown” took over a street in downtown Concord while filming an outdoor scene in April. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff /file)

Losing the lease to the family bakery’s landmark location of 61 years in a central part of Quincy and moving to a less traveled part of town four years ago has been difficult on Brian Jackle .

Foot traffic once attracted to O’Brien’s Bakery by Jackle’s concoctions, like the doughy fusion of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate he dubbed Elvis Bread, is much harder to come by at its new location on Vernon Street.

But like a Hollywood fairy tale, Jackle got a break a few months ago when a baker friend of his in Somerville recommended O’Brien’s to the craft service team in charge of feeding the crew on the set of “The Finest Hours,” a multimillion-dollar Disney production filming in Quincy and Duxbury.

“They were looking for six-foot subs,” Jackle said. “The guys from the movie called me and asked me, and I said I can make them.”

Four hours of giant sandwich-making helped establish a relationship between Jackle’s family-run business and the film’s food and beverage contractors, who have continued to place orders with the bakery, including a recent request for 100 bread bowls to go with 4 gallons of steak chili and 2 gallons of broccoli-cheddar soup made by Jackle’s mother, Muriel.

While the latest report from the state Department of Revenue indicated that most of the spending attributed to side bar story the Massachusetts film tax credit in 2012 went out of state, proponents of the initiative say that an increasing number of locally filmed productions have spread out beyond Boston, helping small businesses and tourism in the suburbs from Lincoln to Quincy to Saugus.

The number of major productions — those with budgets over $250,000 — filmed in the state annually has more than tripled since 2011, going from nine to 30 this year, according to the Massachusetts Film Office. And from 2011 to 2013, film production took place in 108 Massachusetts communities, boosting local businesses from restaurants to hardware stores, said Lisa Strout, director of the film agency.

“Non-film-specific businesses are so surprised when [film crews] are in a town for a week and they’re buying 300 bagels every single day, or pizzas,” Strout said. “It goes across all economic sectors. Car rental folks are very cognizant of the movie industry, [as are] our lumber yards.”

One indicator that Massachusetts is coming into its own as a filming destination is the construction of the $41 million New England Studios, led by Chris Byers and a group of investors.

The complex, which opened last year and now is on its second movie, features four sound stages totaling 72,000 square feet in the former Fort Devens Army base, which straddles Ayer, Harvard, and Shirley.

“We were losing parts of movies to California or to other states to do their sound-stage work because we didn’t have anything that high caliber,” Strout said. “We’re really excited to see how this affects the movie industry here.”

For Jackle, getting the call from craft service for “The Finest Hours,” which is scheduled to continue filming locally until January, has turned into an unexpected lifeline. Any time an order comes in from the set, it’s in the hundreds of dollars, he said.

“It’s helping a lot,” he said. “It’s been tough.’’

If film productions “do more business from people like me and small businesses, it’s great.”

The mobile, unpredictable nature of the movie-making industry makes it difficult for the state film office, local chambers of commerce, and visitors bureaus to measure a production’s full economic reach in the communities where they film, Strout said. But one indicator, she said, is the growth in membership in local film and television unions, among them the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 481 , headquartered in Woburn.

In 2006, when the state’s film tax credit went into effect, the union, representing behind-the-scenes workers such as set builders and electricians, had 325 members. It now boasts about 900, said business manager Chris O’Donnell.

O’Donnell contends it wouldn’t have happened if not for the tax incentive, which critics have said doesn’t benefit the economy enough. Under the incentive, filmmakers who spend more than $50,000 locally qualify for a 25 percent payroll tax credit; spending more than 50 percent of a project’s total budget or filming at least 50 percent of principal photography in Massachusetts qualifies projects for a 25 percent production tax credit and a sales tax exemption.

One example, he said, is “The Equalizer,” a thriller starring Denzel Washington that opened in theaters in September. It was filmed last year, with locations including a former Lowe’s store in Haverhill. Members of Local 481 were in charge of the vendor lists for everything from set construction materials to props and food, he said.

For ‘The Equalizer’ alone, there were vendors and businesses in 45 different communities that came off that list,” O’Donnell said.

Since 2008, members of Local 481 have made production-related purchases in more than 3,000 local businesses, many outside of Boston, O’Donnell said. Among those members is the duo behind Team Crafty, a Lincoln-based craft service business started by David Steinwachs in response to the growing local film industry, said co-owner Cam Goodrich.

Over the past four years, the men have been working nonstop on approximately 16 movie and TV productions filmed throughout Massachusetts, including the Whitey Bulger biopic “Black Mass,” “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr., and “Grown Ups 2.”

A lot of the food and drink on set is purchased at warehouse clubs and local supermarkets, but Steinwachs and Goodrich try to get as much as possible from small businesses and restaurants, Goodrich said. On average, their food budget is $950 to $1,900 a day to feed 100 to 200 people on a set, he said.

“It’s a fat wad of cash usually. . . We’ve been given the golden ticket to help people out,” Goodrich said. “On a movie like ‘Grown Ups 2,’ we would have to get a second meal every day of the week, and that was a different vendor every night. . . We really try to spread the wealth because they give us the wealth to spread.”

Paul Delios, president of the 60-year-old family-run Kane’s Donuts in Saugus, said he has delivered orders for 300 doughnuts on a weekly basis for the past three years to many of the sets where Team Crafty has worked, including current productions. Each dozen costs $16.

“It’s not a huge part of our business, but it’s a nice extra,” Delios said.

Even long after productions have wrapped, the local economy still benefits, said Taunya Wolfe Finn, owner of Wolfe Adventures and Tours in Newburyport. Since a movie-themed component was added about two years ago, Wolfe said, it now makes up 10 percent of her group tour business.

Wolfe Finn said she makes it a point to bring visitors to places where they can spend money, such as Woodman’s of Essex , a seafood restaurant where parts of the movie “Grown Ups” were filmed in 2009. If a 45-person tour group, for instance, has lunch there or at any local restaurant, it can easily add up to more than $1,000 for the business, Wolfe said.

“It’s amazing how far of a reach the filming industry has going into the local economy,” she said. “People want to see where things happened, where history happened, and where the movies were filmed.”

Once the state’s film tax incentive was enacted, Farshad Sayan, owner of Clevergreen Cleaners in Medford, and his wife tapped an industry-connected friend in Los Angeles to recommend their eco-friendly dry-cleaning business to anyone planning to film in Massachusetts. They got their first contract in 2007 with the movie “The Women.”

“We knew Hollywood was coming to Boston,” said Sayan, now working on his 45th or 46th production, including the recently filmed “Ted 2.” “Ever since then, it’s just been one after another,’’ he said, noting that costume supervisors “have me on their contact list or I have them on my phone.”

Though movie contracts are only 3 to 5 percent of Sayan’s business, it can be a big help.

“This past summer having a movie like ‘Black Mass’ really made a huge difference for us during our slow time of the year — $35,000 to $40,000 for the total dry-cleaning bill,” he said. “Sometimes the movie industry is like an umbrella that you sometimes have to hold on to when it’s shiny, and you kind of wonder why you even carried it along, but when it rains you’re glad you carried your umbrella with you.”

Katheleen Conti can be reached at kconti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.

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On the Set of Gus Van Sant’s Film “The Sea of Trees”

By Patrick Sargent
GoLocal24/GoLocal Worcester
November 17, 2014

Brian and Joe Girard of Worcester, Mass. spent their summer working on Gus Van Sant’s film “The Sea of Trees,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe.

“Gus Van Sant is one of my favorite directors of all time. And I’m thinking if Gus Van Sant is coming in, I don’t care what I’m doing, I am not leaving this town. I am working on this movie,” said Brian Girard.

‘The Sea of Trees,’ scheduled for release in 2015, is a film about a suicidal American man, Arthur Brennan, getting lost in a dense forest at the base of Mt. Fuji. In the forest, Brennan (played by McConaughey) encounters Takumi Nakamura (played by Watanabe), a Japanese man who is also lost, and together they search for a way out.

Everything Clicked Upon Arrival in Worcester

Joe Girard with Matthew McConaughey walking the streets of Worcester

Joe Girard with Matthew McConaughey walking the streets of Worcester

On June 6th, the Girard brothers flew into Boston to attend a cousin’s wedding the following day. Brian was flying in from Los Angeles and Joe flew in from South Carolina. Their plan was to go to the wedding and then drive across the country back to L.A.

“Joe wanted to give L.A. a run. As much as I tried to talk him out of that, he was pretty convinced that this is what he wanted do,” said Brian.

However, when they arrived in Worcester, Brian received an email from a friend telling him that Gus Van Sant was working on a project in Worcester. After some research, Brian realized he knew the Production Supervisor, Sasha Veneziano. They were Facebook friends, so Brian sent him a message inquiring about the project and asking to be a production assistant.

An hour later, Brian got a call from Veneziano. Brian was told that he starts first thing Monday morning.

“I said ‘Alright,’” Brian said, “but here’s the other hook. My brother, who’s about to drive cross-country, he’s here as well.’” Veneziano didn’t hesitate and told Brian that Joe could start work that Monday too.

“On June 9th, instead of driving across the country, we began working on that film,” said Brian. “The first few days in Worcester, we were literally working out of our parents house as a kind of make-shift production office. Everything was based within a three mile radius from the house that we grew up in.”

“We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we went along for the ride.” said Brian.

Joe Girard Serves as McConaughey’s Assistant

On the film, Brian worked with the Locations Department, spending time on the road and clearing locations for filming and working on logistics.

Joe served as Matthew McConaughey’s on-set assistant. “I was originally in the office as an Office PA, and then two days before we started shooting,

Joe and Brian Girard on set of 'Sea of Trees.'

Joe and Brian Girard on set of ‘Sea of Trees.’

the Assistant Director pulled me aside and said ‘I want you to be on set with us. I want you to handle the actors, specifically Matthew,” said Joe. “And of course I said, “Yeah, that’s fine. I think that’s a great idea.’”

Joe said, “I was his right hand man. His shadow. Whatever he needed, I had to get done. McConaughey, like most actors, spend 85% of their careers in foreign places and working with different people all the time. Any kind of routine and anything we could set up that could be consistent obviously creates an environment for him to do his thing and be able to work.”

“I was on set everyday and I was no more than 30 feet from every shot of the film. Being right there in the process of actually making this film was incredible, ” said Joe.

Van Sant Shoots In Worcester
According to the Girards, there were two variables as to why Van Sant, director of ‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘Finding Forrester,’ filmed in Worcester. The first was Purgatory Chasm.

Brian said, “The actual formation of those rocks is such a unique geological structure. Gus fell in love with that place. He wanted to shoot there so badly that he asked ‘From here, how can we do the rest of the film?’. The Chasm, along with several other locations that were part of the Mass. State Park system, were used to replicate parts of the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt Fuji, or otherwise known as ‘The Sea of Trees’”

The second reason is the number of colleges in Worcester that Van Sant could choose from. “McConaughey’s character is a college professor going through trials and tribulations of every day life,” said Brian. “And with Worcester being a college town, and with Purgatory Chasm right down the road, now all the elements that they need for the script, happened to be within a 30 mile radius, with Worcester being the hub.”

Worcester Energized By Film
Brian, who just finished working on a pilot for the E! Channel, said “It was such a big project for the city. To have a good size Indie-film come to a place like Worcester and to have it executed the way it was is incredible. It was not only a great work experience, but it was great experience in the city. I’m so anxious to see footage, and see it together and to see how Worcester looks.”

Joe said, “Working in Worcester all summer, there was such great energy. People knew we were there so we set up in camp in various locations and people would come by and take pictures. They really couldn’t get too close, but there was a ton of interest and people thought it was really cool. There was a buzz about it and a positive feeling about it. There was so much support and so much love for us being there. And to be a guy from Worcester, and being part of a movie that brings in business, and bring that much energy into the city and embrace it, it was awesome. That’s a great day at the office no matter who you are.”

“It was such a unique experience to be able to come home, and work on something of that caliber,” said Brian.

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Elizabeth Strout’s Acclaimed Novel ‘Olive Kitteridge’ Comes To HBO

Host Sacha Pfeiffer
WBUR

This Sunday, Olive Kitteridge, a four-part mini-series, will debut on HBO.

It tells the story of a middle-aged school teacher in a coastal community in Maine.

It’s a world of small-town gossip — and domestic pain and tragedy that folks have a hard time facing or talking about.

The TV series stars Frances McDormand in the title role, along with Richard Jenkins.

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The Top Locations Worldwide

Top Loc Coverpage

US Locations

CALIFORNIA
First, the big news: California is back. Skeptics were taken aback by the recent signing of legislation AB 1839 by California Governor Jerry Brown, which assured that the California Film and Television Incentive will receive an additional $230 million to its existing $100 million. The new program will also receive $330 million in funding each following financial year, which is easing the worries of the studios currently sending one-hour dramas and TV movies out of state. Eligibility of the credit has also been expanded by removing budget caps for studio and independent feature films, while TV series are eligible regardless of distribution medium. This last point opens the door for online series, such as those offered by Netflix, to take advantage of the credit. And that’s not all: the program offers an additional 5-percent break for visual-effects and music scoring work incurred in the state. Meanwhile, California still retains an impressive lineup of top productions, including the TV series “Extant,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family,” and feature films like Need for Speed and Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated Interstellar. www.film.ca.gov

FLORIDA
From the big cities of Miami and Orlando to small beach towns and suburbs, Florida offers quite a range of spectacular locations to meet the needs of upcoming film and TV projects. The state also offers an impressive list of film commissions that all work together to ensure that each production runs smoothly, such as Dolphin Tale 2. Florida’s 20-to-30-percent transferable tax-credit program was so successful that the $296 million allocation is already gone. An economic study released by the MPAA indicates a 4.7 ROI for the program, with the expectation of more money being added to the Florida program in
2015. www.filminflorida.com

GEORGIA
Without a doubt, one of the standout states of 2014 has been the Peach State. Georgia’s booming film economy is growing at a rapid speed, hosting a steady stream of film productions like Dumb and Dumber To, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, The Good Lie and No Good Deed and TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club.” And it was recently announced that Chris Evans will head south to shoot the Marvel sequel Captain America 3 in the state. Georgia currently offers producers a 20-percent (and added 10-percent logo uplift) transferable tax credit as well as a strong crew base. And Pinewood Studios is building state-of-the-art soundstages to take advantage of the influx of productions. www.georgia.org

HAWAII
Hawaii is the leading tropical filming destination in the U.S. Featuring a diverse natural environment, the state is made up of eight main islands with each offering uniquely mind-blowing characteristics. Hawaii is also home to a slew of reefs, shoals, mountains, volcanos, rainforests, small towns, beach communities and cities, some of which served as hosts for the popular TV series “Hawaii Five-0” and the blockbuster film Godzilla. “Hawaii has long been a favorite location for Hollywood due to its distinctly ‘not in America’ looks while still being part of the U.S., with all of the benefits and security that offers,” says Location Manager Kent Matsuoka. “[Benefits include] the U.S. dollar, English language, no passport/customs requirements, and first world infrastructure. [And] the best reason for shooting in Hawaii is that it’s close enough to fly an actor out for a couple of days, with many flights and carriers making the run every day out of LAX and most major west coast cities.”

Hawaii currently has a 20- or 25-percent refundable tax credit as well as a 5-percent increase in an effort to compete with other state offerings. There are also plenty of first-class accommodations easily accessible to Hawaii’s popular locations. “Just the excuse of going to Hawaii can be reason [enough] to convince someone to come out,” adds Matsuoka. “[Just look at] the endless stream of guest talent that has appeared on the new iteration of ‘Hawaii Five-0.’” www.filmoffice.hawaii.gov

ILLINOIS
When you’ve got the city of Chicago at bat on your team, it can be pretty easy to entice producers to suit up and join the game. The city and the entire state of Illinois boast some of the most breathtaking .”divergent modern and historical locations. Recent productions shot in Illinois include the films Divergent, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Jupiter Ascending and the hit TV shows “Shameless” and “Chicago Fire The state’s 30-percent transferable tax credit has once again been renewed, pushing the sunset date all the way to May 2021. There’s an additional bonus of up to 15 percent on labor expenditures for the employment of residents from geographic areas of high poverty or unemployment, so the credit can actually reach a whopping total of 45 percent. Illinois is also the only state with a production incentive program that includes a diversity provision. www.film.illinois.gov

LOUISIANA
Louisiana has been a production giant for much of 2014 with a stream of star-powered blockbusters lining up to take advantage of the state’s incentives. Louisiana’s up-to-35-percent transferable tax credit consistently attracts TV shows like “American Horror Story:Freak Show” and slew of studio features, such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 22 Jump Street, The Fantastic Four, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and the recently released Left Behind, starring Nicolas Cage and Lea Thompson. It was also just announced that Sylvester Stallone will shoot some intense action sequences in Louisiana for the fifth installment of his Rambo film franchise. For a complete list of film commissions visit: www.louisianaentertainment.gov

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts currently still offers its reliable 25-percent transferable tax credit, which has attracted the film productions for the sequel Ted 2 (directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg),R.I.P.D. (starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges) the judge p3and the Oscar contender The Judge (starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall). The state is not only known for featuring a wide array of period locations that range as far back as the 1600s. With its vast architectural options and a supportive incentive, it’s no surprise why Massachusetts continues to make the cut year after year. www.mafilm.org

NEW MEXICO
New Mexico remains a film hotspot, thanks to its 25- or 30-percent film production tax credit (the 5-percent bump is for TV series and resident labor) and a standalone 25-percent postproduction tax credit, both of which are refundable. Big budget features, like Transcendence and The Lone Ranger, and TV projects alike have utilized New Mexico’s cinematic locales as a backdrop. AMC’s “Breaking Bad” just ended its six-year run of filming five seasons in the state just in time to start shooting its spinoff show “Better Call Saul” in New Mexico. In a recent conversation, Albuquerque’s Director of Communications in the Office of the Mayor Dayna Gardner spoke about the financial impact high-profile productions have had on the city. “The industry provides jobs for our citizens that are high paying and creative,” she states. “Local companies also benefit from having a production here, like lumber companies, hotels and restaurants, travel agencies [and] sign companies.… In fact, almost all local businesses profit in some way. When ‘Breaking Bad’ was filming, the direct spend-per-episode shot over eight days was approximately a million dollars to the city.” www.nmfilm.com

NEW YORKbanner pic p3
The Big Apple takes enticing productions to a whole new level, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has just extended the state’s incentive program to 2019 along with an additional $2.1 billion in film funding. New York currently offers a 30-percent fully refundable tax credit on qualified production and postproduction expenses incurred in the state, as well as a 30- to 35-percent postproduction credit on qualified post expenses incurred in-state (for projects not eligible for the film production tax credit program). There’s also a commercial production credit of 5 percent, a 20-percent annual growth credit (with applications submitted annually), and sales-tax exemptions.

Cuomo’s dedication to keep productions happy has led to further enhancements, most notably a 10-percent BTL cost uplift to film outside the metro area in specified Upstate New York counties (beyond Albany)—and this can extend the 30-percent New York metro credit up to 40 percent on film-production costs. TV variety and talk shows can also qualify, much like NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and “America’s Got Talent.” Other New York productions include Steven Soderbergh’s new Cinemax series “The Knick,” Jenji Kohan’s “Orange Is the New Black” and the feature films A Walk Among the Tombstones (starring Liam Neeson), St. Vincent (starring Bill Murray, Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy), the star-studded comedy This Is Where I Leave You and Birdman staring Michael Keaton. And to serve upstate productions, Empire Visual Effects will create 150 new visual effects and other postproduction jobs in Buffalo within five years. www.nylovesfilm.com

TEXAS
As the home of sprawling cities like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, it’s no surprise why the Lone Star State rounds out our top ten for the U.S. The sheer size of the state is enough to lure productions, with its diverse array of landscapes and geological features. Texas also boasts an up-to-22.5- percent grant program for film and television projects that has kept new Film Commissioner Heather Page busy with nonstop applications. Recent projects utilizing everything Texas has to offer include the newly released Men, Women & Children (starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner), Paramount’s summer blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction and the NBC sci-fi series “Revolution.” www.governor.state.tx.us/film

international locations

ABU DHABI
Abu Dhabi really is like no place on Earth. The city is vibrant and alive, with its Arab heritage inspiring the sprawling architecture, and the fantastically hot desert climate produces the sunniest of blue skies throughout the year. Abu Dhabi also offers a highly attractive 30-percent cash rebate, the likes of which is enough to entice much anticipated franchise productions like Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII and Universal’s Fast and Furious 7. Since 2012, Abu Dhabi’s incentive program has functioned without a funding cap and continues to offer additional bonuses, such as free international travel (when booking with Etihad Airways), free scouting assistance and no sales tax. www.film.gov.ae

AUSTRALIA
A filmmaker’s dream locale, Australia is a country that exudes scenic beauty in every direction, and there are a host of film commissions ready help productions with any and all requests. Recent Aussie productions include Warner Bros. The Great Gatsby and Fox’s The Wolverine, and it was recently announced that Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will send its stars and pirates to film in Queensland. “Disney is pleased to be working with both the Australian government and Queensland government as we prepare to set sail on our next Pirates adventure,” says Philip Steuer, senior VP of physical production at Walt Disney Studios. “Queensland has an incredibly diverse landscape and Australia’s robust entertainment industry, and many accomplished craftsmen will provide a fantastic home base for our production.” Australia’s Screen Production incentive program currently offers tax-based incentives and provides a cash rebate to producers on Qualifying Australian Production Expenditures (QAPE). The three in incentives are the Location Offset at 16.5 percent; the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset (PDV) at 30 percent; and a Producer Offset of 40 percent for qualifying feature films and 20 percent for qualifying TV productions and documentaries (which include official co-production treaties). www.ausfilm.com.au

CANADA
Canada continues to thrive. With an army of film offices working overtime in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Yukon, just to name a few, Canada is more than ready to exceed expectations. XmenThe country is known for its stunning locations, highly skilled crews, production service companies and incentives that will put a smile on producers’ faces. Recent films shot in Canada include Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (which utilized Alberta) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (Québec). And the upcoming drama The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, will shoot in British Columbia and Alberta in 2015. Canada’s generous film incentives vary depending on each region. For a complete list of incentives and commissions, visit www.ep.com/canada/.

GERMANY
Germany boasts an extraordinary history in cinema that serves as a foundation for its capabilities as a modern production hub. Fox Searchlight’s Grand Budapest Hotel and Sony/Columbia’s The Monuments Men recently chose Germany as a filming destination, as the country offers professionally trained English-speaking germanycrews and studios that meet the highest standards in film technology. Germany is also cherished for its timber-frame old towns and contemporary architecture. Meanwhile, the country stays busy by offering film and TV productions a 20-percent cash grant. www.location-germany.de

ICELAND
Scenic clouds, sunsets and falling snow all make Iceland the place where filmmakers can attain shots never thought possible. This daring land mass south of the Arctic Circle is packed with lava fields, mountains, glaciers, rivers, oceans, fjords and towns of all shapes and sizes. Offering a wealth of cinematic possibilities, Iceland can double as a faraway fantasyland as well as a distant planet. ireland Recent productions shot in Iceland include the studio films Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Noah and Oblivion and the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.” Iceland’s financial incentive offers a healthy 20 percent of qualifying local spends, and the country takes pride in having reimbursements be an easy and straightforward procedure. www.filminiceland.com

IRELAND
Over the past few years, Ireland has developed a well-deserved reputation as one of the top places to shoot. It now stands out on the global production map, courtesy of its high-profile filming locations that have well served projects like the HBO adventure/fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” With its breathtaking scenery, experienced crews and outstanding studios, Ireland is more than equipped to tackle any film of TV project. The country’s current incentive program has been extended to 2020, with the benefit increasing from 28 percent to 32 percent in 2015. In addition, up-front production funding is paid in cash on the first day of shooting or on financial closing. The program is capped at 80-percent global spend of up to 50 million euros, and the amount spent on the Ireland production must at least equal the amount of investment eligible for tax relief. www.irishfilmboard.ie

MALAYSIA
Malaysia features coastal plains, forested hills and mountains as well as ideally warm tropical weather year-round, making it one of the most utilized film locales in Asia. It also offers producers state-of-the-art studios, the latest production equipment, green-screen facilities, broadcast studios, VFX and digital postproduction facilities, and there are more than 70 production-centered companies ready to assist filmmakers. Incentives-wise, Malaysia offers a 30-percent cash rebate and low production costs. Additional perks include the recent opening of Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS), whose name alone guarantees top-quality production values. The Weinstein Company is already booked to shoot its new Netflix series “Marco Polo” at PIMS. www.filminmalaysia.com

NEW ZEALAND
Mainland New Zealand features North and South Islands to create one of the greatest filmic backdrops in cinematic history. With jaw-dropping landscapes and an experienced crew base, it’s clear why this Southwestern Pacific gem makes our list every year. In April 2014, the Screen Production Incentive Fund and Large-Budget Screen Production Grant was replaced by the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG), which offers cash grants to key film, TV and animation projects that achieve a certain level of qualifying NZ expenditures (QNZPE). nzProductions with significant New Zealand content are eligible for a cash grant of 40 percent, while international productions are eligible for 20 percent (with a 5-percent uplift for productions that can demonstrate significant economic benefits to New Zealand). And the revamped Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Grant offers eligible productions a 20-percent cash grant of QNZPE with a 5-percent uplift for economic NZ benefits).

The presence of Peter Jackson’s acclaimed visual-effects house Weta Digital in Wellington remains a big draw for local and visiting producers, as the facility offers a full suite of digital production services for feature films and commercials. south africaNot only did Weta Digital play a large postproduction role in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film franchises, but it also provided work for Hollywood blockbusters like X-Men: The Last Stand and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. www.nzfilm.co.nz

SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa has received notable attention in 2014 for its stunning landscapes, professional studios and a 20-to 25-percent cash rebate. Its coastline stretches over 1,500 miles while offering a wide range of cinematic locations, including lush green hills, crystal blue waters and the sprawling city of Cape Town. Cape Town Film Studios is backed by national, provisional and local governments as it lures big budget Hollywood productions like the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom, the Adam Sandler comedy Blended, The Giver (starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep) and the Reese Witherspoon drama The Good Lie. www.southafricanfilmcommission.com

UNITED KINGDOM
Across the pond, the United Kingdom has built a film empire that continually attracts films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast & Furious 6, Star Wars: Episode VII and the upcoming Brad Pitt war flick Fury, as well as the new Starz TV series “Outlander.” The UK touts an extensive crew base of highly skilled technicians and an impressive lineup of film studios, including Pinewood, Shepperton and Warner Bros./Leavesden just to name a few. The UK also offers a 20- or 25-percent refundable tax credit that has been so successful with features that it now also serves high-end television and animation projects.
UK

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Greenfield sneak preview of ‘The Judge’ draws cheers

By Ray Kelly
The Republican
October 9, 2014

Four hundred movie-goers turned out for a preview of "The Judge" at the Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Wednesday night. (Ray Kelly |The Republican)

Four hundred movie-goers turned out for a preview of “The Judge” at the Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Wednesday night. (Ray Kelly |The Republican)

GREENFIELD – The first cheers at a Wednesday night sneak preview of “The Judge” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall were not for the film’s stars, but for a spectacular aerial view of nearby Shelburne Falls.

Although “The Judge,” which arrives in theaters nationwide on Friday, takes place in the fictitious Carlinville, Indiana, much of it was filmed along Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, as well as locales in Dedham, Millers Falls and Worcester.

“I loved it, though it was a sad film,” said Marie Schlosstein of Holyoke, who was one of the scores of extras who worked on the movie.

Schlosstein, who was also an extra on the 2010 Mel Gibson thriller “Edge of Darkness,” applied to be an extra after reading about a casting call in The Republican in May 2013.

She was unsure in the excitement at the screening whether or not she caught a glimpse of her Jeep in a traffic scene.

Other extras, business owners and local officials were among the 400 invited guests at the screening, which was arranged through the Massachusetts Film Office, Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association and Warner Brothers.

“It was a great movie,” said retired Shelburne Falls Town Clerk Beverly Neeley.

Marie Schlosstein of Holyoke stands next to a Carlinville banner, a prop used in "The Judge." The film had a sneak preview in Greenfield on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 (Ray Kelly |The Republican)

Marie Schlosstein of Holyoke stands next to a Carlinville banner, a prop used in “The Judge.” The film had a sneak preview in Greenfield on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 (Ray Kelly |The Republican)

Carol Schempp of Shelburne Falls added, “I thought it was wonderful. They (Downey and Duvall) both deserve awards.”

Massachusetts Film Office Executive Director Lisa W. Strout attended the Wednesday night preview.

She said the success of “Labor Day” and “The Judge,” both filmed in Franklin County, will draw more filmmakers to the area.

In “The Judge,” slick Chicago lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey) returns to his childhood hometown of Carlinville, where his estranged father (Duvall), the town’s judge, is suspected of murder.

“The Judge” director David Dobkin and cast members have told The Republican in recent interviews that they were impressed by the beauty and charm of Shelburne Falls.

“When we hit Shelburne Falls, it felt emotional to me,” Dobkin said. “It was a place I would fight to defend.”

Co-star Jeremy Strong told The Republican at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere on Sept. 4, that “Shelburne Falls was a beautiful pastoral quintessential American town.

“It was a perfect place.”

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‘The Judge’ hits home with audience

By Diane Broncaccio
The Recorder
October 9, 2014

(Warner Bros. photo/Claire Folger) Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall appear in the first promotional still for the film "The Judge," which filmed in the area last summer. Behind them can be seen the rainroad trestle near Cheapside at the Greenfield, Deerfield border.

(Warner Bros. photo/Claire Folger)
Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall appear in the first promotional still for the film “The Judge,” which filmed in the area last summer. Behind them can be seen the rainroad trestle near Cheapside at the Greenfield, Deerfield border.

GREENFIELD — Franklin County went to the movies Wednesday night to see what so many people had only seen in bits and pieces last summer — “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, and, of course, Shelburne Falls.

When a preview showing of “Labor Day” was held in Memorial Hall last year, the audience shouted and cheered as glimpses of the Iron Bridge, Keystone Market, Greenfield Savings Bank or even the Power Canal in Turners Falls were shown. But overall, the crowd was slightly disappointed not to see more of their town — or the dozens of residents who were extras in that film.

But “The Judge,” in contrast, practically lingered over the settings: a tornado tears down Bridge Street, Downey’s character, Hank Palmer, sits outside Baker’s Pharmacy eating ice cream with his young daughter.

“It was awesome,” said Tim Bohonowicz, a Greenfield Garden Cinema employee, who had previewed the movie earlier, in preparing for the invitation-only preview Wednesday night. “It’s a lovely movie.”

“I thought it was great,” former Shelburne Town Clerk Beverly Neeley said. “I was so pleasantly surprised.”

When asked if she liked it better than “Labor Day,” she said, “It was much better.”

A queue formed about 45 minutes before the 7:30 p.m. showing. The invited guests included movie extras and local production assistants, state Reps. Paul Mark and Steve Kulik, merchants and town officials from seven towns where scenes were filmed: Shelburne, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Deerfield, Hadley and Montague. Two cinemas showed the movie to a total of 400 people.

Before the film, Brad Brigham of Colrain said he’s enjoyed seeing his homestead and barn on television — in the movie trailer, in which Downey rides his bicycle down a picturesque country road. “I’m getting calls from friends around the country who recognize that barn,” he said. “It’s put Colrain on the map.”

The movie showing, one day before its scheduled release, was hosted by Warner Bros. as a “thank you” to the communities where filming was done.

Massachusetts Film Office Director Lisa Strout introduced the film, saying that 414 Massachusetts residents worked on the film, while another 821 residents did background work.

“It’s for being known as such a film-friendly place that you landed the second major film in just two years,” she told the audience.

On Wednesday, Downey talked about “The Judge” on his Facebook news feed.

“The Judge is a lovely little film about past regrets, which is something I know a bit about,” he wrote. “What’s your biggest regret?”

(Recorder file photo/Diane Broncaccio) Shelburne Falls was one local location for the filming of “The Judge.”

(Recorder file photo/Diane Broncaccio)
Shelburne Falls was one local location for the filming of “The Judge.”

The film is about a big city lawyer who returns home for his mother’s funeral, and learns that his small-town father, a judge, is a murder suspect. Instead of leaving, Downey’s character stays to learn the truth and reconnects to his estranged family along the way.

In an article in Sunday’s Boston Globe, director David Dobkin told Globe correspondent Ed Symkus that Shelburne Falls was his first choice for the film’s fictitious Indiana town.

“I’d seen pictures of the area, and I was looking for a town that seemed like it was preserved in time, but wasn’t aware of itself being that,” he said. “It was important to me that the judge was defining these older, conservative values that meant something that it was a place that was … like our memory of America.”

The article went on to say that Dobkin was “bummed” after learning that “Labor Day” had been filmed in Shelburne Falls the year before. But after “Labor Day” director Jason Reitman showed him what footage would be used from Shelburne Falls, Dobkin decided to go ahead filming there.

Despite its lackluster national reception, the movie “Labor Day” was a big draw last year for the Greenfield Garden Cinema.

“I think we had ‘Labor Day’ for eight or nine weeks — even though it was pulled, nationally, after four or five weeks,” said Cinema owner George Gohl. “Up until summertime, ‘Labor Day’ was my number-two movie — for a national movie that hardly had any publicity.”

“Labor Day” ended up being the theater’s third biggest box-office draw for the year — topped only by “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Lego Movie.”

“I think ‘The Judge’ will do very well here,” he added.

The Greenfield Garden Cinema will show “The Judge” starting tonight with a 10 p.m. showing.

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‘The Judge’ director David Dobkin on love affair with Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

By Ray Kelly
The Republican
October 7, 2014

In between takes on the set of "The Judge" in Shelburne Falls on June 6, 2013; from left, actor Vincent D'Onofrio, talks with an unidentified crew member, and director David Dobkin with actors Jeremy Strong, Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. (Michael S. Gordon | The Republican file photo)

In between takes on the set of “The Judge” in Shelburne Falls on June 6, 2013; from left, actor Vincent D’Onofrio, talks with an unidentified crew member, and director David Dobkin with actors Jeremy Strong, Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. (Michael S. Gordon | The Republican file photo)

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, is a thousand miles away from southwestern Indiana, but its beauty and charm made it a shoe-in for the filming locale of “The Judge,” said director David Dobkin.

Dobkin found Indiana too expensive to shoot the film and it did not quite match his vision for the fictitious Carlinville. He then turned his eyes to locations in Massachusetts, Georgia and Michigan.

While Georgia offered the best tax incentives, it did not have the vibe he felt in Shelburne Falls.

“When we hit Shelburne Falls, it felt emotional to me,” Dobkin said in a recent interview with The Republican. “It was a place I would fight to defend.”

In “The Judge,” slick Chicago lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey) returns to his childhood hometown of Carlinville, Indiana, where his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the town’s judge, is suspected of murder.

“I wanted a place so beautiful that you would question why he would leave,” Dobkin said. “Later, you learn he was cast out.”

Ninety percent of “The Judge” was shot in the Bay State with Shelburne Falls and the Norfolk County Courthouse in Dedham among the chief locales, he said.

A second unit was dispatched to Indiana to shoot aerial shots of farmland and silos, he added.

Dobkin, whose past credits include the blockbuster comedy “The Wedding Crashers,” described “The Judge” as an “entertaining drama.”

“It’s a crowd pleaser,” the 45-year-old Washington, D.C. native added.

Dobkin, who is producing a reboot of the comedy “Vacation,” said he hoped to direct another drama in the future.

And a return visit to Massachusetts?

“Are you kidding? In a heartbeat,” Dobkin said. “I love it.”

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“The Judge” Premieres in Greenfield, Just Days Before National Opening

By Eva Zymaris
WGGB
October 8th, 2014

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“The Judge” Premieres in Greenfield, Just Days Before National Opening

By Eva Zymaris
WGGB
October 8th, 2014

THE-JUDGE-PREMIERE-300x168GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A national film, with a local flare.

Hundreds gathered to the Greenfield Garden Cinemas Wednesday night to be part of “The Judge” premiere, which was shot partially in Western Massachusetts.

The film, which actor Robert Downey Jr. stars in, was filmed in Shelburne Falls for three weeks last summer.

“The Judge” will be released on Friday, but Warner Brothers — along with the Massachusetts Film Office and the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association — set up a local screening.

“We had 14 Massachusetts crew members on this movie, 31 speaking roles in the movie went to Massachusetts residents, and another 800 of our residents were background actors,” explains Lisa Strout, Director of Massachusetts State Film Office.

“The Judge” follows the story of a big-shot Chicago attorney (Downey) who returns to his hometown in Illinois, where his estranged father is suspected for murder.

Gretchen Fichtner, a unionized extra, has been part of many films in Massachusetts. She had three small parts within “The Judge.”

“This was one of the best I’ve worked on,” recounts Fichtner. “It was so much fun. I didn’t want it to end.”

The film already made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival back in September.

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Lisa Strout honored by Association of Film Commissioners International

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein
Boston.com
October 7, 2014

Lisa Strout at NE Studios at Devens in November, 2013. (Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe)

Lisa Strout at NE Studios at Devens in November, 2013. (Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe)

Massachusetts Film Commissioner Lisa Strout, who makes movies happen in Massachusetts, was honored with the Arthur M. Loew Jr. Crystal Vision Award at the Association of Film Commissioners International annual Cineposium conference held in New York City over the weekend. She earned the award for helping to create educational opportunities for AFCI members, including a course that trains local governments to support productions in their communities. Strout came to Boston in 2012 after running the film office in New Mexico, but she’s a Massachusetts native who got her start working on “Spencer: For Hire.”

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‘The Judge’ spotlight shines on local extras, Massachusetts locales

By Ray Kelly
The Republican
October 6, 2014

June 6, 2013 - Shelburne Falls, Mass. - Republican staff photo by Michael S. Gordon - Downtown Shelburne Falls has been turned into Carlinville, Indiana for the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie.June 6, 2013 - Shelburne Falls, Mass. - Republican staff photo by Michael S. Gordon - Downtown Shelburne Falls has been turned into Carlinville, Indiana for the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie.

June 6, 2013 – Shelburne Falls, Mass. – Republican staff photo by Michael S. Gordon – Downtown Shelburne Falls has been turned into Carlinville, Indiana for the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie.June 6, 2013 – Shelburne Falls, Mass. – Republican staff photo by Michael S. Gordon – Downtown Shelburne Falls has been turned into Carlinville, Indiana for the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie.


More than a year after filming concluded, folks in Shelburne Falls, Dedham and other Massachusetts towns will finally see how much of their communities – and possibly themselves – made it into “The Judge”.

In “The Judge,” Robert Downey Jr. plays a hotshot Chicago lawyer, and Academy Award winner Robert Duvall co-stars as his estranged father, a small town judge up on murder charges.

While Downey and Duvall provide the star power, no doubt local movie-goers will notice that the Salmon Falls Gallery in Shelburne Falls serves as the exterior of the Flying Deer Diner, where Downey reconnects with a high school love, played by Vera Farmiga. Norfolk County Court House in Dedham was used for the heated courtroom battles. And Worcester Regional Airport, the former It’s About Time Clocks in Millers Falls, and much of Shelburne Falls make up the fictitious Carlinville, Indiana.

Mic Finnerty, 53, of Westfield was among the scores of Bay State extras used in the making of “The Judge.”

judgequoteFinnerty worked four days and took part in a funeral procession, confrontation between the murder victim’s mother and suspect, and several downtown scenes.

“It was wonderful. The cast and crew were absolutely fantastic to be around… Just wonderful people,” he said.

Finnerty had read about the casting call on MassLive in May 2013. He took a few days vacation from his job as a salesman for Fender to work on the film.

“I hadn’t done any film work since the early ’80s It was vacation time, so I figured I mind as well,” said Finnerty, whose past credits include appearances in Willie Nelson’s “Honeysuckle Rose” and the B-movie “Roadie.”

No picture taking is allowed on the set, but Finnerty got a chance to briefly talk with both Duvall and Downey during the filming.

“Robert Downey Jr. was the nicest actor I have been around,” Finnerty said. “He was a delight to watch in action. He was really, really pleasant with people and giving of his time when he should have been resting.”

Karen Smiarowski with Robert Downey Jr. at Smiarowski Farm Stand on June 12, 2013 during the filming of "The Judge." (Karen Smiarowski)

Karen Smiarowski with Robert Downey Jr. at Smiarowski Farm Stand on June 12, 2013 during the filming of “The Judge.” (Karen Smiarowski)

Karen Smiarowski, former owner of Smiarowski Farm Stand in Sunderland, recalls several pleasant chats with Downey when the film crew rented her property to park trucks and equipment in June 2013.

“He’s an amazingly kind and considerate actor,” Smiarowski recalled. “He was genuinely interested in me, (and) the farm stand… In between scenes he would go an interact with his fans. He really extended himself.”

She added, “And not just Robert Downey, the whole crew was wonderful.”

Jamie Simpson, 14, of Shelburne Falls was an an extra at a cemetery scene. He was told to speak quietly with his “movie family” as he made his way back to a waiting car. The scene took several hours to shoot.

“Since it was my first scene in a movie, it was pretty awesome,” Simpson said. “My friends think it’s pretty cool.”

Karen Stella of Leominster and her red 1987 Fiero also scored a role in the film.

“There’s a scene where Downey’s character was zooming into town, taking a left on Bridge Street.. We did 13 takes, since I was supposed to have been cut off. I was either going too slow, or his vehicle was going too fast,’ she recalled.

Stella added, “The next day I was an extra when all the main characters were walking out of the courthouse about to get into their SUV. The mother of the son being sentenced … makes a major scene in the street. I was on the same side of the street she was and was right in camera shot. Again, it was so much fun and I’m counting the days to see it!”

Finnerty, like Stella, is eager catch the film’s opening, hoping he made it into the final cut.

“The director of photography told me when he looked in the frame he kept seeing me,” Finnerty said.

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Movie based on daring Coast Guard rescue starts filming in Quincy

By Patrick Ronan
The Patriot Ledger
September 9, 2014

A warehouse in the shipyard has been converted into a makeshift movie studio for filming of Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the real-life rescue mission that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952.

Filming for the Disney movie "The Finest Hours" started Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in this warehouse in the Quincy shipyard. Patrick Ronan/The Patriot Ledger

Filming for the Disney movie “The Finest Hours” started Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in this warehouse in the Quincy shipyard. Patrick Ronan/The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY – They are making boats again at the Quincy shipyard – except now they’re for Disney.

A warehouse in the shipyard has been converted into a makeshift movie studio for filming of Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the real-life rescue mission that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. Crews started shooting the film Monday.

The film stars Chris Pine, who played Captain Kirk in the two latest “Star Trek” films. The movie’s director is Craig Gillespie, whose past projects include “Million Dollar Arm” and “Lars and the Real Girl.”

Scott Levine, publicist for “The Finest Hours,” said a good portion of the filming will take place within a privately owned warehouse at the shipyard. He said crews will also shoot in Chatham and at several South Shore locations, though he didn’t specify which towns.

A huge indoor water tank was built inside the warehouse for filming. The warehouse is owned by auto dealer Daniel Quirk.

The shipyard is on the Quincy side of the Fore River. Shipbuilding began on the Braintree end of the Fore River Basin in 1883, but the shipyard moved to Quincy in 1901. The shipyard played a major role in World War II shipbuilding, but was shut down in 1986. Quirk, marine contractor Jay Cashman and the regional sewage treatment agency now control the shipyard property.

Across the street from the shipyard, several patrons at Pete’s Grille on South Street said some of the film crew have come into the bar for food and drinks after work.

“It’s cool,” said Tom Ruffini of Braintree. “They always film movies over there.”

Last year, scenes for Sony Pictures’ “The Equalizer,” starring Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, were shot in the shipyard. The movie will debut in theaters later this month.

The most notable Hollywood film to utilize the shipyard was “The Departed,” the 2006 release that won the Best Picture Oscar for a major Hollywood production. A big scene at the end of film, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, was set in the shipyard.

In 2011, the climactic showdown for “R.I.P.D,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, was filmed over several weeks on a rooftop surrounded by a massive 360-degree green screen set up at the shipyard. In 2009, scenes for “The Company Men,” starring Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner, were filmed in the shipyard.

The shipyard is only one of several locations in Quincy used by filmmakers in recent years. Just this summer, several scenes for “Black Mass,” the film starring Johnny Depp about the life of James “Whitey” Bulger, were shot in the city.

In 2011, Columbia Pictures shot much of the film “Here Comes the Boom,” starring Kevin James, in the old Quincy High School building on Coddington Street.

Other recent films with scenes in Quincy include “The Judge” with Robert Downey Jr. and “The Box” with Cameron Diaz. “The Box” was released in 2009, while “The Judge” is set to hit the big screen next month.

Patrick Ronan may be reached at pronan@ledger.comor follow on Twitter @PRonan_Ledger.

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