Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
The Heartbeat of Haverhill was on a photo-safari scouting out images to support an upcoming blog on our amazing real estate values. We drove down Ginty Boulevard expecting to check out the city’s recently planted trees, but we couldn’t see the trees for the forest…forest of trucks that is. More than a dozen 18-wheelers lined the street and piqued our investigative interest.
A temporary poster directed extras to the downtown garage and our curiosity became too overwhelming. A few minutes and a legal u-turn later and we headed to Bethany Merrivista senior housing to see what was going on. We knew “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington that filmed in the vacated Lowes building this summer had wrapped up production (and given the city trees to plant as a “thank you”), so this must be a new movie.
Some of the crew was more forthcoming than others. THOH was shushed and told that we could not get on the set by one young man who refused to even reveal the name of the movie stating he’d signed a non-disclosure agreement that was a few inches thick. He was undoubtedly too new to the process to bend any rules so undaunted we sought out a more seasoned crew member. The scoop was limited, but we did learn this was the set of an HBO mini-series based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Olive Kittredge”, that it was 4 episodes, starred Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins as husband and wife, they are filming in Haverhill for two days though the bulk of the movie was shot in the Rockport/Gloucester area, and the series most likely will air on the HBO cable network next fall in 2014.
We poked around and photographed a Director –style chair with the name “Christopher” on it. Respectfully used our zoom lens to peek inside the prop truck, and the personalized work station created within one of the trucks and headed to the internet to learn more about the book and the movie only to find we’d been scooped by Mayor James Fiorentini on his Facebook page where he noted that locals and some of the residents of Merrivista will be extras in the movie. Oh well, we consoled ourselves with the understanding that it’s important for a good mayor to have the inside track on what’s happening in his city, and we could at least differentiate our stories because THOH had a few pics (none with celebs sadly) to support our take on the set.
Deadline Hollywood (http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/hbo-sets-olive-kitteridge-miniseries-with-lisa-cholodenko-helming-frances-mcdormand-and-richard-jenkins/) filled in some more details. The movie is based on “the Elizabeth Strout novel Olive Kitteridge. Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman executive producer along with McDormand and her As Is banner and Jane Anderson. Anderson adapted the book into the four–hour mini.” (Tom Hanks, again? I just wrote a bit about Tom Hanks last week in my other blog (Brain4Rent) in a post about antique war planes http://wp.me/p13Md6-RR. He seems to be following me and if we ever catch up I have a great movie idea…. It really is a wonderful true story unfolding as I write; it could even be a documentary.)
And, who doesn’t love Frances McDormand, as a reformed actor, I appreciate that her understated performances are over the top wonderful. The deadline.com story reported that Ms. McDormand was so passionate about the novel even before “Olive Kittredge” earned the Pulitzer Prize that she bought the movie rights with her own money and began to package the deal. And now here it is in Haverhill, aka Hollywood East! Congratulations Frances. Gotta love people who make their dreams and their movies come true and realize that Haverhill is the perfect place to do that.
IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE HEARTBEAT OF HAVERHILL GOING, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BLOG, COMMENT AND SHARE THE POSTS. ALSO CONSIDER BECOMING A FRIEND OF THE HEARTBEAT OF HAVERHILL ON FACEBOOK.
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell