MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, wasBfilmed in Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Lynn, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton and Tewksbury, Massachusetts in 2015.
LIMITED RELEASE NOVEMBER 18
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, wasBfilmed in Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Lynn, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton and Tewksbury, Massachusetts in 2015.
LIMITED RELEASE NOVEMBER 18
LIVE BY NIGHT, was partially filmed in Boston, Lawrence and North Andover, Massachusetts in 2015.
IN THEATERS JANUARY 2017
PATRIOT’S DAY, was filmed in filmed in Boston, Cambridge, Framingham, Hopkinton, Malden, Natick, Newton, Peabody, Quincy, Rockland, Somerville, Weymouth and Woburn, Massachusetts this year.
IN THEATERS SOON
LIVE BY NIGHT, was filmed in filmed in Boston, Lawrence and North Andover, Massachusetts in 2015.
IN THEATERS JANUARY 2017
By Matt Juul
September 9, 2016
The first teaser trailer for Ben Affleck’s upcoming Boston-set movie Live by Night hit the web on Thursday.
Although we’ve seen the actor portray a Bay State gangster before in The Town, his latest directorial effort will put a Prohibition era spin on Boston crime. Affleck plays the son of a police officer named Joe Coughlin who’s forced out of town and ends up becoming an outlaw in Florida during the 1920s.
While the trailer for Live by Night definitely looks intense, it’s hard not to laugh at Affleck’s ridiculous fedora.
Based on the book by author Dennis Lehane, Live by Night filmed in the Boston area, including Lawrence, last fall. The movie is Affleck’s second project based on a Lehane novel after directing 2007’s Gone Baby Gone.
The film—which also stars Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson, and Elle Fanning—is Affleck’s first time in the director’s chair for a film following his Academy Award-winning turn in Argo.
Originally set to hit theaters in October of next year, Warner Bros. recently moved up the release date for Live by Night to January 13, 2017. The movie will now be going head-to-head with a number of films with Boston ties this awards season, including Casey Affleck’s Manchester by the Sea and Mark Wahlberg’s Patriots Day.
Check out the first trailer for Live by Night above.
By Dave McNary
August 24, 2016
It’s not smooth sailing for Casey Affleck in the first trailer for “Manchester by the Sea,” dealing with his 16-year-old nephew’s rejection in the wake of his father’s death.
“You don’t want to be my guardian, that’s fine with me,” Lucas Hedges, who plays the spirited teen, tells Affleck’s character Lee Chandler.
The premise is that the beloved late brother (portrayed by Kyle Chandler) has made Affleck sole guardian of his nephew. Chandler is also forced to deal with a past that separated him from his now-estranged wife — played by Michelle Williams — and the community where he was born and raised.
“Manchester by the Sea” is Kenneth Lonergan’s third feature after “You Can Count on Me” and “Margaret.” It will screen at next month’s Toronto Film Festival in the Special Presentations section.
The family drama debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it sold to Amazon for $10 million. Amazon is partnering with Roadside Attractions for the film’s theatrical release, which will begin on Nov. 18.
By Diana Bruk
August 17, 2016
She may always be Miranda to us, but Cynthia Nixon has shown that she can play a wide range of roles since her Sex and the City days. She received accolades as Eleanor Roosevelt in the TV movie Warm Springs, though the film, like many of her recent movies, was a bit of a flop. Judging by the first trailer to A Quiet Passion, however, she may have finally found the role that allows her to showcase her remarkable range of talent.
Nixon plays Emily Dickinson in a biopic about the brilliant American poet’s troubled and lonely life. The film follows her upbringing in 1830s Amherst, Massachusetts all the way to her final years when she wrote hundreds of poems in total seclusion.
The film co-stars Jennifer Ehle as Dickinson’s sister, Lavinia, Keith Carradine as her father, Duncan Duff, Jodhi May, Joanna Bacon, and Catherine Bailey. It was written and directed by Terence Davies, who is best known for other period dramas like The House of Mirth, Sunset Song, and The Deep Blue Sea.
A Quiet Passion will premiere in the UK in September 2016.
SEA OF TREES was partially made in Ashland, Douglas, Foxborough, Marlborough, Northbridge, Princeton, Sutton and Worcester, Massachusetts in 2014.
By Elizabeth Stamp
July 12, 2016
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the summer’s most talked-about movie
More than 30 years after Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson stepped onto the screen as the Ghostbusters, the franchise has been revived and refreshed in time for summer blockbuster season. Helmed by director Paul Feig, who cowrote the movie with Katie Dippold, the reboot follows four new Ghostbusters (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones) as they save New York from a supernatural threat created by villain Rowan North (Neil Casey). Production designer Jefferson Sage, who has teamed with Feig on Bridesmaids, Spy, and The Heat, faced the monumental task of visualizing and realizing not only the something strange but also the neighborhood.
Production took place in Boston, with a few select filming locations and exteriors in New York. “We were lucky that in many ways Boston is architecturally like New York,” says Sage, who needed to find or create around 65 sets for the film. Three critical locations were the labs the Ghostbusters use throughout the movie, starting with the Higgins Institute of Science, where Abby (McCarthy) and Holtzmann (McKinnon) conduct their research. “We knew we were going to have several different labs that the Ghostbusters move between,” says Sage. “The arc of those places, the home bases, was important from the beginning.”
From the Higgins Institute, they move to a makeshift headquarters above a restaurant in Chinatown. Sage and his team found a building on the edge of Boston’s Chinatown and transformed it by covering windows, painting the exterior, and adding a garage to house their vehicle, the Ecto-1. The banquet room turned lab interior was built on a soundstage and was designed to look improvised. “It gave us an opportunity to have a little fun with what the space used to be and the ridiculous idea that the fate of humanity in New York City hangs on these guys doing this science surrounded by the banquet room’s leftover decor.”
When it came to the weapons and gadgets, Sage wanted everything—including the iconic proton packs—to feel cobbled together and evolve and improve throughout the film. “It gave them a little more cred as scientists and as engineers to do that rather than having them walk in with these full-blown things on their backs,” says Sage. The designer also called on a team of artists to dream up new weaponry that puts a twist on recognizable objects like a wood chipper or a bear trap. From there the visual effects team worked their magic to bring all the elements—both natural and supernatural—together into an eye-catching and entertaining experience.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL SLIDESHOW
July 11, 2016
The Los Angeles sound studio where Ghostbusters director Paul Feig is making final tweaks to the most divisive movie reboot in recent memory could double as a fanboy’s lair. A neon sign of the Ghostbusters logo glows from the back wall. Sound technicians are hunched over mixing boards in well-worn no-ghosts T-shirts. Action figures of Feig’s quartet of lady Ghostbusters — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon — are perched on tabletops, proton packs at the ready. And in the middle stands Feig, offering me a juice box of ghoulishly green Hi-C Ecto Cooler. “If you like sugar, you’ll love the Ecto Cooler!” he says. The drink, too, is a reboot, originally released as a tie-in to 1986’s The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, which, of course, arose from the beloved 1984 comedy-sci-fi blockbuster that taught a generation to fear marshmallows. It was brought back after lobbying from nostalgic fans and initially sold out, though you could buy it from profiteers on Amazon at $130 for a 12-pack.
Today, a little more than six weeks before Ghostbusters’ July 15 opening date, Feig is in good spirits, mostly because the kind of devotion that compels people to buy novelty juice packs has, per the results of test screenings in Arizona and California, been rewarded with an entertaining movie. “Women are giving crazy-high scores, and men are almost as high,” says Feig. “That’s all I care about, the true reaction.”
As we’re talking, Ivan Reitman, the director of the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and a producer on the reboot, stops by to tell Feig about another screening, this one for some of the stars of the original: Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray, who was famously allergic to all attempts — and there were many — to make a third Ghostbusters movie. (Founding Ghostbuster Harold Ramis died in 2014.)
“It’s too scary!” says Reitman. “Anyway, I smell it turning around.”
The “it” that Reitman is referring to would be the two years of internet hate that’s had Feig feeling under siege ever since he announced he’d be rebooting the franchise, complete with a new backstory and four female leads. All the movies that Feig has previously directed have been original stories, including his hits Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, but this is the first time he’s worked from what Hollywood calls “existing IP,” property that turned out to have a particularly vocal fan base of cyber-knuckle-draggers. In 2014, he tweeted that he’d be directing the all-lady cast. “The first wave of reactions was ‘Oh my God! This is the best thing ever!’ ” he says. But a day later, “the second wave was, ‘How dare you make this with women?’ I mean, straight-up misogyny. ‘Hope you die under a bus and taste your own blood.’ Stuff like that. And you’re like, ‘I was just going to make a comedy about ghosts!’ ”
Feig certainly isn’t the first person to reboot an iconic cultural artifact, but to lump Ghostbusters in with, say, Planet of the Apes is to discount just how huge it loomed in the Zeitgeist of its time. “What people forget,” says Reitman, “is that Ghostbusters, a movie that nobody was talking about prior to its release, ended up being No. 1 almost all summer.” Ray Parker Jr.’s movie theme song, with it’s “Who ya gonna call?” refrain, topped the Billboard Hot 100. The tie-in toys were everywhere. Then came the Saturday-morning cartoon. As a 6-year-old girl in 1984, I personally spent every day after school for at least a year running around a playground pretending to fight imaginary specters. This was a movie that defined childhoods, that inspired comedy careers, and that some men, it seems, feel belongs only to them. “I didn’t realize that for certain older guys, the original Ghostbusters is the equivalent of a tree house that has the no girls allowed sign on it,” says Feig. “And I think they look at me as the guy who came up, took the sign, lit it on fire, and then painted the inside of the tree house pink.”
Reitman tells me that the vitriol has him confused, too. Casting the original movie, he says, “There wasn’t even a thought about gender. It was just, ‘These guys are all funny. We’re going to do it.’ I never thought it was male-exclusive. None of us did.”
Whoever these haters are, they’re organized, and they’ve already launched a successful campaign to make the movie’s trailer the most disliked in YouTube history. “Look, if you want to take something down, that’s a brilliant way to do it,” says Feig. But the 906,000 YouTube jeers hardly seem significant, given the admittedly underwhelming trailer’s 34 million total views, and it’s tough to imagine the outcry actually hurting the movie’s box-office potential in any real way. “We have to remember there are like 13 people who are very vocal,” says McCarthy of the online antagonists, “and I hope they get a friend, or a hobby, or at least come out of their mother’s basement.”
To be fair, the trolls have been picking at some low-hanging sour PR fruit. There was an early email of Feig’s, leaked in the Sony hack, in which he called his take “a billion dollar idea” and promised “ghost aliens.” (That’s been scrapped.) And there was also a leak about Sony simultaneously developing a presumably all-male Ghostbusters with Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt. “I don’t know where that came from,” Feig says of the latter. “But somebody thought, Let’s say, ‘Don’t worry, there’s a guys’ one coming.’ Which is insulting to womankind.” And then there were ads during the NBA Finals featuring Kobe Bryant, Spike Lee, and Carmelo Anthony as Ghostbusters — but none of the film’s actresses, prompting speculation that the studio was so worried about getting men to the theater that they were willing to trick them into thinking the movie doesn’t star women.The smart move would be to disengage from the chatter, but that goes against Feig’s desire for discourse. He didn’t block anyone on Twitter for a year and a half, and the only time he really lost it was when he got wine-drunk on vacation in Capri with his wife, Laurie, a former talent manager, and told one of his most persistent harassers to “go f*** yourself.” “I sent it and I felt so good,” says Feig. “And then, when I was in bed that night, I was like, ‘I shouldn’t have done that.’ ”
Now he constantly has to explain that he doesn’t think all people who are against his movie are women-haters. Nor does he believe the geek community is full of assholes (which he did say, but in a different, benign context). Even today, as he fine-tunes the audio for an epic Times Square ghost battle orchestrated by a megalomaniac who’s possessed the body of the Ghostbusters’ hunky receptionist (played by Chris Hemsworth), Feig can’t escape his own, not-so-private war. He glances at his phone, and there it is again.
“A new one,” he says, sighing. “There’s a website, Scified, that hammers me.” He opens the link and reads aloud: “ ‘From its conceptualization, this movie was intended to offend …’ ”
“Okay,” he says sarcastically, “that was my intention.”
The pop-culture-loving outcasts of America ought to know by now that Feig is one of them. He did, after all, create the revered, short-lived 1999 TV series Freaks and Geeks, based on his teenage years as a member of the drama and forensics clubs in a Detroit suburb in the late ’70s. “I always think it’s funny that Paul made Freaks and Geeks, about all these childhood humiliations,” says Judd Apatow, who was the show’s executive producer, “and then as soon as it was over, when we thought he’d told us everything, he wrote a book” — Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence — “with like a hundred more humiliations we had never heard. There’s a deep well.”
Feig himself looks like a cartoon illustrator’s creation. He wears a custom-tailored three-piece suit to work every day — an affectation he picked up because he believes it gives him an edge on executives in pitch meetings. On set, he’ll carry one of the 60-some antique walking sticks he has in his collection (though he walks just fine). On the Ghostbusters set, he favored a 19th-century snakewood cane adorned with a silver skull that had originally been a graduation gift to a medical student. A shipment with two more arrives during my visit, one topped with a snake, the other with a fish eating another fish. “Just like Hollywood,” Feig says.
As an only child who considered his mom his best friend and hung out with six sisters who lived next door, Feig found that, growing up, he was bothered by how movies of the 1970s and ’80s portrayed women. “Like in 48 Hrs., the guys are cool,” he says, “but the women are running around getting their tops pulled off while they’re screaming.” Even in more contemporary comedies, he’d noticed a pattern of women getting cast as the bitchy foils to the male heroes. He points to Rachael Harris’s mean-girlfriend part in The Hangover and a similar Sarah Silverman part in Richard Linklater’s School of Rock. “I love that movie, but I was like, ‘Why is she not getting to be funny?’ ”
He thought he could offer something different, comedy from a female perspective and with an underlying warmth, “versus a bunch of guys together, and it’s name-calling and homophobic references and punching.” But other than via his memorably flawed and funny Freaks and Geeks characters Lindsay Weir and Kim Kelly, he hadn’t had a chance to try. After that show’s cancellation, he spent years failing to launch another show. Then the first movie he directed for a studio, 2006’s Christmas comedy Unaccompanied Minors, flopped, and he found himself deep in what he calls “movie jail,” with studios refusing to approve him even for low-stakes kids’ movies. He resigned himself to directing TV — Mad Men, Arrested Development, The Office — and, at his nadir, a 2009 internet commercial for Macy’s in which Donald Trump marches into a kids’ bake sale, finds a protégé, and turns him into a winner. (As he tells this story, Feig pulls out his phone to show me a photo of himself with Hillary Clinton.)
“It was really Judd [Apatow] calling me up when no one would hire me and asking me if I wanted to do Bridesmaids that dug me out of it,” he says. Since that movie’s game-changing success, Feig has strategically been trying to up the spectacle factor of each of his films — a buddy-cop comedy (2013’s The Heat, with McCarthy and Sandra Bullock), his version of James Bond (2015’s Spy, with McCarthy and Rose Byrne), and finally, in Ghostbusters, a bona fide summer tentpole — all with the goal of making women-led comedies that can also translate overseas. “Because,” he says, “all you hear when you’re trying to make a movie with women is ‘They don’t sell internationally. Foreign audiences won’t go see women in a movie.’ I don’t believe that’s true.”
McCarthy, the actress with whom he is most closely linked and has had his biggest hits, credits Feig with her movie career: “There’s a reason I’ve done four movies, and I hope to do 40 someday, with that spectacular fella,” she says. “He not only gave me the opportunity, which was massive, but also gave me the confidence and the technical skills to at least give it my best shot. I don’t even know how to qualify it, it’s so important to me.” And Byrne, who first worked with Feig on Bridesmaids, says he’s a big reason she ever gets to act with other women. “As far as I’m concerned, having more than two females in a movie is like seeing a unicorn.”
Or a ghost. Feig, who saw Ghostbusters on opening night in 1984, while a film student, had actually been offered the keys to the franchise before. He turned down the chance to direct a Reitman-approved script for Ghostbusters 3 — which would have had old cast members training a new team of three men and one women. Twice. And he wasn’t the only one to say no. “People were really nervous about taking it on because it was the movie that made this whole generation of directors want to be directors,” says Amy Pascal, then head of Sony Pictures, who is Reitman’s co-producer. Feig recalls that when Pascal asked why everyone was treating the movie like kryptonite, he “went on a half-an-hour diatribe about why nobody would touch it.”
Still, Pascal was convinced that, in this era in which most comedies are either R-rated or cartoons, Feig had the right sensibility to make a genuinely funny PG-13 film. “There’s an innocence to him. He finds the funny in the humanity of people,” she says. “And he always has that outsider’s view, and that’s what this movie needed to be about. It needed to be about true believers who are undaunted regardless of what anyone else thinks.”
Reitman was warier, but Feig, he says, “said very smart things about what he thought was the reason for the success of the two Ghostbusters I directed, and seemed very respectful. I felt he could be trusted with it.” Feig has since gotten the endorsement of nearly every member of the original cast — Aykroyd, Hudson, Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Ramis’s son, and even Murray — in the form of a cameo. And he’s heeded Reitman’s postproduction notes, including ones related to issues with the specifics of the slime. “I’m happier with its color now,” Reitman says.
In taking on what he calls “sacred canon,” Feig and his co-writer, Katie Dippold, who also wrote The Heat, rewatched the original two movies and made a list of everything they’d be bummed not to see if someone else were making a new one, including the Ecto 1 car, ghost traps, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and, of course, fan-favorite apparition Slimer. Feig even tried to make Slimer a puppet, out of nostalgia for homespun ’80s-era special effects, but decided it wouldn’t pass the scrutiny of a new generation. Most of the ghosts, however, are played by stunt actors covered in LED lights, and Feig hopes it looks that way. “If everybody thinks we actually shot these with people in costumes,” he says, “I will be so happy.”
Feig and Dippold envisioned the movie, at its heart, as the story of two estranged paranormal-scientist friends — Wiig’s Erin Gilbert, now tenure-track at Columbia in a more “legitimate” field, and McCarthy’s Abby Yates, ever a believer — who must come together when a mystery villain starts harnessing the energy of the dead and awakening them to ravage the city. They’re joined by McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann, the group’s mad equipment master, and Jones’s Patty Tolan, an MTA worker with a vast knowledge of underground tunnels and New York City history, who’s been spotting ghosts at work. “Well, it looks like they’re going to Queens,” says Patty in one fight scene as a ghost tries to escape on the subway. “He’s going to be the third-scariest thing on that train.”
The cast, too, understands how seminal this all is. “The 12-year-old version of me was passing out,” says McCarthy about getting the call. And Wiig, who hasn’t been a lead in a studio comedy since Bridesmaids, and not for lack of offers, reached out to Feig about being involved. “I said, ‘If you need anybody to help with craft services, I’ll be there,’ ” she recalls.
But, really, they just wanted to work with Feig, who’s both a master at encouraging funny performances and a great appreciator of them. “Paul’s the first one to ruin a take because he’s laughing so hard,” says McCarthy. Plus he and his wife often rented a boat on weekends to take the cast and crew out for dance parties on the river in Boston, where the film was mostly shot. “He dances like an official white man,” says Jones. “It’s just like the Funky Chicken, in the wrong way.”
As opening day approaches, Feig can’t help but think about the stakes of making a $150 million movie. “A movie like this has to at least get to like $500 million worldwide, and that’s probably low,” he says. “But the thing I care about most is the industry looking for an excuse to say, ‘See, a tentpole can’t be carried by female leads’ ” — three of whom are over 40. “I cashed in all my chips,” he says. “I had to use every chip to make this happen. And if this doesn’t work, I will probably have to go back to movie jail.”
So why risk it? “I wanted for little girls to be able to see themselves up on the screen,” Feig says. “The original one exists, so you can see boys doing it, but how fun for girls to have this experience!” That’s why he pushed so hard for new Ghostbusters action figures. “There was some resistance,” he says, “because there’s a fear that boys wouldn’t buy toys from a movie starring girls. But guys have such great feelings of nostalgia because the original had a lot of gear. I’d like girls to be able to put on a proton pack and run around.”
He then tells me about one especially bright moment that arose in the midst of all the misogyny, when he checked his Twitter and saw a photo of a 6-year-old girl wearing a Ghostbusters uniform that she and her dad had made. “This little girl, she looked so tough and cool,” he says, “and I burst into tears, because I was like, ‘That’s why we’re making this movie!’ ”
*This article appears in the July 11, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.
By Madisen Quick
Boston Common Magazine
July 6, 2016
Who you gonna call? America’s favorite fantastical franchise is getting a reboot as Ghostbusters lands in theaters on July 15 starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.
Before you strap on your proton pack and head to the theater, here’s what you need to know about the movie, filmed almost entirely in Boston.
The ‘Busters are Boston-based
The majority of the film was shot in Boston doubling for New York City, which was made believable by digital remastering and crafty props (including NYC taxis that confused many Financial District residents). Keep on the lookout during the film for local landmarks like Oliver Street, Emmanuel College, and Chinatown.
The Lead Roles Are All Women
Once producers agreed on an all-female team, there were casting rumors about Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Rebel Wilson. In the end, Feig went with a hilarious Saturday Night Live-based cast, just like the original film.
The Movie Was Inspired by TV’s Top Horror Show
Not many of us were shaking in our seats after the 1984 film, but it might be a different case in 2016 as director Paul Feig said he was “very inspired” by The Walking Dead in the making of Ghostbusters. Easily scared? No worries. Feig is also the director of the best side-splitting comedies of recent years including Bridesmaids (2011) and The Heat (2013) so you’re sure to be laughing throughout as well.
There’s Eye-Candy Aplenty
A gender-swapped cast means that the parapsychologists’ secretary, originally Annie Potts, is now known as Kevin, played by Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth, Australian accent and all.
The ECTO-1 Gets Revamped
You would expect these 2016 spirit-slayers to be riding in the latest cars, but the film opted for a 1984 Cadillac hearse in honor of the year the original Ghostbusters was released. Chris Hemsworth’s character will also by driving the first Ghostbusters motorcycle, the ECTO-2.
Look out for Familiar Faces
While the movie is considered a reboot, many actors from the original will make cameos in the new film including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and even the Ghostbuster‘s first victim, Slimer.
Spot One of Your Neighbors
On July 28-30, 2015, the film called Boston locals to the Wang Theatre to play extras in the movie’s concert scene, with a casting call for “older people who look like metal heads.”
By Mark Shanahan
July 1, 2016
Massachusetts made GHOSTBUSTERS was filmed in Boston, Brookline, Easton, Everett, Norwood, Waltham, South Weymouth and Waltham in 2015. IN THEATERS THIS JULY
IN THEATERS THIS JULY
SAG-AFTRA New England
SAG-AFTRA Contracts: Demystified
How you can hire professional actors for your low budget project
Yes, you can afford to use professional actors in your low budget project! Shooting your project under a SAG-AFTRA Agreement has never been easier; we have a contract for every budget level. Let us walk you through the signatory process of the Short Film Agreement and the Ultra Low Budget Agreement and find out how easy it is to work with these contracts. The workshop will also highlight other simple agreements that you can sign to use professional actors in your student films and webisodes.
WHO: Filmmakers who want to work with professional actors
WHERE: Boston Center for Adult Education
122 Arlington St., Boston, MA 02116
WHEN: Thursday, May 26, 2016, 7 – 9 p.m.
WHY: This free workshop is provided as a service to educate and strengthen New England’s filmmaking community and to highlight the benefits and ease of casting professional actors.
SPACE IS LIMITED! Please RSVP to Jessica Maher at email@example.com.
This workshop will be offered again in the year. If you are unable to attend this session, please send an email and request to be notified of the next seminar.
By Gayle Fee
March 21, 2016
When you need some scientific expertise for a movie about busting ghosts, who you gonna call? Well, MIT of course!
So when “Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig and his props peeps needed some help designing the proton packs for his all-girl gang of “Ghostbusters,” they reached out to Dr. James Maxwell, a nuclear physicist at the school for wicked smart science nerds in Cambridge.
“I geeked out and wrote a whole thesis on it,” Maxwell told the Track. “I wrote a fake abstract like a quack might give at a scientific conference to try and convince people that it is real.”
Maxwell, whose real job was studying the makeup of nucleons for reasons that are way above our pay grade, is featured on a new “Ghostbusters” website, paranormalstudieslab.com, explaining how the ghostbusting equipment could work.
“The proton pack was already designed by the prop folks and I had to assess this thing and kind of form in my own mind how a ghost-catching device would work,” he said. “So it was kind of a fun day of me sitting around thinking about how you could build one of these things on such a small scale.”
Maxwell tweaked the design to make it appear more scientifically plausible and a colleague, MIT prof Lindley Winslow, wrote up all the scientific formulas and notes that are scattered around the “Ghostbusters” lab.
Speaking of which, when Feig got a peek at Maxwell’s lab in Cambridge — which featured a very cool piece of equipment called a polarized helium 3 apparatus — he decided the “Ghostbusters” had to have one.
“So they asked me to make a fake helium polarizing apparatus and I contacted some glass blowers and borrowed some derelict equipment from MIT,” he said.
Before he knew it, Feig and even Melissa McCarthy were ringing up Maxwell to get his take on certain lines in the script that had to do with their pseudo science.
“I think they’re definitely using some of my words. It’s an honor,” he said.
Especially since, Maxwell said, the original “Ghostbusters” movie actually inspired him to become a scientist.
“When we were young, my friends and I used to play ‘Ghostbusters’ on the playground. We all had the action figures,” he said. “I became a nuclear physicist, my best friend has his Ph.D. in chemistry. It speaks to a certain degree of how important it is to have scientific role models in film, particularly female scientists. We want more women to get involved with physics.”
Which is why Maxwell thinks the Internet trolls who are down on the all-female cast — McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnonand Leslie Jones— deserved to be Slimed!
“I don’t know why people are making such a big deal of that,” he said. “Paul Feig was looking for the funniest actors and I think he found them.”
BTW, in case you were wondering, Maxwell — who now works at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Labin Virginia — ain’t afraid of no ghost, because he doesn’t believe in them.
“No, sorry, I don’t think there are ghosts,” he said. “There’s no scientific explanation for ghosts and if there were, it wouldn’t be such a fun area for ‘Ghostbusters’ to play around in.”
By Bryanna Cappadona
March 9, 2016
From Chinatown to the Financial District.
In case you missed it, the majority of the new Ghostbusters reboot—though it takes place in New York City—was filmed in Boston.
The very first trailer for the movie, starring four lady leads, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, came out last week. Now, a new international trailer for Ghostbusters (above) has hit the web, and if you’re any sort of Bostonian, you’ll surely recognize some signature spots from around the city.
Here, a guide to the Boston locations we found in this trailer, in chronological order.
1. Oliver Street in the Financial District (00:38)
It looks like the filmmakers did some digital remastering on Oliver Street (see below). A July 2015 report from Boston Business Journal said the movie actually closed down Oliver, Milk and Batterymarch—that whole block in the Financial District, save for Franklin Street—for a shoot.
Here, you see the Langham Hotel’s red overhangs have been changed to blue, and the parking garage was altered to be an office space with retail on the ground floor. Looks like they did keep the window graphics from Tossed, the salad spot on the corner of Milk and Oliver Street, but toned down the green color.
2. Emmanuel College’s Yawkey Center (00:47)
That door Kristen Wiig’s character approaches is outside the Yawkey Center at Emmanuel College in Fenway. The campus was set up to double as New York City’s Columbia University, according to People.com.
3. Kaze Shabu Shabu in Chinatown (00:58)
The exterior of the restaurant, on the corner of Harrison Ave and Essex Street in Chinatown (see below), was made over to be “Zhu’s Authentic Hong Kong Food.” The trailer alludes to the new Ghostbusters’ headquarters being based here.
4. Federal Street in the Financial District (01:17)
This shot also appears to have been remastered. The Ghostbusters are, uh, ghostbusting in front what appears to be Santander Bank on Federal Street (see below). It looks like the filmmakers, though, turned the Rockpoint Group building on 75-101 Federal into some other retail or business space. Here’s a liveshot of the production set up on 100 Federal Street (the base of Boston’s famous Pregnant Building) right across the street from Santander.
5. Wang Theatre in Boston’s Theatre District, Downtown (01:24)
Ghostbusters filmed a big concert scene at the Wang last July. They held an open casting call for older people who looked like metalheads to play the audience in the sequence.
6. South Weymouth Naval Air Station in Weymouth, Massachusetts (01:35)
The studio built a 35,000-square-foot soundstage (see below) on the runways of the former air naval base located 12 miles outside of Boston. It was used to construct a replica of New York City’s Times Square, which you can make out in the birdseye image below. You can also check out the stage from all angles on Google Maps here.
*That’s not one of our subway tunnels, though it looks like it (00:35)
Though this definitely resembles the inside of the Green Line tunnel with the ground-level tracks—specifically, like Boylston Street Station with the attributable curve in the route—it’s actually not. MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said the movie’s location manager certainly took a tour of Boylston Street Station, but filmmakers decided to build their own set for the subway scenes.
“Perhaps the Green Line tunnel lacks the supernatural qualities the director was probably seeking,” Pesaturo added.
By Steve Annear
March 04, 2016
Paul Feig put a lot of time and effort into designing the ghoul-blasting, apparition-capturing weapons used in the new “Ghostbusters” film set for release this summer.
In fact, the director and his team were so determined to perfect the arsenal of scientific weaponry used by the film’s characters that they enlisted the help of a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher to explain the dynamics of the complex devices.
In a video quietly released at the same time as the “Ghostbusters” movie’s first official trailer Thursday, James Maxwell, who worked as a technical adviser to filmmakers shooting in Boston last year, breaks down the science behind the “proton packs.”
“The first thing that they asked me was, ‘How would a proton pack work with as few huge leaps of miraculous science as possible?’” Maxwell says in the behind-the-scenes video, which is called “Busting Ghosts with Science.”
Maxwell goes on to explain that he looked at the proton packs featured in the 1980s “Ghostbusters” movie, and then, with a few tweaks, created an updated version. He then lists the parts of the proton packs, which include a “Synchrotron,” a cryogen system, and superconducting magnets.
“Particle accelerators are real. Superconducting magnets are real — the big leaps of faith are actually doing it in the space [of the proton packs] that’s allowed,” Maxwell says in the video.
In an e-mail Friday, Maxwell explained that he got the opportunity to work with Feig after filmmakers visited MIT’s campus.
Workers from the film’s props department, he said, toured his lab looking for inspiration for the movie.
“They took photos of a bunch of compelling equipment in the labs around MIT, and, in particular, the Laboratory for Nuclear Science,” Maxwell said. “When they showed Paul Feig the photos, he apparently pointed to my apparatus and had to have it. So I came on to replicate my MIT lab.”
At the time the new movie was made, Maxwell was a postdoctoral student at MIT’s Lab for Nuclear Science. He recently took a job at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia after spending three years conducting research at the Cambridge school.
Maxwell got to be on hand for the filming of the lab scenes, and even got to explain to that cast what his personal research was about.
“The gadget consulting came a bit later,” he said. “It was my job to explain in credible terms what each of the scientific-looking components would actually do. I had a good deal of fun with it.”
The video clip featuring Maxwell shows off Feig’s reimagined version of the classic gadgets used in the first film by the Ghostbusters team, which included characters played by Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
The new film features an all-female group of Ghostbusters, played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon.
It also shows off whiteboards and pieces of paper on the film’s set that are scrawled with scientific formulas. Maxwell says in the video that the writing was done by one of his former colleagues.
A link to find the “secret” video featuring Maxwell was hidden in the writing on a whiteboard in the trailer dropped this week.
The message directs people to a website for the Paranormal Studies Lab. It’s there that detailed schematics of the proton packs, ECTO-1 car, and traps used to capture ghouls appear.
Feig told Entertainment Weekly recently he wanted to make the devices realistic — and show the new Ghostbusters creating them.
“I didn’t like the idea of them being handed technology. I wanted to see it develop — I’m such a tech head,” Feig said.
Massachusetts made GHOSTBUSTERS was filmed in Boston, Brookline, Easton, Everett, Norwood, Waltham, South Weymouth and Waltham in 2015. IN THEATERS THIS JULY
IN THEATERS THIS JULY
By Kristin Toussaint
February 22, 2016
In a speech at the Athena Film Festival, she praised how the film’s characters were represented.
Ghostbusters, set for a July 15 release date, may not be the most realistic concept, but to actress Kate McKinnon, the new movie is truthful in the way it represents women — specifically, female scientists.
In a speech McKinnon gave at the Athena Film Festival, a celebration of women in the industry that took place this past week in New York City, McKinnon talked about the virtues of getting to wear “ugly jumpsuits.” She also praised her Ghostbusters director Paul Feig—who has worked with leading women through multiple directorial efforts, including Spy, The Heat, and Bridesmaids—for how he portrays women throughout the film.
Feig received the Leading Man Award, which honors someone who is a strong advocate for women onscreen and behind the scenes, according to the festival. Feig is Athena Film Festival’s first-ever male honoree.
“We filmed [Ghostbusters] in Boston over the summer, and the best part of the summer was getting to wear a jumpsuit,” McKinnon said in her speech, according to Vulture. “I wore pants the whole time and my hair was up the whole time. … It sounds like a small thing that I got to wear pants and have my hair up, but it’s actually a really big thing because we were playing scientists.”
In her speech, McKinnon also noted how monumental it was that Mattel made dolls of the Ghostbusters characters — without adding unnecessary cleavage — and how the jumpsuits will be available as girls’ Halloween costumes.
“While we were filming, Paul would sometimes release pictures of how things were going, the costumes or whatever. And we’d get a wonderful email from him whenever someone would tweet back a picture of their daughter rocking a Ghostbusters jumpsuit and a proton pack, which happened a lot,” she said. “It’s sweet and it’s cute, but it’s also actually quite new and quite huge. This morning, I Googled ‘girl’s Halloween costume,’ and I can tell you with scientific certainty that those jumpsuits will be the only girls’ Halloween costumes available this October that include pants.”
Read more of McKinnon’s speech at Vulture.