Saturday, August 27, 2011

movie update

Looks like that movie really is coming to Lowell! Check out this article in the Sun, which says:
[I'm pasting the whole thing below as the Sun stories don't seem to stay up for very long]:

LOWELL -- Window grids cast shadows on the exposed brick walls of a loft above the American Textile History Museum as Robert Moresco looks out over the Acre neighborhood past a downtown canal at sunset.

In the eyes of the two-time Academy Award-winning movie producer, the loft space defined by the century-old mill's original ceiling beams and the gleaming granite kitchen countertop signifies what Lowell stands for.

"It's a brand-new Boston with all the old underpinnings," Moresco said.

A perfect marriage between old and new is what Moresco has been looking for in locations for the shooting of the upcoming movie based on an international espionage novel. The Residences at the American Textile Museum on Dutton Street delivers that for him.

"This is a perfect fit for a single ex-cop," Elaine Rogers, a film producer, said of the movie's main character, who would live in the loft. "It has the right feel."

Hollywood is returning to Lowell.

Led by Moresco, Rogers and Lowell's own movie producer, Chris Byers, a production crew visited the Mill City on Tuesday on a hunt for ideal spots to shoot a new movie. The film doesn't have a name just yet. Based on Deadly Codes: A Gallagher Novel, a thriller authored by Bedford dentist Joseph O'Donnell, the conspiracy-filled story that centers around a Boston private eye is expected to be an attention-grabber. The crew is eyeing the spacious lofts that overlook the western edge of the downtown as

backdrops for parts of the suspense drama.

The American Textile History Museum building, which houses the Residences, a 45-unit luxury condo complex, along with the museum and The Sun downstairs, is a stone's throw away from the cobblestone-paved downtown that has provided scenes for two recent Hollywood movies. In 2009, the shooting of Ricky Gervais' movie, The Invention of Lying, featuring Jennifer Garner and some other stars, drew crowds outside The Dubliner, a Market Street pub used for the shooting. The Fighter, the Oscar-winning movie about Lowell boxer Micky Ward, also incorporated many of the city's hangouts, including the Owl Diner and the West End Gym.

In case of the Deadly Codes project, Moresco said he wants to combine Boston's cityscapes with scenes from one of its "underbelly" towns like Lowell. The former industrial mill featuring the oversized windows not only has the right ambiance but should also help stir imagination for Moresco, who is writing the movie script from the book, Byers said.

"Bobby is a phenomenal writer," Byers said of Moresco, whose credit includes such Academy Award winning films as Crash and Million Dollar Baby. "He keeps it moving and exciting all the time."

Byers hopes the Deadly Codes project will help boost his hometown's new identity as a destination for movie productions.

"My whole goal is to shoot a film from start to finish" in Lowell, said Byers of New England Capitol Studio, who is involved in the project to build a 630,000-square-foot movie studio in Devens.

Deadly Codes is a second book written by O'Donnell, an associate clinical professor of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, who runs a dental office in Winchester and began writing novels in recent years. The movie project came about when his family member showed the book to an actor friend. Before he knew it, O'Donnell was sitting down with Rogers, an entertainment lawyer with an office in Boston, and a few others to go over a preliminary movie script. Once Byers became involved, so did Moresco. He never expected to see his fiction on a big screen, said O'Donnell as he toured the lofts of Ed Cain, owner of Candlewick Development LLC, which is developing a part of The Residences.

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The movie project now involves O'Donnell's and his business partner's company, Gallagher Enterprises, as well as New England Capitol Pictures and Apple Hill Productions. Byers said the movie and TV industry has changed tremendously over the past few decades. With 600 cable channels to feed contents to, filming now takes place anywhere in the country, and Massachusetts is claiming its share of the pie with the tax incentives, Byers said.

Lowell's permitting process, which is accommodating the film industry, makes the city an attractive place for producers, said Karen Stark, location manager who looked for locations for the Deadly Codes project with the help of the Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Filming in Lowell costs 40 to 50 percent less than in Boston, Byers said. Navigate the traffic is also easier here.

"There are a bundle of reasons why" movie crews want to be in Lowell, Byers said.

If all goes well, shooting could start as early as next spring, or by fall of 2012 at the latest.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

My next gig, perhaps?

Just saw in the news that the location scouts are out looking at Lowell again for another feature film. According to the Lowell Sun article,

LOWELL -- A part-time librarian from the Boston suburbs hops into her husband's car.

She turns the key in the ignition.

An explosion erupts.

Flames and black smoke engulf the car while her husband frantically tries to ply open the door from outside. The husband, a cryptographic analyst for the National Security Agency, has seen enough car-bombing videos to know his wife is dead.

These dramatic scenes open Deadly Codes: A Gallagher Novel, an international espionage story by Winchester dentist-turned-author Joseph O'Donnell. Lowell could soon provide backdrops for the suspense-filled story on the big screen as Hollywood works to shoot a movie based on the book.

I'm guessing that "Part-time librarian" and "NSA Agent" need a good, friendly, really good-looking and faithful dog as a family pet. Sounds perfect for me. I'm just waiting for the call from central casting.

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