News & Events

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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Behind The Scenes, Mass. Film Crews Rise (Audio)

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Behind The Scenes, Mass. Film Crews Rise

By Adrea Shea
WBUR
August 6, 2014

BOSTON — Recently there’ve been catering trucks idling on Beacon Hill, transplanted palm trees that turned Revere Beach into Miami Beach, and Johnny Depp creepily transformed into James “Whitey” Bulger.

But for every Hollywood actor passing through Boston to make movies, there are dozens of local crewmembers working long hours on set.

“It’s not a job where you’re like, ‘Hey, look at me,’ ” key costumer Honah Lee Milne, a Dorchester resident, said with a laugh. “You’re like, ‘Hey, don’t see me, I’m hiding behind this person.’ ”

Milne has dressed actors for a slew of locally shot films, including Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.”

Dorchester resident and costumer Honah Lee Miln has dressed actors for a slew of locally shot films, including “American Hustle.” (Francois Duhamel/ Columbia Pictures)

Dorchester resident and costumer Honah Lee Miln has dressed actors for a slew of locally shot films, including “American Hustle.” (Francois Duhamel/ Columbia Pictures)

Big-budget costume departments work out of 53-foot wardrobe trucks packed with racks of clothing, Milne says. She says passersby are usually fascinated by the filmmaking activity on the streets — but not always. Sometimes she’ll be unloading the trucks and a rogue motorist will drive by and yell, “Go back to Hollywood!”

“And you’re like, ummm, we live here,” she said with a bemused laugh.

“There is a strange conception on these films that everybody was shipped in, and that’s not true at all,” added Virginia Johnson, a costume supervisor and sometimes-designer. “My current project, everyone except for the designer and her assistant is a Boston local.”

Dorchester resident and costumer Honah Lee Miln. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Dorchester resident and costumer Honah Lee Miln. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Johnson’s current film is “Black Mass,” which she’s just wrapping up, and she also worked on “American Hustle” with Milne. Both have been in the business since around 2007 and shared a trajectory where one movie job has led to another.

“I did ‘The Women’ back in 2007, and that led to Richard Kelly’s ‘The Box,’ ” Johnson recalled. “And then that became ‘Surrogates.’ You just sort of travel from show to show. Definitely a high point was getting to work on ‘The Social Network’ just because it has so many roots in the Cambridge.”

Milne calls her fellow crew members “non-nomadic carnies.” But Johnson admits she has pondered Hollywood.

“There was definitely a moment in 2008 where I had a conversation with my partner, like, ‘Do you think we stay or go?’ ” she said. “Because both of us at that moment had worked on three or four major motion pictures and we wondered, should we move?”

Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, says she’s heard that story before.

“There are about 4,500 film professionals in Massachusetts,” she said. “And about 1,200 to 1,400 are in the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees.”

That’s the union for film crew, including gaffers, grips, set dressers and location managers.

“And that’s a good number,” Strout explained. “A lot of our competitors really don’t have the crew base that we have.”

The competitors Strout refers to are the 40 other states that have film tax incentives. Massachusetts started offering a 25 percent tax credit in 2007 to entice movies to shoot here. At the time people questioned whether the local crew base would be big enough and experienced enough to handle the influx.

Mass. Crew Base A Big Selling Point

Strout’s job is to promote the state as a good place to make movies. These days, she says, crew is a huge selling point when she’s trying to woo Hollywood producers.

“It’s one of the very first things we talk about,” she said. “They don’t want to bring everybody. They really want there to be a local crew base, because just traveling people, housing, per diem — all that sort of thing is very expensive.”

In 2011, when Strout started at the film office, nine major productions shot in Massachusetts. The number jumped to 23 in 2013. So far this year there are already 22.

Strout says the crew base’s evolution is playing a big role. “There’s nothing better than to hear a producer say, ‘I’ve met people on the Massachusetts crew that I would take with me anywhere in the world.’ ”

Most Hollywood films hire unionized crew. Twenty years ago Chris O’Donnell used to be a boom operator in the film industry, but now he’s the business manager of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 481, based in Woburn.

“When I started this job in 2003 the membership in this local was probably about 350. It is now closer to 900,” he said. “So there’s been a dramatic increase in the numbers of members, but I think as important has been a dramatic increase in the improvement of the members.”

O’Donnell says producers used to import their key people from Los Angeles or New York. Not anymore.

“For example,” he said, “if you walked down to the set of ‘Black Mass,’ everybody in Local 481 positions are hired locally. And that didn’t happen 10 years ago.”

That said, O’Donnell admits just a few years ago some new members didn’t have the skills Hollywood demands, so he hired a training coordinator and spends upwards of 20 percent of the Local 481’s annual budget on education. O’Donnell says it’s paying off.

“Black Mass” assistant director Shelley Ziegler agrees. She’s come to Massachusetts a few times before with other film projects.

“Just speaking from ‘The Fighter’ to ‘American Hustle’ I could see definitely a difference in the number of people who applied, and who were qualified to apply,” she said. “There is a skill level.”

Ziegler has been living in Cambridge since she started scouting and hiring for “Black Mass” this past March. She says a highly skilled, local crew base is critical because a film production is a huge, expensive organism with many moving parts. If there’s one weak link, “It’s like a domino,” Ziegler said.

She estimates about 150 local technicians were used for “Black Mass,” including production sound mixer Tom Williams. He records the dialogue on set.

“I’ve been doing it awhile, and I’m lucky enough to be at the point where I’m doing studio pictures here,” he said next to a catering truck at one of the film’s downtown locations. “I mean, the studios know who I am. At first they were unwilling to take a chance.”

Big Fish, Smaller Pond

There was a time when filmworkers were itinerant, “or that it was a circus, or we were a bunch of gypsies,” Williams mused. But now he says he’s booked locally through the year, which is nice since this is where he lives. Next month, Williams will start working on the new Disney film, “The Finest Hours.”

But this career soundman isn’t banking on Massachusetts.

He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1984 and started his career doing freelance sound for commercials and documentaries. Williams moved on to record dialogue for “Surrogates,” “R.I.P.D.,” “Underdog,” “American Hustle” and “Equalizer” in Massachusetts. Even with the steady feature film work, he says he’ll continue to make himself available to productions filming out-of-state.

“Because you don’t know if the [tax] credit is going to stay,” he said. “Sooner or later it could go away. You know, we could have a negative environment. Since this is what I do, I have to be prepared for it not to be here and for me to go to it.” Then with a laugh Williams added, “Cause [sound] is all I’ve done!”

And lighting is all gaffer Frans Wetterings has done.

“I went to college for it, I went to BU,” he said. “I’m originally from California, and I decided it was better to be a big fish in a small town than a small fish in a big town, so I stayed.”

Wetterings spoke with me on the set of Woody Allen’s upcoming film that’s being shot in Newport, Rhode Island.

Gaffer Frans Wetterings’ production company currently has about 25 employees working on a Woody Allen film in Rhode Island. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Gaffer Frans Wetterings’ production company currently has about 25 employees working on a Woody Allen film in Rhode Island. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

He and his partner took a chance on the industry 12 years ago when they opened a lighting production company in Allston called Red Herring Motion Pictures, Inc. Wetterings said he’s got about 25 employees working on Allen’s latest creation.

And even though he’s from California, Wetterings prefers Boston. He also says more of his film industry peers feel the same way.

“People are moving here from LA because it’s a better place to raise your family, the quality of life is better, it’s not as fast-paced,” he said.

Then Wetterings pointed out that the just-released film “Sex Tape,” which he also worked on, is set in LA but was filmed in Boston.

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PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IS UNDERWAY ON SEA OF TREES IN MASSACHUSETTS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IS UNDERWAY ON THE SEA OF TREES

Two-time Academy Award® Nominee Gus Van Sant Directs Oscar® Winner Matthew McConaughey,
Nominees Ken Watanabe, Naomi Watts

Producers Include Two-time Oscar Nominee Life of Pi Producer Gil Netter

MASSACHUSETTS and TOKYO, JAPAN (July 30, 2014) – BLOOM, Waypoint Entertainment and Netter Productions announced that two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) began principal photography on THE SEA OF TREES. The film stars Oscar winner Mathew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Drive). Two-time Academy Award nominated producer Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side), Ken Kao (Rampart, Knight of Cups, Silence) and Kevin Halloran (Million Dollar Arm, Parental Guidance, Water For Elephants) are producing, based on the Black List script by Chris Sparling (Buried). F. Gary Gray, Brian Dobbins and Allen Fischer are also producers. The film will shoot on location in Massachusetts and in Japan.

Ken Kao and Alex Walton’s international sales, production and financing company, BLOOM, launched and introduced THE SEA OF TREES in Cannes, and by the end of the festival had virtually sold out the world.

Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur’s will to live and reconnects him to his love with his wife (Watts).

Joining director Gus Van Sant, the creative team includes editor Pietro Scalia who won Oscars for his work on both JFK and Black Hawk Down and was Oscar nominated for Good Will Hunting and Gladiator, Emmy nominated production designer Alex DiGerlando (Beasts of the Southern Wild, HBO’s True Detective), director of photography Kasper Tuxen (Beginners), Oscar nominated costume designer Danny Glicker (Milk, Up In The Air) and make up department head Felicity Bowring (The Bourne Legacy, The Social Network).

“We presented our buyers in Cannes with a timeline for SEA OF TREES and are right on target to start production on this original and deeply moving story,” said BLOOM / Waypoint’s Ken Kao. “We’ve made tremendous strides in a very short period of time – first launching the company and then seeing vigorous sales on our first film as a new company in Cannes,” says BLOOM’s Alex Walton.

###

About Netter Productions
Netter Productions develops and produces films for all audiences. Company founder and principal Gil Netter’s previous projects as a producer include: Life Of Pi which grossed more than $600 million worldwide, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and won four Oscars®, including Best Director for Ang Lee; Water for Elephants starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz; box office phenomenon The Blind Side, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and garnering an Oscar for Best Actress for Sandra Bullock; the hit film, Marley and Me, starring Jennifer Anniston and Luke Wilson, Phone Booth, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Joel Schumacher, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Flicka and Fever Pitch. Netter also served as executive producer of Eragon and served as president of Zucker Brothers Productions for seven years, where he oversaw the production of Ghost and executive produced such films as My Best Friend’s Wedding, First Knight, My Life, Naked Gun 33 1/3: Final Insult, Naked Gun 2: The Smell of Fear and A Walk in the Clouds. Netter Productions’ upcoming slate includes: The Graveyard Book, directed by Ron Howard; The Shack, directed by Forest Whitaker and The Glass Castle starring Jennifer Lawrence for Lionsgate.

About Waypoint Entertainment
Waypoint Entertainment is a film and television development, production, and finance company cofounded by Ken Kao in 2010. Waypoint’s upcoming slate includes: Martin Scorsese’s Silence to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Andrew Driver, and Ken Watanabe; and Terrence Malick’s next two films — Knight Of Cups with Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, and an untitled film featuring Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett.

About BLOOM
BLOOM represents and curates a diversified slate of films ranging from commercial, talent-driven, wide release movies, to specialty films from proven and trusted filmmakers, all the while keeping an eye towards fresh and emerging talent. Sea of Trees is the first project on the BLOOM slate. The company recently announced Skiptrace starring Jackie Chan and The Hunters, which will be directed by John Moore. The existing slate includes: Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Dark Places starring Charlize Theron; A Walk Among the Tombstones starring Liam Neeson; The Woman in Black: Angel of Death; Pele, the biopic about the legendary Brazilian soccer player; Brian Kirk’s Passengers starring Keanu Reeves; Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman; and Out of the Dark starring Julia Stiles and Scott Speedman.

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MFO Director Lisa Strout and IATSE Local 481 Business Manager Chris O’Donnell discuss cinema in the Bay State

The movie business is on a tear in Massachusetts. It’s part of the payoff from a generous but controversial tax break for the industry.

How long will the cameras and the good times roll?

The number of major productions with budgets of at least a $250,000 is on the rise in the Bay State. There were just 9 in 2011, with 23 in 2013 and 22 in the first six months of this year. The figures include TV and film.

These projects provide work for at least 4,500 film professionals in Massachusetts.

Lisa Strout, the director of the Massachusetts Film Office, and Chris O’Donnell, the business manager of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts Local 481, join Peter Howe on CEO Corner to discuss.

In this segment, Strout and O’Donnell share their advice on getting into the local film industry.

In this segment, Strout and Chris O’Donnell talk about prospects for the future, as well as some of the interesting ways they spend their days.

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The Judge Official Trailer ~ In theaters October 10!

Massachusetts made THE JUDGE was filmed in Ashfield, Attleborough, Belmont, Boston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Dedham, Milton, Plymouth, Shelburne Falls, Sunderland, and Worcester in 2013.

IN THEATERS THIS OCTOBER

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The Equalizer Official Trailer ~ In theaters September 26th

Massachusetts made THE EQUALIZER was filmed in Boston, Cambridge, Canton, Chelsea, Haverhill, Quincy, Salisbury, and Swampscott in 2013.

IN THEATERS THIS SEPTEMBER

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First look at Robert Downey Jr. movie ‘The Judge,’ filmed in Massachusetts

By Ray Kelly
MassLive.com
June 11, 2014

June 6, 2013 - Shelburne Falls, Mass. - Actors Robert Duvall, left, and Robert Downey Jr., in between takes on the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie, in Shelburne Falls Thursday. (Michael S. Gordon /The Republican)

June 6, 2013 – Shelburne Falls, Mass. – Actors Robert Duvall, left, and Robert Downey Jr., in between takes on the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie, in Shelburne Falls Thursday. (Michael S. Gordon /The Republican)

The first glimpse of “The Judge” – shot partially in Shelburne Falls, Sunderland and other Bay State communities last year – has surfaced online at Entertainment Weekly.

The still shows Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in a courtroom. Downey stars as a Chicago defense attorney who returns to his small town to represent his hostile father (Duvall) in a murder case.

“Against his own instincts and desire, he ends up staying to defend his dad from what may or may not be an intentional vehicular manslaughter case,” Downey told Entertainment Weekly. “His father is a pillar of the community. Everybody knows a dad like the judge,” the actor adds. “Every community has one, and every family has either heard of or been under that kind of patriarchy. It’s this very American story. But it’s also a story about family, and reconciliation, and law, and justice.”

During filming, along Route 47 in Sunderland near Smiarowski Farm Stand, Worcester, Boston, Attleboro, Belmont and Dedham

Set for release on Oct. 10, “The Judge” is directed by David Dobkin and also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Leighton Meester and Billy Bob Thornton.

Ray Kelly can be reached at rkelly@repub.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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‘The Judge’: Robert Downey Jr. fights the law, and his father — FIRST LOOK

By Anthony Breznican
Entertainment Weekly
June 11, 2014

(Credit: Claire Folger)

(Credit: Claire Folger)

How do you defend someone who never defended you? That’s the heart of this thriller/family drama (out Oct. 10) starring Robert Downey Jr. as a Chicago defense attorney who returns to his small town to represent his hostile father (Robert Duvall) in a murder case.

Duvall plays the imperious title character: a living symbol of justice in their community and a tyrant in his own household — factors that compelled his son to flee years before. A family funeral brings Downey’s character home, but it’s another death that keeps him there.

“Against his own instincts and desire, he ends up staying to defend his dad from what may or may not be an intentional vehicular manslaughter case,” Downey says, flashing his eyebrows on those last few words.

“His father is a pillar of the community. Everybody knows a dad like the judge,” the actor adds. “Every community has one, and every family has either heard of or been under that kind of patriarchy. It’s this very American story. But it’s also a story about family, and reconciliation, and law, and justice.”

Downey’s character doesn’t just clash with his father, but also his brutish older brother, played by Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Men In Black) — who stands by the old man’s side in all matters. Less confident, but no less devoted to the pater familias, is the Fredo-esque youngest brother (Jeremy Strong, Zero Dark Thirty). “He, uh … he still lives at home,” Downey explains. “Slow learner.”

The film has flashes of humor, but it’s definitely more of a dramatic turn for director David Dobkin, best known for Wedding Crashers. And it’s the first project from Team Downey, the new production company founded by the actor and his wife, longtime Silver Pictures producer Susan Downey (the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

Team Downey had several films inching forward in development, including a big screen version of Perry Mason, and a drama about the aftermath of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II. The Judge, with its genre-mixing script by first-time screenwriter Bill Dubuque and Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) was “the greyhound that got its eye on the rabbit first,” as the actor puts it.

In her previous role at Silver Pictures, the dedication was to amped-up action pictures. So what kind of brand does Team Downey hope to establish? “If the type is good, that’s the brand I’d go for,” she says, saying they’re looking for the offbeat and heartfelt — though not the ultra-niche or esoteric.

“Our storytelling is character-driven but on a commercial level,” Susan says. “We wanted to do something outside the big movie tentpole projects.”

So no Iron Man suit — just emotional armor this time.

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2015 BLUECAT SCREENPLAY COMPETITION CALL FOR ENTRIES

Discovering & Developing Writers since 1998

2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Final Deadline: November 15th, 2014

The 2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition is ready for your submissions!

Since 1998, the BlueCat Screenplay Competition has provided a community for the unknown screenwriter to develop their work, giving undiscovered talent a path to professional success.

BlueCat accepts both feature length and short screenplays, and in keeping with our longstanding tradition, every screenplay will receive one written analysis, with our best screenplays receiving over $40,000 in cash prizes.

All submissions received by June 15th will receive their written analysis by July 1st.

Students will be eligible to submit their short screenplay at a special rate of $35.

THE AWARDS

• BEST FEATURE SCREENPLAY
Grand Prize Winner
$15,000
Finalists
Four finalists $2,500

• BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY
Grand Prize Winner
$10,000
Finalists
Three finalists $1,500

• THE CORDELIA AWARD
The Best Feature Screenplay from the UK
$1,500

• THE JOPLIN AWARD
Best Feature Screenplay from outside the USA, Canada or the UK
$1,500

• MOVIE TITLE CONTEST
Three Winners: $250 each
All screenplays entered by August 1 are eligible

SUBMIT YOUR SCREENPLAY:

BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Website: www.bluecatscreenplay.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/bluecatpictures
Facebook:www.facebook.com/bluecatscreenplaycompetition
Weekly Newsletter:http://bluecatscreenplay.com/join_newsletter
Youtube: www.youtube.com/bluecatscreenplay

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SHOOTING STARTS ON UNTITLED WHITEY BULGER FILM, STARRING JOHNNY DEPP AND JOEL EDGERTON

Warner

Warner p2

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