News & Events

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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Olive Kitteridge Teaser Trailer ~ Airs Nov. 2 & 3 on HBO!

Massachusetts made Olive Kitteridge was filmed in Essex, Gloucester, Ipswich, North Andover, Rockport, and Topsfield in 2013.

AIRS NOVEMBER 2nd & 3rd on HBO

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PRODUCTION IS SET TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER ON “THE FINEST HOURS”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
disney logo

PRODUCTION IS SET TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER ON “THE FINEST HOURS” STARRING CHRIS PINE, CASEY AFFLECK AND HOLLIDAY GRAINGER

CRAIG GILLESPIE DIRECTS THE THRILLER BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF A 1952 U.S. COAST GUARD RESCUE

BURBANK, Calif. (September 9, 2014) – Production is scheduled to begin in September on “The Finest Hours,” starring Chris Pine (“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” “Star Trek”), Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Casey Affleck (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Ocean’s Thirteen”) and Holliday Grainger (“Cinderella,” “Bonnie & Clyde”).

The thriller, which will be directed by Craig Gillespie (“Million Dollar Arm,” “Lars and the Real Girl”), will shoot on location in Quincy and Chatham, Massachusetts.

In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. “The Finest Hours” is the story of their heroic mission, which is still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history.

The film is produced by Jim Whitaker (“Cinderella Man”) and Dorothy Aufiero (“The Fighter”). The screenplay is by Academy Award® nominees Paul Tamsay & Eric Johnson (“The Fighter”) and Academy Award nominee Scott Silver (“The Fighter,” “8 Mile”) based on the book by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias. “The Finest Hours” will be released in the U.S. in Fall, 2015.

“We are thrilled to be able to film ‘The Finest Hours’ on location in Massachusetts, and are grateful to the Massachusetts Film Office for all their support,” says Aufiero.

About the Massachusetts Film Office:
The Massachusetts Film Office is the official state agency charged with assisting film, television and digital media production throughout the Commonwealth, marketing the state to filmmakers worldwide, and supporting the growth of industry-related jobs and businesses for Massachusetts residents. The office is located at 10 Park Plaza, Boston, within the Mass. Office of Travel + Tourism. Lisa Stout, Director. Phone: 617-973-8400. Website: www.mafilm.org.

About Walt Disney Studios:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.

# # #

PRESS CONTACTS:

Walt Disney Studios Global Publicity
Global Publicity (LA)
Michelle Rasic
E-mail: michelle.rasic@disney.com

Global Publicity (NY)
Derek Del Rossi
E-mail: derek.del.rossi@disney.com

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‘The Judge’ cast gives two thumbs up to Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

By Ray Kelly
The Republican
September 6, 2014

From left, David Gambino, Robert Downey Jr., and Robert Duvall at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (Ray Kelly | The Republican)

From left, David Gambino, Robert Downey Jr., and Robert Duvall at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (Ray Kelly | The Republican)

TORONTO – The reviews are in and the cast of “The Judge” gives two thumbs up to the people of Shelburne Falls.

Speaking with The Republican at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, the actors expressed a fondness for the people and town where much of “The Judge” was filmed last summer.

Actress Vera Farmigia called the townspeople “salt of the earth.” and described her stay as “thoroughly soul quenching.”

She recalled digging for worms, fishing, rafting, swimming with her children and regular runs around a nearby school track.

“It’s why we were two weeks behind,” Robert Downey Jr. quipped. “She said she wasn’t done prepping.”

“Shelburne Falls was a beautiful pastoral quintessential American town,” said co-star Jeremy Strong, adding he appreciated the beauty of the Bridge of Flowers.

“It was a perfect place,” he said.

With no nearby hotels, many of the cast stayed at a bed and breakfast where co-star Dax Shepard said he sat at the foot of Academy Award winner Robert Duvall’s bed talking about movie-making – an experience Shepard described as surreal.

There were some picks and pans.

Duvall said he found “two pretty good restaurants” in town, though he did not name them.

Co-star Vincent D’Onofrio made it clear he was unhappy with his initial bed and breakfast lodging. He quickly relocated and stayed at a “fascinating thriving section of the city,” which featured a 7-Eleven store, Gulf station, Taco Bell and Domino’s. “That’s my memory.”

Downey added playfully,“New York snob.”

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BU Band Cast in New Johnny Depp Film

By Irene Berman-Vaporis
BU Today
September 4, 2014

Members to appear in Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass

BU students and alumni, along with musicians from other area colleges, practice “The Garry Owen March” before filming their scene in Black Mass, the film adaptation of the book about mobster Whitey Bulger by COM’s Dick Lehr and alum Gerard O’Neill (COM’70). Photos by Cydney Scott

BU students and alumni, along with musicians from other area colleges, practice “The Garry Owen March” before filming their scene in Black Mass, the film adaptation of the book about mobster Whitey Bulger by COM’s Dick Lehr and alum Gerard O’Neill (COM’70). Photos by Cydney Scott

On a hot day earlier this summer, members of the Boston University Band gathered for a scene they’ve enacted countless times. The musicians were decked out in their trademark scarlet and white uniforms. The drum line kept rhythm. The color guard twirled flags. A hundred students marched in perfect unison down a city street.

And then suddenly someone yelled, “Cut!”

They were shooting a scene for Black Mass, a film starring Johnny Depp about notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, based on the book Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, co-written by Dick Lehr, a College of Communication journalism professor, and Gerard O’Neill (COM’70). On this day, the band was shooting a pivotal scene set on St. Patrick’s Day. (The film, expected to be released in September 2015, also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Sienna Miller, Adam Scott, and Joel Edgerton.) It was, in fact, the second time in recent memory that the BU Band had scored a part in a major Hollywood movie (the band was seen in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning 2003 drama Mystic River).

So how did the BU Band get picked to star in the Johnny Depp film? A local casting agency looking to fill 100 uniforms for the St. Patrick’s Day scene got in touch with Aaron Goldberg, BU’s director of Athletic Bands. “I was worried because so many people were off campus at that point,” says Goldberg. He began reaching out to members who lived within driving distance of Boston and to band alumni. “Within 14 hours, we had over 200 people state their interest. There were almost 300 by the next day.” The band that appears in the film was a hybrid of approximately 50 current band members, 30 band alumni, and 20 students from area colleges and high schools.

The group rehearsed only once prior to filming. “It was a little bit hectic,” Goldberg recalls. “The first hour was spent learning the music, and in the second hour we practiced the piece all together. We rushed through memorization of the piece, the Irish folk tune ‘The Garry Owen March,’ which was fairly simple thankfully, so we could get outside and practice marching, as most of us had never marched with each other.”

The BU Band members wore their own uniforms. The film’s wardrobe department had initially deemed them too bright and contemporary, but in the end decided to use the current BU uniforms.

The drum line takes a break from preparing to film a cameo appearance in the movie

The drum line takes a break from preparing to film a cameo appearance in the movie


Filming took place on a warm sunny day in late June. The musicians began arriving at the band room on campus at 3 a.m. to be ready for their 4 a.m. call. Promptly at 4:30, a bus departed campus for Lynn, where the scene was to be shot. Although the annual parade is held in South Boston, shooting there had been ruled out, reportedly because it had become too gentrified to evoke the gritty place it had been in the 1970s and ’80s. The bus pulled up to the set in Lynn 45 minutes later, and wardrobe people made last-minute adjustments to the band members’ uniforms. Filming began at 6:30 a.m. The set had been made to resemble 1970s Southie: an old T-stop had been re-created, and storefronts redecorated to look retro. Several other groups were to appear in the same scene—bagpipers, spectators, and a company of Lexington Minutemen—but BU’s was the only marching band.

They quickly ran through the scene before cameras started rolling. Goldberg had done the musical arrangement for the Irish march. “It sounds like something you would hear on St. Paddy’s Day,” he says, noting that the piece is repetitive so that the band could play as long as necessary.

“We simply marched up the street behind a float,” says BU Pep Band manager Jennifer Gough (SAR’16). “We did the same thing several times.” Between takes, the movie staff relayed directions about the upcoming take, instructing the band to change spacing occasionally or to do something differently. Wardrobe also checked members between takes to remove any smudges on their uniforms.

“I’ll admit it was a bit nerve-racking when I first saw a camera pointed at me,” Dylan Marshall (CAS’16) recalls. “I was on the left side, which was closest to the main camera.” The scene was shot from three different angles. “We didn’t always know where there was a camera or if we were supposed to be looking somewhere in particular,” Gough says. Band members had practiced marching several ways so they’d be ready for whatever was needed. “Turns to the left, right, wide intervals from student to student, short intervals—we experimented with every way possible so we could be prepared for whatever the movie people asked,” Goldberg says.

Flutist Ava Mack (CAS’17) finds a marching band uniform that fits just right prior to shooting a scene in "Black Mass".

Flutist Ava Mack (CAS’17) finds a marching band uniform that fits just right prior to shooting a scene in “Black Mass”.

What band members hadn’t anticipated, however, was having to pantomime. “We had to pretend we were playing so that they could get a good recording of the actors doing their lines,” according to Robert Conner McManus (CAS’15, GRS’15). They had to mimic playing during about 10 takes. “I cannot tell you how hard it is to get 100 students to be perfectly in time going down the street in utter silence,” Goldberg says. “The drummers had to fake play without hitting their drums. Others had to spin their flags in time with no cues.” The silent parade felt a bit eerie. “It was kind of like watching a parade on mute, seeing everyone acting like they’re enjoying the parade and clapping, but with no sound at all,” McManus says.

In all, the band filmed 28 takes between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. “It was quite the mental and physical endurance test, having to do the same thing over and over again for a 12-hour day. I’ve gained a whole lot of respect for actors who have to put in days like this on a regular basis,” Marshall says.

“The last few hours, we were doing lots of repetitive takes. I was starting to wonder if we were doing something wrong,” Goldberg says. “It turned out they kept filming multiple takes for the actors.” Speaking of actors, the band members did get in a few star sightings during the grueling shoot. “I got to see Benedict Cumberbatch from a little ways away, but I got really close to Johnny Depp and Jesse Plemons,” McManus says. “I was actually close enough that I was able to hear them talk to some of the other actors.” The band members had signed a contract stipulating that they wouldn’t interact with actors on the set, so there was no shaking hands or asking for autographs.

“I expected them to be starstruck, but the band really concentrated. They knew it was all business,” Goldberg says.

The band received $2,500 for transportation costs and another $2,500 for dry-cleaning the uniforms. “It was incredibly hot and we sweated right through them that day,” says Goldberg. “We were just beside ourselves to be involved in the movie.” But the most rewarding part was the chance to be in such a big scene in such a big movie.

“It was an opportunity I couldn’t possibly have turned down,” Marshall says. “The collective relief, celebration, and sense of accomplishment in the band during the moments after we were finished was incredible.”

Irene Berman-Vaporis can be reached at imbv@bu.edu.

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3 Massachusetts movies among Toronto International Film Festival offerings

By Ray Kelly
The Republican
September 04, 2014

The Equalizer" will be screened at the Princess of Wales Theatre at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. (Ray Kelly | The Republican)

The Equalizer” will be screened at the Princess of Wales Theatre at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. (Ray Kelly | The Republican)

TORONTO – “The Judge” is not the sole made-in-Massachusetts movie to debut at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Three films shot in Massachusetts with big name stars attached to them will be featured at the largest film festival in North America. Much attention had been paid to “The Judge,” which stars Robert Downey Jr., because it kicks off the 10-day festival tonight.

“Not only is ‘The Judge’ premiering at Toronto, “ said Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, “two other fantastic features that filmed in Massachusetts last year will also make their debut at TIFF – Sony’s ‘The Equalizer’ starring Denzel Washington and directed by Antoine Fuqua and ‘The Forger’ starring John Travolta.”

The trio were among nearly two dozen major film or television projects shot in the Bay State last year.

“The Judge” stars Downey as a big city lawyer who returns to his Indiana hometown to defend his estranged father (Robert Duvall) on murder charges. The movie was filmed along Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls, High Street in Dedham and several other Bay State communities, including Attleboro, Belmont, Sunderland, Waltham and Worcester. It opens nationwide on Oct. 10.

“The Equalizer” reteams Washington with “Training Day” director Fuqua. Washington plays special ops commando Robert McCall in a big screen version of the TV series, which starred Edward Woodward. A former Lowe’s store off Route 97 in Haverhill doubled for the fictitious Home Mart where McCall works. Addition scenes were shot in Charlestown, Chelsea and Groton House Farm in Hamilton. The film co-stars Chloe Grace Moretz and UMass-Amherst alum Bill Pullman. “The Equalizer” opens in theaters on Sept. 26.

Chloe Grace Moretz and Denzel Washington walk across a bridge in Boston in "The Equalizer." (Columbia Pictures)

Chloe Grace Moretz and Denzel Washington walk across a bridge in Boston in “The Equalizer.” (Columbia Pictures)

“The Forger” centers on a second-generation thief (Travolta) who arranges to get out of prison to spend time with his ailing son (Tye Sheridan) by taking on a job with his father (Christopher Plummer) to pay back the mobsters who arranged his release. Written by Medford native Richard D’Ovidio, portions of “The Forger” were shot at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Logan Airport, South Station, Boston Common, and a beach in Marblehead, which was redressed to look like Tahiti. A domestic release date has not been announced.

“These three films exemplify the wide variety of settings, textures and character that filmmakers find in the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Strout said.

TIFF showcases films before industry executives and top critics. An impressive debut at the 11-day festival can boost a film’s chances at the box office and during the upcoming awards season.

Some 500,000 people are expected to attend the film festival.

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From Scouting Waterfalls To Securing Port-A-Potties: The Life Of A Film Location Manager (AUDIO)

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From Scouting Waterfalls To Securing Port-A-Potties: The Life Of A Film Location Manager

By Andrea Shea
WBUR
August 26, 2014

BOSTON — Whether it’s Fenway Park in “Fever Pitch,” the Bunker Hill Memorial in “The Town” or the Fairmont Copley Plaza in “American Hustle,” a lot of us get a kick out of seeing Boston on the big screen.

We’ve also seen Boston transformed into other places through movie-making magic. It played Paris in “The Pink Panther 2,” and Revere became Miami in the “Whitey” Bulger biopic “Black Mass” that shot here this summer.

The South Boston bar where convicted Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger had an office was re-created in Cambridge for the film “Black Mass.” (Nate Goldman/WBUR)

The South Boston bar where convicted Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger had an office was re-created in Cambridge for the film “Black Mass.” (Nate Goldman/WBUR)

It takes an army of professionals to cast, prep and secure places around Massachusetts for their turns on film, but one person plays a particularly critical role in the creative and logistical gauntlet that comes with the territory.

Location manager Charlie Harrington, a 29-year industry veteran, lives in Dennis and has found the perfect beaches and townie bars for a slew of movies made here, including “Good Will Hunting” and “Black Mass.”

Location manager Charlie Harrington. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Location manager Charlie Harrington. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Harrington acknowledges his title can seem glamorous, but he’s quick to clarify. “I have crew members come up all the time and pat me on the back going, ‘I would definitely not wanna have your job!’”

As a location manager, Harrington spends a lot of time in his car. Hours and hours tooling around with Hollywood producers and directors like Gus Van Sant or Lasse Hallstrom so they can check out locations that might work in their films. Harrington shows them examples from Boston’s pool of ubiquitous triple-deckers and taverns, along with icons like the State House or MIT.

“I’m like a real estate agent that sells real estate to designers and directors,” Harrington explained as we cruised through South Boston. Then he pulls into a parking lot next to a modest, urban house. A group of used bikes punctuates the edge of the property. The location manager has been here before.

“When I was scouting it, instead of just taking pictures I said, ‘Is it OK if I take pictures?’” he recalled.

Harrington also told the couple who lives here the name of the project and explained that if the directors chose to shoot here, they would get paid.

That was months ago. Harrington ended up coming back over the summer with a cinematographer and said, “now they make some money.”

The couple takes a break from tending their tomatoes to sign the location agreement, and Harrington tells them they’ll make $500.

We walk across the street to check out a classic, very Southie-looking barber shop. Harrington had hoped to get it into “Good Will Hunting” in the late 1990s. Gus Van Sant shot some exteriors and a few interiors in Boston, but the rest of the film was made in Toronto.

“There was no barber shop in the movie,” Harrington recalled. “But you know everybody agreed they liked it. And so finally on this movie when we were doing the second unit I drove the cinematographer by it and he said, ‘This is fantastic!’”

Location manager Charlie Harrington originally scouted this South Boston barber shop for “Good Will Hunting.” Now he’s hopeful it will make it into the final cut of “Black Mass.” (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Location manager Charlie Harrington originally scouted this South Boston barber shop for “Good Will Hunting.” Now he’s hopeful it will make it into the final cut of “Black Mass.” (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Harrington’s been working locations for nearly three decades. But not just in Boston. He’s had exotic gigs all over the world.

“Fly around the Caribbean and find the best waterfall,” he recalled. “Or one summer I just flew around the Arctic Circle, dog sledded and helicoptered everywhere, and the movie never got made. Other times it’s, uh, figuring out where people are gonna poop.”

According to Harrington, scouting locations is one thing, managing port-a-potties and parking is another. There can be 20 trucks just for crew, and they need to be near the set during a shoot. These are the kinds of logistics that make up the reality of his job.

Scouting came first, though. Harrington fell for movie-making as a teen. He recalls a fateful summer in 1974 when the cast and crew for Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” set up shop in the Martha’s Vineyard hotel where he was working as a bellhop.

“I saw the whole process,” Harrington remembered. “All the movie stars stayed in the hotel, and that’s where they edited.”

Harrington managed to get some production assistant work on “Jaws.” Inspired, he went on to study film at Boston University. A few years later he discovered he had an eye for locations.

“The first big movie I did was the ‘Witches of Eastwick,’ which I shot in Cohasset, my hometown,” Harrington recalled.

He moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s because that’s where the work was. Harrington returned home in the ’90s and says things really picked up after the state film tax credits were enacted in 2007. When he starts listing off his filmography, Harrington has trouble remembering the dozens of films he’s had a hand in over the decades.

“I should probably pull up an IMDb on myself,” he said, laughing. “And this has nothing to do with me being old — it’s just this is like the 63rd movie I’m working on now.”

A scene from “Good Will Hunting” shot at Boston’s Public Gardens. (YouTube)

A scene from “Good Will Hunting” shot at Boston’s Public Gardens. (YouTube)

There’s a reason Harrington has been so busy, according to Lisa Strout, director for the Massachusetts Film Office.

“Charlie is a complete pro,” she said. “He has a really good notion of what a director is looking for.”

Strout’s main objective is to entice filmmakers to set up their productions in the state. The 25 percent film tax incentive is a major draw. When directors and producers shop for locations, Strout shows them an online image database of photogenic places around the state. But she says having a veteran location manager like Harrington helps the sale.

“People don’t realize that the scouting part is extremely creative — but the other half of it is moving the company around, finding the parking, dealing with police, fire, parks department,” she said. “Basically a location manager is the connect from the company to the real world.”

Harrington has worked consistently for Massachusetts-native Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company. Sandler producer Barry Bernardi has produced six films here with Harrington, including “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2.”

Massachusetts-native Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company often shoots in the state. “Grown Ups” included scenes shot at Water Wizz in Wareham. (YouTube)

Massachusetts-native Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company often shoots in the state. “Grown Ups” included scenes shot at Water Wizz in Wareham. (YouTube)

“[Harrington] has worked in Los Angeles, he has worked in numerous states in the union and is well know by many studio heads,” Bernardi said on the phone from a shoot in Toronto. Harrington, he explained, understands the medium. “He’s primarily a filmmaker, so he works very closely with the production designer and the art directors and makes sure that the location is going to satisfy.”

Massachusetts has some diverse locations to choose from, Bernardi added. The versatility — plus the film tax credit — make the state desirable for Hollywood filmmakers.

“You know you can have a great classic Cape Cod setting — set against the water either on the North Shore or down on Cape Cod,” Bernardi said. “You can have great provincial, eastern areas in the city. You can have small-town looks, you can have rural looks and you can play Boston for other locales.”

Shelburne Falls played the role of a small Indiana town for the shooting of “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr., due out this fall. (YouTube)

Shelburne Falls played the role of a small Indiana town for the shooting of “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr., due out this fall. (YouTube)

On average, Harrington says he manages 25 to 35 different locations for most films. The last one he worked on here racked up more than 100. A big part of Harrington’s job requires him to know a lot of people around the state. He is quite aware of where filmmakers are welcome and where they are not.

“There’s probably eight or 10 location managers in Boston, and a few of us have our towns that we like to film in because the selectman or the mayor or the police chief are easy to deal with,” Harrington explained. “Some towns can actually be a nightmare.”

Harrington says municipal workers are sometimes reluctant to cooperate because movie sets can be disruptive. Productions roll in and pretty much take over whole neighborhoods or downtown areas, creating a lot of extra work. Harrington is also the guy who handles complaints from residents who he says might say it took them 10 minutes to get home from work instead of five because of the traffic jam caused by trucks and police detail.

“And other times it can be a significant thing, like ‘My handicapped mother couldn’t get to her appointment because you had the road blocked off,’” Harrington said.

To do his job, this location manager seems to keep a mental catalog of countless streets and neighborhoods. And he notices subtle things — like how the quality of light in Boston is different than in LA or Venice.

This city’s underbelly is popular with directors, too. Harrington recalls a stinky, loud, rat-infested alley in the Back Bay.

“We scouted every alley in Boston, but the director and the designer were in love with this place. So we power washed the thing and put Clorox down. We made deals to shut off all the air conditioners,” Harrington recalled. “We made it work for the director. He was grateful for that.”

So was the locally-based sound man on the film, Tom Williams. He would’ve struggled to capture clean dialogue competing with the ventilation systems.

“Charlie is certainly the elder statesman of the scouts — there’s not doubt about that,” Williams said during a break in a shoot for “Black Mass.”

“I don’t know about elder statesman,” Harrington responded with a little smile. “It’s a young man’s job, and I’m 57. I’m still doing it. And sometimes when it gets stressful I feel like this is gonna be my last movie — and then once you get through it you’re like, ‘OK, bring on another one.’”

Harrington is currently managing locations for re-shoots on the upcoming Vince Vaughn comedy “Unfinished Business” that’s set to opens next year. He looks forward to seeing “Black Mass” and hopes the beautiful little barber shop he found in Southie makes the final cut.

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Perfectly Pressed, Or Perfectly Bloody: Local Pros Costume Hollywood Stars (AUDIO)

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Perfectly Pressed, Or Perfectly Bloody: Local Pros Costume Hollywood Stars

By Adrea Shea
WBUR
August 19, 2014

BOSTON — We recently reported on the growing film crew base in Massachusetts — the gaffers, sound men and costumers who live local but are finding steady work on Hollywood movies shooting here.

Now let’s go deeper into one of the creative areas in the filmmaking ecosystem, the costume department, where professionals work long hours day after day, taking meticulous care to create wardrobes for films like “The Social Network,” “American Hustle” and “Black Mass.”

Costumer supervisor Virginia Johnson inside her yarn and crafting supplies store Gather Here and Make Something (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Costumer supervisor Virginia Johnson inside her yarn and crafting supplies store Gather Here and Make Something (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

In December Virginia Johnson can focus her attention on running Gather Here, a yarn and crafting store she owns in Cambridge. But when filmmaking season starts gearing up a few months into winter, she goes into something of a production black hole, for weeks at a time, as a costume designer or supervisor.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Johnson admitted, adding that she warns friends and family that when she’s working on a film she’ll likely be incommunicado.

In the role of costume supervisor she said people often assume she gets to sew all of the time.

“And I have to tell them I actually spend a lot of time on a computer, because I’m one of the first people on who breaks down the script,” she said.

Johnson analyzes every scene and character so she can predict how much clothing will be needed for the filming. Then her team of tailors, stitchers, costumers, production assistants and shoppers gets to work. The buyers hit local vintage stores and Goodwills to search for everything from beat-up belts to platform shoes to those iconic sweatshirts Mark Zuckerberg’s character wore in “The Social Network.”

“People don’t think of it as period, but it actually is if you think about those early 2000s,” Johnson said, “and so we did a lot of vintage shopping and had stock that was coming in from Los Angeles.”

But they couldn’t find the exact sweatshirt, so Johnson asked her tailor to recreate them.

“We’re storytellers in everything we do. How we’re dressing people just enhances the story and helps you take that journey,” she explained.

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello are shown in a scene from “The Social Network.” (Columbia Pictures, Merrick Morton/AP)

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello are shown in a scene from “The Social Network.” (Columbia Pictures, Merrick Morton/AP)

Johnson just wrapped the Whitey Bulger biopic “Black Mass,” and she says everyone in that costume department lives locally except for the costume director and costume designer.

“We all have really specific tasks, and we do it really well,” Johnson said. “And if you don’t fill those roles and have people who are really good in those roles, then the system falls apart.”

One of the people Johnson has relied for a number of films, including the lacrosse film “Crooked Arrows,” is key costumer Honah Lee Milne. When asked to describe her involvement with (potentially) thousands of pieces of clothing, she said, “You know, we set them in the morning, we set them per each change, we have to clean them, we have to make sure that everything looks the way it supposed to look.”

In the film business everything needs to look perfect for every single shot. That could mean perfectly pressed, grungy, bloody or ripped. This is incredibly challenging because films are almost always shot out of sequence.

For example, if Johnny Depp is wearing a shirt for a scene one day that has three buttons undone and a coffee stain on his lapel, Milne and Johnson are responsible for ensuring those same three buttons are open when they pick up the scene the following day. This is called continuity, and Milne says the department is obsessed with it.

“Everything gets bagged and tagged with the scene number, the character’s number. We keep a continuity book of how they wore the clothes, what the clothing was, its label, brand, etc.” she explained. “It’s a very detailed process of what we do to track that clothing.”

Now they’re using a new locally designed app that catalogs all of that into a shared database. Even so Milne says every day on set is a gauntlet of problem solving — and she relishes it.

“When somebody says, ‘Hey, my zipper broke,’ you’re like, ‘What kind of break do you mean? What’s the situation here? Do I need to zipper wax it? Do I need to put a whole new zipper in? Can we rig it somehow? Can I sew you into that? How can we make this work?’ ”

Milne has posed this question to actors on “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Captain Phillips,” “R.I.P.D.,” and she is currently working on “Ted 2.” She unzipped one of her two costumer’s kits that’s packed with tools and remedies.

“This is my fanny pack,” she said with a laugh. “So what’s in here, let’s see? There’s a camera. Top stick, which is double-sided tape. A piece of fur from Jen Lawrence’s coat on ‘Hustle’ that I shoved in there. Many, many stain removers, some hair spray, some shaving cream — shaving cream takes out fake blood.”

Honah Lee Milne searches through her costume kit. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Honah Lee Milne searches through her costume kit. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

If Milne can’t conquer the fake blood — or when the on-set laundry she manages doesn’t suffice — supervisor Johnson turns to another local professional.

“I mean I’ve used the same dry cleaner for the last seven years on every single movie,” she said.

His name is Farshad Sayan, and he owns Clevergreen Cleaners, based in Medford. Sayan told me he took in 4,000 to 5,000 pieces of clothing from “Black Mass.” The bill was approximately $40,000. But he said not all of the films bring in that kind of cash.

“I can count the big accounts probably on one hand: ‘Knight and Day’ with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, that was a big-budget movie that we did. ‘R.I.P.D.’ was OK. It wasn’t that great.”

Last year he handled “American Hustle.” “That was a big-budget movie,” he said.

Farshad Sayan, a dry cleaner who owns Clevergreen Cleaners, has been working on movie wardrobes with Virginia Johnson for the last seven years. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Farshad Sayan, a dry cleaner who owns Clevergreen Cleaners, has been working on movie wardrobes with Virginia Johnson for the last seven years. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Sayan says he’s worked for more than 40 movies. One wall in his Medford store is covered with autographed photographs of stars, but he believes people like Johnson in the costume department deserve more credit.

“Some of them are so meticulous,” he said, “and the one thing that I have learned is I cannot have access to how much pressure they’re under. And when I think I have pressure in my job, and then I see what they go through in the short span of time and what they’re accountable for, it just gives a whole new perspective.”

There’s one artist on Johnson’s “Black Mass” team that does something I didn’t even know existed until now. Her title is ager-dyer.

“I will throw her a leather coat,” Johnson explained, “then I say, ‘This needs to look 10 years older and exactly like this leather coat that we found in this vintage store that we already used. Paint it, crackle it, do whatever you have to do to soften it up, but I’m going to use it on a photo double tomorrow.’ ”

“The first thing I did was take a belt sander to it,” ager/dyer Jill Thibeau recalled with a laugh. “Then I think I put it in the washing machine. I’ve definitely beaten up some beautiful clothing.”

Ager/Dyer Jill Thibeau makes costumes for films look older. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Ager/Dyer Jill Thibeau makes costumes for films look older. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

For “R.I.P.D.,” Thibeau shredded a $2,500 Italian suit. On the day I visited her work space at the “Black Mass” production offices, her assignment — which Johnson wrote in black Sharpie marker on a ubiquitous wardrobe tag — simply read, “To Make Old.”

“Most of what I do is just invisible,” Thibeau said as she rubbed a new black leather belt back and forth on a work table with the heel of her hand. “I do a lot of belts and a lot of shoes. You know these are things you’ll never notice in the movie. But they’re things that just set the atmosphere.”

One of Thibeau’s favorite tools is a dremel — a small, handheld, drill-like gadget – which she uses to soften edges on new things. As she sees it, she’s giving these items character and life.

On her desk sits a few labeled bottles filled with grimy liquid. She concocts her own blends to replicate varieties of dirt for different locales, including a Southie grime mix called “Black Mass” to brush on shoes or on the bottom of pants.

“Things that might just sort of hit the street as you walk every day,” Thibeau mused.

She also worked with two other ager/dyers on “Captain Phillips” where they had to conjure the color of the earth in Somalia.

Everything Thibeau does is hand work. None is digitally replicated. She knows full-well that her job is pretty unique.

“It’s a really tight niche,” she explained, “and I feel really lucky because it didn’t exist in Boston. I’ve been trying to carve out this role at a glacial pace over the last few years.”

Thibeau went to school for textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design and teaches at MassArt during the offseason. She says recreating ring-around-the-color and sweat stains on shirts worn by actors playing drug dealers is absolutely fulfilling.

“It’s really kind of odd, actually, that I’m just sitting in here working on spraying clothes. I’m kind of recreating the texture of drugs dealers and low-lifes,” she said, laughing. “It is interesting.”

Honah Lee Milne said the same about her job as key costumer.

“Everyday I’m like, ‘I’m going to work again, and this is so awesome that I get to go make a movie’ — and then in a year I get to go see it, and go, ‘All right, did I do a good job? Is that guy’s collar right?’ ”

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