Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adam Sandler's 'Lake House' ready to roll in Boston

Scouts for the new Adam Sandler flick "Lake House," plan to shoot a scene in the coming months with co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade at the upscale Japanese-fusion restaurant, O Ya, located at 9 East Street in Boston's Leather District.

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, Sandler's former “SNL” cohorts as well as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” funnyman James are slotted for a 66-day film shoot beginning in May centering around a group of five guys who return to their hometown after 30-years apart for a Fourth of July holiday weekend. Think a “Big Chill”-style comedy … but with a lot of laughs.

Pre-production on the flick is heating up. In fact, nearby Essex entered into an agreement on Monday, March 16 to host Sandler and crew at the town’s Centennial Grove this summer.

The made-in-Boston film is also casting a few key roles through Roger Mussenden & Jeremy Rich Casting in California, including:

WOMAN: (70s to 90s) Sassy, snippy battle-ax of a woman. She is old enough to know what she wants, when she wants it, and doesn’t care how she says it. PLEASE SUBMIT AFRICAN-AMERICAN.

BECKY: (age 5) TWINS -- Adam Sandler’s youngest daughter. She is a bundle of love and optimism. Please submit twin Latino girls.

BEAN: (age 4) TWINS -- Kevin James’ youngest son. Please submit twin boys.

Interested? Submit pictures and resumes to: Roger Mussenden & Jeremy Rich Casting, Sony Studios, 10202 W. Washington Blvd. David Lean Bldg., Suite 219, Culver City, CA 90232.

Click here for the latest on Sandler's "Lake House."

INTERVIEW: 'LUCKEY' filmmaker Laura Longsworth

Slotted to premiere at Boston’s Independent Film Festival 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Arlington-based filmmaker Laura Longsworth says crafting her documentary film “LUCKEY” was a labor of love.

“The lives of every single member of Tom's family were deeply altered by his paralysis, on an emotional and practical level,“ she tells Loaded Gun Boston. “The year or more after his accident was just so hard in terms of reconciling emotionally with the reality of his paralysis and figuring out his care.”

In the documentary, Luckey is coping with recent and dramatic changes in his life. Overnight, he went from able-bodied to a wheelchair. The sculptor and architect was designing a three-story-tall climbable sculpture, the masterpiece of his career building interactive art, when he fell through a window at the Boston Children’s Museum and became completely paralyzed.

“I've come to think that while the details are probably never the same twice, there is probably a universality to their experience,” Longsworth continues. “By that I mean that anyone who has had a family member who is very ill or is injured can probably identify with one aspect or another of the film.”

In a candid interview with Loaded Gun Boston, Longsworth chats about her protagonist’s emotionally raw journey after the accident, offers advice to young, up-and-coming filmmakers and gives perspective from a documentary filmmaker's point of view regarding the booming film scene in Boston.

Click here for the complete interview with Longsworth. Click here for tickets.
--Photo from Laura Longsworth's "Luckey"

QUIZ: Can you name this made-in-Boston movie?

The Boston Public Garden is the locale of a pivotal scene in this made-in-Boston flick starring and penned by then up-and-comers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Also, the milestone moment shot here helped win Robin Williams an Oscar for "Best Supporting Actor."

Want more clues?

In the film, the protagonist is a janitor at MIT with a gift for mathematics. He teams up with a psychologist to overcome his fear of abandonment and ultimately learns how to open up. In addition to the Public Garden, other Boston locales make cameos in the film including MIT's McLaurin Building, Harvard's Dunster House, the now-closed Tasty Cafe in Cambridge and Woody’s L-Street Tavern, 658 East Eighth Street in South Boston.

How do you like them apples?

Inspired by the mystery film’s protagonist played by Damon, one winner will receive an Orient Watch CEM5J005W automatic model which retails for $100 and is similar to the timepiece Damon wears in "The Bourne Identity." Check out Orient Watches if you're looking for an affordable, sophisticated watch but can't afford to spend thousands of dollars.

Figured out the mystery flick? Simply register for Loaded Gun’s new bi-weekly newsletter. The sign-up widget is located on the right-side navigation. Once you type in your e-mail address, you’ll be prompted to enter the mystery made-in-Boston movie.

Loaded Gun, a Boston-based pop culture blog, will unveil its bi-weekly newsletter on Friday, April 3. Sign up and register for a slew of Hollywood East-inspired prizes including DVDs of made-in-Boston films like "Mystic River" and "The Departed" to giveaways like the stainless-steel, water-resistant CEM5J005W model from Orient Watches. The promotion officially ends Thursday, April 2 at 11:59 a.m.

Winners will be announced in Loaded Gun’s debut newsletter on Friday, April 3 followed by a post on LoadedGunBoston.com.

Check back for a treasure trove of promotional goodies you can win in the weeks leading up to the launch of Loaded Gun‘s bi-weekly newsletter.

Click here for more details. Also, click here for the contest rules and disclaimer.
--Photo of Boston Public Garden by Sam Baltrusis.

Monday, March 30, 2009

'The Company Men' casting extras in Boston

"The Company Men," a topical flick about the impact of corporate downsizing on the masses, is holding an open casting call for extras on Saturday, April 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the John Hancock Hotel and Conference Center, 40 Trinity Place in the George Washington room on the third floor.

Billy Dowd Casting is holding the casting call for SAG and AFTRA members only who are interested in extra work, with several "featured extra" roles still open.

Starring Cambridge homeboy Ben Affleck, Harvard alum Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner, the film is based on the script by director John Wells. The flick is currently in pre-production with filming slotted to kick off in mid-April, with scenes planned for First Church, 10 Putnam St. in Roxbury on Monday, April 13 and Tuesday, April 14.

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, crews are setting up shop in the make-shift Chelsea soundstage located at 121 Webster Ave. across from the Save A Lot/Home Depot. The locale has been used for a slew of made-in-Boston films and TV productions including "Edge of Darkness" with Mel Gibson, the pilot for TNT's "Bunker Hill" with Donnie Wahlberg as well as "Pink Panther 2"

Affleck plays a corporate bigwig whose six-figure salary is suddenly cut after he gets a pink slip. Costner, a blue-collar construction worker, offers Affleck a job installing drywall.

Jones, portraying a senior corporate exec, struggles with the unethical exploits of his partners.

Click here for the latest on "The Company Men." Thanks to Christine B. for the tip!
--Photo courtesy Esquire

'See Kate Run' slotted to film in the South End

In the early evening on Wednesday, April 1, crews from the currently-in-production ABC-TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," are slotted to film at the Cyclorama located at 539 Tremont St. in the South End.

Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president. The pilot also stars Liza Lapira from "21" and local actor Sean Paul Cormier.

Last weekend, crews from FTP Productions LLC, the group orchestrating the massive shoot for ABC, took over the front steps of the Massachusetts State House and filmed exterior shots in front of the gilded-domed building. Filming continued on Saturday, March 28 near the Ashburton Park side of the State House on Bowdoin Street between Beacon and Derne.

On Thursday, March 26, I received a tip that production staff were filming at Chelsea's City Hall for the courtroom scenes. "What a hottie Amy is," Chris Whitt says here about "See Kate Run" star Amy Smart. "Sitting in [Chelsea's City Hall] watching her do her thing. Who knew it takes about 300 people to film a scene?"

And on Monday, March 23, set designers were busy transforming Doyle's Cafe located at 3484 Washington St. into the 21st Amendment, a stand-in for the political watering hole across the street from the State House.

Click here for the latest on "See Kate Run." Also, click here for additional photos on Hub On Location.

'Children of Invention' premieres at IFFBoston

"Children of Invention," a feature film written and directed by Randolph native Tze Chun, will have its New England premiere at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, where it has been selected to screen in the narrative competition. The film, which is set and was shot in and around Boston, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

In "Children of Invention," two young children living outside Boston are left to fend for themselves when their hardworking mother (played by Cindy Cheung from "Lady in the Water") gets embroiled in a pyramid scheme and disappears.

The film is also loosely based on Chun’s own childhood in Boston’s suburbs. “When I was little, my sister and I followed my mother to countless pyramid seminars," says Chun. "The film is a personal story about the world I grew up in – a subculture of immigrant and working class Americans trying to get-rich-quick in order to get themselves out of a financial hole. I didn't foresee the current financial crisis. But with the economy the way it is now, it seems like everyone's living through some version of what the family in the film goes through.”

"Children of Invention" will debut 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 23 at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. The film is also slotted for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24.

Click here for more information on Boston's Independent Film Festival slotted for Wednesday, April 22 until Tuesday, April 28. Click here for tickets.
--Photo by Chris Teague

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Former News transforms into late-night Splash

Restaurateur Frank De Pasquale is turning News, a seven-year-old after-work hangout located at 150 Kneeland St. in the Leather District, into an upscale, over-25 hangout called Splash. The revamped hot spot is scheduled to reopen in May.

Slotted to serve gourmet bar food ranging from burgers, appetizers and tapas, Splash will rival nearby South Street Diner as a late-night destination. De Pasquale plans to serve food until 5 a.m on Friday, Saturdays and the Sundays before holidays.

Owner of Umbria, Bricco, Gelateria, Mare, Trattoria Il Panino and North End Scene Magazine, De Pasquale is venturing out of his usual turf in the North End.

The decor at Splash will have a water theme including a glass wall with a water feature at the entrance, a new rooftop deck and cabana-style lounge area with beds and lounge chairs.

Splash is opening Memorial Day weekend 2009.

Click here for more on De Pasquale.

NBC's 'Great American Road Trip' casting call

Are we there yet? Is your family more like the "Griswolds" and less "Brady Bunch"? You're in luck.

NBC is launching a new reality TV competition series called "Great American Road Trip" scheduled to premiere 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 1. The show will feature will feature seven families competing in challenges at various American landmarks. And producers are on the hunt for families in the Boston area.

According to the casting call, they're looking for "outgoing, fun-loving, dynamic families for the cross-country trip of a lifetime."

Over the course of eight episodes, the eclectic crew of families will travel through large and small cities while competing against each other in challenges that are set against iconic American backdrops including the Grand Canyon and Washington Monument, as well as more obscure tourist destinations such as the World's Largest Chair and a sneaker the size of a car.

Based on the description, casting scouts are looking for archetypes like the "real-life Griswolds," "Red Sox fanatics" and the "ultimate Trekkie family."

Produced by BBC Worldwide,
one family will be eliminated each week based on their performance in the challenges. The last family standing will win a so-called "dream prize." Also, all families that participate in the show will receive a stipend of $2,000 each week .

Interested? Check out the Boston Casting call here or send a family photo, your contact info, brief bio of each member, city where you live, and why your family should be on the show to ashley@bostoncasting.com.

Click here for the official lowdown.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random Shot :: ABC-TV's 'See Kate Run' shoot

On Saturday, March 28 from 7 a.m. to the wee hours of Sunday, March 29, crews from the currently-in-production ABC-TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," filmed near the Ashburton Park side of the State House on Bowdoin Street between Beacon and Derne.

Click here for the latest on "See Kate Run and here for additional photos on Hub On Location. Also, click here for more photos from the "Loaded Gun Random Shots" series.

Study revisits dark side of Hollywood in the Hub

Boston Herald reporter Dave Wedge, in his "Say goodbye to Hollywood" piece here, revisits an ongoing debate we've discussed here and here on Loaded Gun Boston: Can the Hub sustain the Hollywood East machine?

For the record, CommonWealth Magazine did an excellent job deconstructing the economic ramifications of using the tax break to lure filmmakers in an article called "Subsidizing the stars" back in the Spring 2008 edition.

However, Wedge dredges up a new study by Cornell University professor Susan Christopherson, who rehashes the questions raised about government giveaways to filmmakers.

“In New York and Los Angeles, this infrastructure has taken over 100 years to build,” concludes the currently under-review report. “And without this infrastructure, a state that subsidizes footloose film or TV production projects has little chance of building a sustainable local industry.”

Christopherson also reiterates the practice of “turning a tax credit into a grant,” where government will actually buy back the tax credits at a discount. Again, this was explored in the CommonWealth Magazine article.

For those unfamiliar with our state's tax incentives, here's the breakdown:
  • Rate: 25% (payroll) and 25% (production expenses).
  • Requirements: More than $50,000 in Massachusetts production expenses in a 12-month period for payroll credit with more than 50% of expenses or 50% of principal photography days must take place in Massachusetts for production expense credit.
  • Exclusions: Salaries for individuals earning more than $1 million are ineligible for payroll credit, but are eligible for production expense credit.
According to the Department of Revenue, the film business brought in more than $350 million to Massachusetts last year. The question: Are we paying more than what we're bringing in?

On paper, it's a no-brainer. More movies in the area means more economic stimulus.

However, if you look at states like Louisiana that offered a similar tax credit a few years back, it was costing the state more money than the film productions allegedly were generating. For example, in 2005 the credits ended up costing Louisiana $50 million. Films did boost the economy there a bit but not enough to offset costs of the tax break.

To fuel revenue, some film companies who shot in Massachusetts actually sold their tax credits to banks or insurance companies. Unethical? Absolutely.

While I support the idea of luring quality films into the area, I believe there needs to be more scrutiny, especially from an economic perspective.
--Photo from "The Departed"

Fallon heads to Boston, Kennedy reschedules

Jimmy Fallon, en route to Boston to perform his sold-out, stand-up gig at the Wilbur Theatre Comedy Connection on Saturday, March 28 gives a shout out to his local supporters.

The former "Saturday Night Live" comic turned late-night host of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" says he's stoked about his show tomorrow night.

"Tomorrow gig in Boston. Fun!! I love Boston," he tweets here.

Meanwhile, Jamie Kennedy and gal pal Jennifer Love Hewitt missed their flight from L.A. to Boston on Thursday, March 26. Why? The comic says he's suffering from kidney stones.

He recently sent a tweet here to apologize: "Sorry to all my fans in Boston. Had to [cancel] the Wilbur Theatre dates this weekend [because of] this kidney stone. Trying to get [rescheduled] soon."

The appearance has been rescheduled for Friday, June 26.

Kennedy says he's slowly recovering from the painful ailment. "Got the best nurse possible making me soup now," he says. "[It] hurts though. A lot."

Click here for the lowdown on the Wilbur Theatre.

UPDATE: Here's a tweet from Comedy Connection: "Jimmy Fallon just arrived and is sitting in the box taking in [Kris] Kristofferson before he goes on at 10 p.m. Pretty cool night at the Wilbur.
" Also, Fallon just sent a photo via Twitter from atop the Wilbur Theatre.
--Photo courtesy "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"

Friday, March 27, 2009

'See Kate Run' crews return to State House area

On Saturday, March 28 from 7 a.m. to the wee hours of Sunday, March 29, crews from the currently-in-production ABC-TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," are slotted to film around the State House on Bowdoin Street between Beacon and Ashburton.

Exterior shots are planned for the 21st Amendment located at 150 Bowdoin St., the political watering hole across the street from the State House. As previously reported in Loaded Gun, crews transformed Doyle's Cafe located at 3484 Washington St in Jamaica Plain on Monday, March 23 to act as an interior stand-in for the 21st Amendment.

Why shoot interior shots at Doyle's instead of filming at the real 21st Amendment? Apparently, the Beacon Hill haunt is too cramped for cameras.

Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president. The pilot also stars Liza Lapira from "21" and local actor Sean Paul Cormier.

Last weekend, crews from FTP Productions LLC, the group orchestrating the massive shoot for ABC, took over the front steps of the Massachusetts State House and filmed exterior shots in front of the gilded-domed building and a motley crew of extras have spent the early evening walking up and down the steps.

Click here for the latest on "See Kate Run." Also, click here for the WBUR podcast about hyper-local content. Loaded Gun Boston was featured at the end of the hour-long program.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Loaded Gun featured on WBUR's 'Radio Boston'

UPDATE: Click here for the WBUR podcast. Loaded Gun Boston was featured at the end of the hour-long program. Great stuff!

Adam Ragusea, an associate producer with WBUR's "Radio Boston," followed me around today working on a behind-the-scenes type segment on Loaded Gun Boston slotted to air 1 p.m. on Friday, March 27.

The hour-long program will focus on the future of local news and is scheduled to feature Adam Gaffin from Universal Hub, Dan Kennedy from Media Nation and Marcela Garcia, managing editor of El Planeta.

Ragusea and I walked around the Leather District and then headed to the Boston Commons and Public Garden where we chatted about the various made-in-Boston flicks slotted to hit theaters this year.

In preparation for the interview, I hunted down the "See Kate Run" production bat cave in South Boston yesterday (pictured above) to see if there was any filming scheduled for today. Of course, they were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. The ABC crew's work week is off because they're shooting on the weekends, including a return trip to the State House on Saturday, March 28.

An inside source said there was a shoot slotted for today (Thursday, March 26), but he wasn't able to confirm details. "Sorry ,they are really tight with locations," the source says. "I haven't even gotten call sheets yet. However, all of my scenes are interiors, so the sets will be in warehouse factory type locales."

As soon as I finished my interview with Ragusea, I received a tip from one of my readers. "What a hottie Amy is," Chris Whitt says here about "See Kate Run" star Amy Smart. "Sitting in [Chelsea's City Hall] watching her do her thing. Who knew it takes about 300 people to film a scene?"

In other words, "See Kate Run" is filming in Chelsea today.

While Ragusea and I weren't able to uncover any filming action during the radio interview, we did get a tip while chatting with the owner of Sagarinos on South Street in the Leather District.

Scouts for the new Adam Sandler flick "Lake House," slotted to start filming in May, plan to shoot a scene in the coming months with co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade at the upscale Japanese-fusion restaurant, O Ya, located at 9 East Street in Boston's Leather District.

I've worked several years in the radio business in NYC and produced a weekly music segment for the local NPR affiliate when I was the A&E editor of alt-weekly in Northwest Florida.

I was extremely impressed with Ragusea. He wasn't afraid to hit the streets with me to dig for a story. In fact, he ended up getting a parking ticket while we walked throughout the epicenter of "Hollywood East," chatting about the story behind the blog. Now, that's dedication.

Journalism is about hitting the pavement. It's about getting dirty ... and sometimes coming up with nothing. It's about embracing new technology without losing focus of the old-school basics we learned as young reporters. It's about hunting down local leads and not repackaging AP headlines. It's about telling a story.

The future of local journalism? He was standing right beside me.

Click here for the lowdown on Boston's NPR News Station, 90.9 WBUR and here for the segment featuring Loaded Gun Boston (it's at the end of the hour-long segment).

Boston-bound Jamie Kennedy asks 'am I a creep?'

Jamie Kennedy, reportedly en route to Boston preparing for his comedy show 10 p.m. on Friday, March 27 at the Wilbur Theatre Comedy Connection, comments via Twitter about the so-called public scorn over his relationship with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

"Boy people are mean," he writes here. "'I feel so sorry for her that she had to lower her expectations and start dating this nasty creep!' Am I a creep?"

He tweets a few minutes later, "I know I'm a creep ... but NASTY??!!"

On Friday, March 13, Kennedy confirmed that he was dating his "Ghost Whisperer" co-star on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, raving "It's like 'Wow, you are so hot...and wow, you can cook pasta fagioli too!'"

Expect Hewitt, who split from her fiance Ross McCall in December, to be at the Wilbur on Friday. In fact, she's even manned the merch table at his recent shows.

No Jamie, you're not a creep ... or even nasty. You're just lucky!

10 p.m. Friday, March 27. The Wilbur Theatre, $23-$29. Click here for the lowdown

UPDATE: Kennedy and gal pal Hewitt missed their flight from L.A. to Boston this morning. The comic says he's suffering from kidney stones. He recently sent a tweet here to apologize: "Sorry to all my fans in Boston. Had to [cancel] the Wilbur Theatre dates this weekend [because of] this kidney stone. Trying to get [rescheduled] soon." The appearance has been rescheduled for Friday, June 26.

Random Shot: :: Shepard Fairey's mural destroyed

Above is a shot of one of Shepard Fairey's infamous graffiti installations on an abandoned storefront on Melcher and A Street in the Fort Point neighborhood. Unfortunately, the public-art piece is ripped and shredded to bits.

The street art-- along with a slew of other Institute of Contemporary Art-commissioned pieces scattered throughout the city including Grand boutique in Somerville's Union Square, the red brick wall outside the Gap at 15 Brattle Street and Central Kitchen in Cambridge's Central Square--has been under fire by anti-Fairey critics.

Click here for more photos from the "Loaded Gun Random Shots" series.
--Photo by Sam Baltrusis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'The Company Men' setting up shop in Chelsea

"The Company Men," a topical flick about the impact of corporate downsizing on the masses is currently in pre-production with filming slotted to kick off in mid-April. Starring Cambridge homeboy Ben Affleck, Harvard alum Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner, the film is based on the script by director John Wells.

Crews are setting up shop in the make-shift Chelsea soundstage located at 121 Webster Ave. across from the Save A Lot/Home Depot. The locale has been used for a slew of made-in-Boston films and TV productions including "Edge of Darkness" with Mel Gibson, the pilot for TNT's "Bunker Hill" with Donnie Wahlberg as well as "Pink Panther 2"

The production office is currently on the hunt for a variety of interns, including production, art and office lackeys and must commit as least 10-15 hours per week starting now until the end of June.

Affleck plays a corporate bigwig whose six-figure salary is suddenly cut after he gets a pink slip. Costner, a blue-collar construction worker, offers Affleck a job installing drywall.

Jones, portraying a senior corporate exec, struggles with the unethical exploits of his partners.

Contact "The Company Men" production office via e-mail at thecompanymen@gmail.com regarding internship opportunities. Also, click here for the latest on the made-in-Boston flick.
--Photo courtesy of Esquire, April '09

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

“This time I didn’t have to be some superhuman guy who was impervious to bullets and couldn’t be destroyed.”

--WWE superstar and West Newbury native, John Cena, says he plays an average gun-slinging Jake in the film "12 Rounds," a movie about a police officer who is determined to rescue his girlfriend from a kidnapper.
Cena is slotted to take over the 93.7 MIKE-FM at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.

“I don’t know yet. But I’m definitely intrigued. It’s a great script. And I’d love to work with Mark.”

--"X-Men" and "Superman Returns" director Bryan Singer expresses interest to Entertainment Weekly in helming the much-hyped project "Prisoners," a set-in-Boston flick reportedly starring Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg.

"The book is very real and original with believable contemporary characters. We want to make an intelligent heist movie that people can relate to."

--Producer Jeremy Bolt confirms rumors that Constantin Film has acquired the film rights to Dave Zeltserman's forthcoming crime novel "28 Minutes," a story centering around mobsters from Russia and, no surprise here, Boston.

"I missed having him because he's so much fun to play off, and we have a great working relationship."

--Kevin James, still on a roll after his made-in-Boston flick "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" exceeded box-office expectations, gushes over bosom buddy Adam Sandler, adding that the duo are slotted to return to the Boston area this summer to work on the ultimate buddy flick tentatively called "Lake House."

"I've been out in L.A. for 10 years, but I'm still a Boston girl at heart. I really think I'd like to end up there one day. Every time I come home and drive through the toll on the Mass Pike, I get shout-outs."

--Eliza Dushku, a Boston-born actress and star of the new Fox series "Dollhouse," spills to Boston Common Magazine that there's no place like home.
--Photo courtesy WWE Raw

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'What Doesn't Kill You' debuts at Boston film fest

After a brief theatrical run in NYC and Los Angeles, the made-in-Boston flick "What Doesn't Kill You" will make its hometown debut (not including the screening at Brandeis on Nov. 15) at the Boston International Film Festival 6 p.m. on Friday, April 17.

The BIFF premiere, hitting screens at the Loews Boston Common located at 175 Tremont St., will give locals a chance to see the flick before it's released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 28. Also, BIFF's opening night gala kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Brian Goodman, the film's director and a Southie native, will be at the screening for a Q&A.

The real-life crime drama "What Doesn't Kill You," originally titled "Real Men Cry," is set in Boston and stars Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo as childhood friends "who grew up in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood where small-time crimes were as common as confessionals." Fast forward 15 years where the duo is trapped in a cycle of scoring quick cash, drug addiction and an ever-changing South Boston landscape.

Locations include the park in Dorchester Heights in Southie, the Billerica House of Correction and East 4th St. between P street and Farragut Road.

Click here for the backstory on "What Doesn't Kill You." Click here for the lowdown on the Boston International Film Festival.

Monday, March 23, 2009

'VSI' sign mystery and 'See Kate Run' at Doyle's

The online rumor mill was buzzing over several sightings of the "VSI" film sign posted near locations for the currently-in-production ABC-TV pilot formerly known as "See Kate Run."

The yellow "VSI" sign--previously associated with the made-in-Boston flick "The Surrogates" starring Bruce Willis--was used last summer as an acronym for Virtual Self Industries, or the name of the company that creates the futuristic surrogates in the film slotted to hit theaters on Friday, Sept. 25.

Confused? Just wait.

On set today of "See Kate Run" in Jamaica Plain, crews were busy transforming Doyle's Cafe located at 3484 Washington St. into the 21st Amendment, a stand-in for the political watering hole across the street from the State House. Large black tarps covered a portion of the JP hangout and several crew trailers were parked at the MBTA parking lot near the Forest Hills T stop.

The two police officers outside of Doyle's had no clue why "VSI" signs were used for the "See Kate Run" pilot when asked. However, one of the ABC-TV crew guys, busy transforming the Doyle's set on Monday, March 23, responded when confronted by Loaded Gun.

Why are the "VSI" production signs being used for "See Kate Run" production? "Because they already had them," jokes the production guru. "I guess they didn't feel like making us new ones."

According to crew members, "See Kate Run" staffers are using "VSI" hand-me-downs from "The Surrogates" shoot because it's a pilot .. and not a recurring made-in-Boston series. Maybe they'll get their own yellow signs if ABC picks up the series?

Click here for additional photos on Hub On Location. And, click here for the latest on "See Kate Run."
--Photos by Sam Baltrusis

Sneak peek of Martin Scorsese's 'Shutter Island'

Argentinean filmmaker Celine Murga published a diary recounting her impressions during the shoot of Martin Scorsese’s made-in-Boston flick “Shutter Island" in the January edition of Cahiers Du Cinema.

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, two U.S. marshals (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane to an eponymous Boston-area island in 1954. During the investigation, they encounter a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Based on the epic novel "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane, the Boston-shot flick features DiCaprio, Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley and was shot in Taunton's Whittenton Mills Complex (recrafted as the horrific Nazi concentration camp Dachau) as well as the Medfield State Hospital and Peddocks Island. Other locales include Borderland State Park, Hyde Park and Wilson Mountain Reservation in Dedham. "Shutter Island" is slotted to hit theaters on Friday, Oct. 2.

There’s some interesting behind-the-scenes info explored in Murga's diary, including a scene in a hospital cafeteria presumably shot at the abandoned Medfield State Hospital. “Dialogues are filmed through close-ups, with the characters virtually looking at the camera shaft," Murga recounts. "The result is something deeply disquieting. It is uncomfortable for the spectator since they are intense monlogues of patients spouting their madness."

Recalling a shoot on June 12, Murga writes, “We are in a studio outside Boston, in a huge warehouse where one feels very small. It’s quite an off-putting place.”

She continues, “I suddenly come upon a huge corridor that brings to mind images of a concentration camp. It’s a very shocking feeling; that corridor wasn’t there early in the morning. Before there was nothing there, and all of a sudden this cold, gigantic, terrifying corridor appears."

Murga’s account of the film’s finale, which was shot at a lighthouse on June 18, is equally somber: “They’ve been rehearsing since we got here. Just Marty, Leo and Ben Kingsley. It’s a long, complicated scene. The dramatic finale of the film. The rest of us, the rest of the crew, are waiting outside of the set. Waiting and listening. In complete silence."

Click here for the latest on "Shutter Island."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crews transform Doyle's into 21st Amendment

On Monday, March 23 from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m., crews from the currently-in-production ABC-TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," are slotted to transform Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain into the 21st Amendment, a stand-in for the political watering hole across the street from the State House.

Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president.

Doyle's, located at 3484 Washington St., is famous as a stop on the political trail, officially opening its doors in 1882 and served as a speakeasy during Prohibition days until reopening as a legal hangout in 1933. You can see that reflected on the walls throughout the rambling rooms that make up the place.

The Washington Street hotspot was also used in the movies as the "quintessential Boston Irish bar," making cameos in "Mystic River" and was a location in the Dane Cook flick "My Best Friend's Girl" and "21" with Kevin Spacey. Also, actor Mel Gibson, recently in town filming "Edge of Darkness," was spotted there in August '08.

Crews from FTP Productions LLC, the group orchestrating the massive shoot for ABC, are currently filming this weekend at the State House and plan to return there next Saturday, March 28.

Why shoot at Doyle's instead of filming at the real 21st Amendment? Apparently, the Beacon Hill haunt is too cramped for cameras.

Click here for the latest on "See Kate Run."
--Photos by Sam Baltrusis

Friday, March 20, 2009

ABC-TV crews take over State House in Boston

The ABC-TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," has taken over the Massachusetts State House in Boston as of 6 p.m. today. Crews are currently filming exterior shots in front of the gilded-domed building and a motley crew of extras have spent the early evening walking up and down the steps.

Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president.

Crews from FTP Productions LLC, the group orchestrating the massive shoot for ABC, are filming during off hours at the State House for two weekends (including Saturday, March 28) and Jamaica Plain's Doyle's Cafe, acting as a stand-in for the real 21st Amendment hangout located at 150 Bowdoin St.

Click here for additional photos on Hub On Location.

--Photos by Sam Baltrusis


‘Twilight’ DVD bloodlust hits Boston-area stores

The “Twilight’ madness continues tonight with die-hard fans expected to line up at Boston-area stores and around the country to get a first taste of the DVD, slotted to be released at midnight.

Click here for a comprehensive list, but below is a handful of local stores tapped to participate including:
  • FYE, 411 Washington St in Downtown Crossing
  • Borders, 100 Cambridgeside Place at the Cambridgeside Galleria
  • Blockbuster, 235 Massachusetts Ave. near the Symphony T stop
  • Blockbuster, 541 Massachusetts Ave. near the Porter Square T stop
The “special edition” two-disc DVD set is going for $32 a pop. One disc gives you the movie, with extra-deleted scenes, plus commentary from Robert Pattinson, co-star Kristen Stewart, director Catherine Hardwicke. Also music videos featuring Muse, Paramore and Linkin Park.

British actor turned movie vampire Pattinson was greeted by thousands of screaming fans at Square One Mall in Saugus last November and insisted that his undead turn as Edward Cullen in "Twilight" was a warm-hearted effort.

"If I was doing [the movie] now, knowing it was going to be this audience, I think I probably would have done it differently. It’s a small story. It’s an intimate story and I think it comes across as being very human rather than being a big epic thing.”

Click here for the complete lowdown.

QUIZ: Can you name this made-in-Boston movie?

The Boston Public Library is the scene of the crime of this made-in-Boston flick currently in theaters. While filming at the BPL, there were reports that a priceless marble bust was knocked on the floor of the Grand Staircase in September 2007.

Not an Inspector Clouseau? Want more clues?

In the film, the protagonist teams up with a squad of bumbling International detectives in an attempt to stop a globe-trotting thief who specializes in stealing historical artifacts. Also, other famous Boston locales make cameos in the film like Museum of Fine Arts and the Citi Wang Center, which was given a French manicure and turned into the Petit Palais.

Inspired by the mystery film’s colorful-cat icon, one winner will receive a Tolani Cheetah Cheetah Scarf (27" x 72") which retails for $99 and has been spotted on celebs like Scarlet Johansson and Jessica Alba. Check out Chickdowntown for the latest designer clothing with hot brands such as Diane Von Furstenburg and fabulous Tibi Dresses.

Figured out the mystery flick? Simply register for Loaded Gun’s new bi-weekly newsletter. The sign-up widget is located on the right-side navigation. Once you type in your e-mail address, you’ll be prompted to enter the mystery made-in-Boston movie.

Loaded Gun, a Boston-based pop culture blog, will unveil its bi-weekly newsletter on Friday, April 3. Sign up and register for a slew of Hollywood East-inspired prizes including DVDs of made-in-Boston films like "Mystic River" and "The Departed" to giveaways like the Tolani Cheetah Cheetah Scarf. The promotion officially ends Thursday, April 2 at 11:59 a.m.

Winners will be announced in Loaded Gun’s debut newsletter on Friday, April 3 followed by a post on LoadedGunBoston.com.

Check back for a treasure trove of promotional goodies you can win in the weeks leading up to the launch of Loaded Gun‘s bi-weekly newsletter.

Click here for more details. Also, click here for the contest rules and disclaimer.
Photo of Boston Public Library by Sam Baltrusis.

Nicolas Cage as an all-'Knowing' MIT professor?

In the apocalyptic sci-fi thriller "Knowing" hitting theaters Friday, March 20, Nicolas Cage plays a Hub-based MIT professor who digs up a time capsule that can predict the future at his son's Bay State elementary school.

But how convincing is his portrayal of a boozing astrophysicist working in Cambridge and living in Lexington? Based on a slew of reports, it's up for debate.

"It's hard ... to believe that a Boston astrophysicist would drive a globe-warming Ford F-150," comments the Star Tribune.

Dr. Edward Farhi, an actual MIT-based physicist, says Cage's performance is somewhat realistic.

"Well, I don't usually throw rubber balls at my class. That's maybe a technique I should try. We don't usually toss things ... I thought the questions [Cage] brought up about randomness, chaos and determinism were interesting. We do think about things like that," Farhi says here.

Variety sums it up, "Although he may not fit the received image of an MIT prof, Cage, slimmed down to the edge of gauntness, generally suppresses his more wildly emotive tendencies to deliver an acceptably thoughtful performance."

While the majority of Cage's movie was shot in Australia, crews were filming exterior scenes in Boston last September because the movie is set in Mass. and some things you simply can't fake ... like the MIT campus and the Charles River. The film is directed by Aussie Alex "I, Robot" Proyas, which would explain the Melbourne filming locations.

Even co-star Rose Byrne, an Aussie actress, admits it was hard to get into character because of the location. "I just shot a movie in Melbourne but I had to do an American accent because it is set in Boston. That was a bit weird," Byrne spills to Women's Wear Daily.

Wouldn't it make sense to actually shoot a film that's set in Boston in, well, Boston?
--Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Thursday, March 19, 2009

'The Company Men' film heads to Boston in April

Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones join Ben Affleck in "The Company Men," a topical flick about the impact of corporate downsizing on the masses. Based on the script by director John Wells, "The Company Men" is slotted to start filming next month in Boston.

Yep, Affleck returns to his roots and Jones, a Harvard grad, will revisit his collegiate stomping grounds in April.

According to Variety, Affleck plays a corporate bigwig whose six-figure salary is suddenly cut after he gets a pink slip. Costner, a blue-collar construction worker, offers Affleck a job installing drywall.

Jones, portraying a senior corporate exec, struggles with the unethical exploits of his partners.

When asked by Esquire magazine if he's worried about being pigeonholed as a Boston-only filmmaker, Affleck (who is slotted to director another made-in-Boston film, "The Town," in 2009) snipes back.

"Yeah, I think there's always a worry among directors that — unless you're some genius like Paul Thomas Anderson — you'll get pigeonholed, that maybe you can only tell stories about one city. It's simple: I just respond to the story," Affleck says. "I have since I first read it. That fact that it's set in Boston may be part of that, but I'm not out there looking to document Boston. I want to tell good stories."
--Photo courtesy of Esquire, April '09

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"It was incredibly beneficial to the film. Our movie needed the scope the size of the Worcester Art Museum and we had a relatively modest budget (about $20 million), so it gave the film a look, a richness that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten."

--Producer Rob Paris says he got more bang for his buck filming scenes for his yet-to-be-released "The Maiden Heist" at the Worcester Art Museum.

"It's simple: I just respond to the story. I have since I first read it. That fact that it's set in Boston may be part of that, but I'm not out there looking to document Boston. I want to tell good stories."

--Ben Affleck, cover boy of the April issue of Esquire Magazine, insists that he's not worried about being pigeonholed as a Boston-only director.

“They said they liked our place because we had a really nice front door."

--Lauren Mauriello, who apparently has a nice brownstone on Broadway in South Boston, spills that she was contacted by a scout from Columbia Pictures to film at her home for the upcoming Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd flick tentatively titled "How Do You Know?"

"It's a great uplift in terms of spirits. It's been a long winter."

--Bob Coviello, owner of Main Street Antiques and member of the Essex Merchant group, says he's psyched that Essex selectmen entered into an agreement Monday night with Lakefront Productions Inc. to film a feature movie starring Adam Sandler at the town's Centennial Grove this summer.
--Photo courtesy Yari Film Group

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Britney Spears sports Agent Provocateur lingerie

Britney Spears, after a very public pop-culture meltdown, clawed her way back to Boston's TD Banknorth Garden on Monday, March 16 bringing her three-ring 'Circus' show to almost 18,000 die-hard fans.

Perpetuating the whole naughty-girl ring master theme, Spears donned some sizzling outfits from Agent Provocateur, a high-end lingerie boutique. The brand's Boston shop, located at 123 Newbury St., boasts scantily clad mannequins striking a come-hither pose. It's a shocking window that has already raised a few eyebrows among Boston's Puritanical crew.

One outfit, a scandalous reinvention of AP's sheer tulle Cendrillon Playsuit and tassled pasties, included a shimmering nude lingerie sneak peek of Spears' svelte new look. She also pulled off AP's revealing Fifi bra, briefs and suspender belt, a boudoir throwback to old-school Hollywood glam.

Co-founder Joe Corre, who opened the label's first boutique back in 1996 with Serena Rees, has crafted a naughty collection of classic to exotic lingerie. Think enticing suspender belts, corsets, garters and see-through undergarments that will add a sizzle to your boudoir during the winter months.

Click here for the lowdown on Agent Provocateur.

Hollywood in the Hub filming heats up ... again

With the on-and-off-again SAG strike in limbo, Hollywood is planning a repeat visit to the Boston area in the next few months. There are several made-in-Boston flicks and TV productions in the works … with a few in the wings ready to strike once the SAG negotiations are resolved.

Here’s the latest:

*Black Mass project
Jim Sheridan, the acclaimed Irish filmmaker of "My Left Foot" and "In the Name of the Father," plans to film the quintessential Whitey Bulger flick based on the book "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob." Filming is slotted for April.

*Code of Silence
A film slotted to begin filming in the Spring from "Townies" writer/director Mike O'Dea, "Code of Silence" follows boxer Mickey Callaghan with an extraordinary family legacy ... his father John Callaghan is a feared and ruthless Winter Hill crime boss.

*Grown Ups
Former “SNL” cohorts including Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider as well as “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” funnyman Kevin James are slotted for a 66-day film shoot beginning in May centering around a group of guys who return to their hometown. Think a “Big Chill”-style comedy … but with a lot of laughs. The made-in-Boston flick from Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions is tentatively called "Grown Ups." So far, film scouts for the flick have scoped out Franklin Park Zoo and locations in Wellesley, Wareham and Southborough. Also, nearby Essex entered into an agreement on Monday, March 16 to host Sandler and crew at the town’s Centennial Grove this summer.

*How Do You Know?
James L. Brooks returns to the romantic genre with a comedy starring an unlikely trio of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson. Rudd will play the part of a businessman vying for Witherspoon's affections, while Wilson is slated for the role of a professional baseball pitcher out to steal her heart. *Filming moved to Washington D.C.

*Serial Buddies

Kevin Undergaro, a friend and business partner of celeb journalist and Emerson alum Maria Menounos, plans to film this so-called comedy following bosom buddies who happen to be serial killers. Filming in Boston kicks off in June.

*The Company Men
Affleck, alongside Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, plays a corporate bigwig whose six-figure salary is suddenly cut after he gets a pink slip. Filming is slotted for April, with scenes planned for First Church, 10 Putnam St. in Roxbury on Monday, April 13 and Tuesday, April 14.

*The Town
An adaptation of the Charlestown-based blue-collar heist novel by Chuck Hogan, "The Town" will feature Ben Affleck who has signed on to write, star and direct in the film following a bizarre love triangle involving a crook, a female bank teller and a FBI agent. Filming kicks off in August.

*Untitled John Shepherd Project
Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president. The ABC TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," begins filming in Boston on Thursday, March 19. Crews are filming at the State House for two weekends starting on Friday, March 20 and Doyle's in Jamaica Plain.
--Photo of Reese Witherspoon in "Just Like Heaven" courtesy DreamWorks SKG

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish eyes smiling on latest 'Whitey' Bulger flick

Michael Cerenzie, producer of the soon-to-be-made-in-Boston Whitey Bulger flick based on the book "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob," has raised more than $200 million in financing for his production group, according to the International Herald Tribune here.

Tapping director Jim Sheridan, the acclaimed Irish filmmaker of "My Left Foot" and "In the Name of the Father," Cerenzie is gearing for a three-month shoot in South Boston beginning in April. And, according to the article, he plans to make the film within a modest budget of $20 to $30 million.

Securing a deal to give the studio first dibs to distribute the made-in-Boston film, or a "first-look" agreement with Paramount, Cerenzie says he was ahead of the curve in regards to financing the flick.

"I look at it as a bull market," Cerenzie says. "We did our homework and got on the ground early and were able to structure some of these deals ahead of time."

Irish mob overkill? Perhaps. A much-needed boost to Boston's local film community? Absolutely.

CIA spy flick 'Fair Game' staying in Manhattan

You win some, you lose some. As previously reported in Loaded Gun, a Hollywood insider teased that the new Doug Liman flick, “Fair Game,” was considering moving production to the Boston area.

As of Monday, it's a no go. "'Fair Game' will stay in NYC to take the tax credits that are being given to the film," the source confirms.

The drama following the life of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, "Fair Game" stars Naomi Watts in the lead role of the real-life undercover CIA agent whose identity was illegally revealed in 2003.

Liman, a die-hard New Yorker, initially planned to film in Manhattan but was considering Boston as a NYC stand-in because of our state's tax incentives. Crews have already started filming the Washington DC scenes this past weekend.

While "Fair Game" is gearing for Boston, the anonymous source says Hollywood is eager to film in the Hub. "There are plenty of features coming into Boston this summer as long as the SAG dilemma is sorted out in a timely fashion," the source adds.
--Photo of Naomi Watts in "21 Grams," Focus Films Inc.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beehive unveils its Matthew McConaughey cocktail

Actor Matthew McConaughey must have made one helluva impression on the staff at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St. while he was filming "The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" in Boston from February to April last year.

Bartender Frank Reardon was inspired to concoct what he calls the "Matthew McConaughey cocktail" after watching the Texas-bred actor on "Jimmy Kimmel" recently. Reardon jokes, "I decided to make a drink that would both give the celeb a shout out ... and also leave people with the same confused state as the actor after drinking a few."

In the flick, McConaughey plays a bachelor haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends (including Ben Affleck's wife Jennifer Garner) at his younger brother's wedding, awakening feelings for his first love. Michael Douglas, Anne Archer and Robert Forster co-star in this made-in-Boston flick.

Think Ebenezer Scrooge and "A Christmas Carol" but with a much hotter looking leading man.

Speaking of the film's lead, McConaughey spills about his character Connor Mead on his MySpace blog here. "It's cool being in a very edgy comedy where the dialogue and situations skirt that R-rated innuendo," he writes. "My character ... is cynical about the promises of [marriage] ... Until all those damn ghosts of my girlfriends come visit me and scare the you know what outta me. Hopefully I'll make it out alive."

Filming locations include Sonsie, 327 Newbury St., the Leather District's South Street near South Station and the Crane Estate's Crane Mansion in Ipswich. While filming on Newbury Street, Garner made a dash to the North Face store for a winter jacket.

"The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" hits theaters on Friday, May 1.

Here's the potent potable created by The Beehive's Frank Reardon:
  • 2 oz. Makers Mark
  • 1 oz. of peach liquor
  • 2 oz. peach nectar
  • 2 orange slices
  • 2 oz. of water
  • Fresh mint
Directions: Combine orange slices and apricot nectar and muddle. Add ice, liquors and water. Stir and garnish with orange slices and the sprig of mint.

Ben Affleck is Esquire Magazine's April cover boy

Officially hitting stands tomorrow, Cambridge homeboy Ben Affleck graces Esquire's April 2009 cover. Based on his comments, he's no April fool.

In the profile, Affleck plays the humble card for writer Tom Chiarella. "Who I am, as a person, in my everyday life, wouldn't sell any magazines," Affleck says. "And even when I've been in circumstances like relationships ended, where that seemed like high drama, the truth was much more pedestrian when you got right down to it."

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, Affleck will follow-up his made-in-Boston directorial debut "Gone Baby Gone" with the Charlestown-based flick "The Town," an adaptation of the blue-collar heist novel by Chuck Hogan which was written for the big screen by Peter Craig.

Chiarella asks Affleck if he's worried about being pigeonholed as a Boston-only director.

"Yeah, I think there's always a worry among directors that — unless you're some genius like Paul Thomas Anderson — you'll get pigeonholed, that maybe you can only tell stories about one city. It's simple: I just respond to the story," Affleck says. "I have since I first read it. That fact that it's set in Boston may be part of that, but I'm not out there looking to document Boston. I want to tell good stories."

Click here for the latest on Affleck's "The Town."
--Cover image courtesy Esquire

Amy Smart's ABC TV pilot casting rockers, rowers

The ABC TV pilot, formerly known as "I, Claudia" and "See Kate Run," begins filming in Boston on Thursday, March 19.

Starring Amy Smart in the main role, the series with a working title called the "Untitled John Scott Shepherd Project" follows a Boston-based district attorney destined to become the first female president.

Mara Casting, a scouting group that held an open casting call at a warehouse located at 300 W. 1st Street in South Boston back on Saturday, March 7, is still on the hunt for specific roles, including:
  • 18+ Hispanic men and women who look 15-18 and could pass as being in high school
  • Gorgeous Hispanic women who are 18+ but look younger and are comfortable posing in lingerie
  • Rowers, bonus if you have access to (or own) a crew team boat
  • Rocker types who own and can play your own guitar (no bright colors)
Click here for the casting lowdown.

Sean Penn confirms role in 'Fair Game' spy flick

Sean Penn, fresh from his recent Oscar win for "Milk," has reportedly just signed to portray retired ambassador Joe Wilson in the soon-to-be shot flick, "Fair Game."

However, the burning question: Will the spy thriller film in Boston?

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, a Hollywood insider says that the new Doug Liman flick, “Fair Game,” may move production to the Boston area. A drama following the life of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, "Fair Game" stars Naomi Watts in the lead role of the real-life undercover CIA agent whose identity was illegally revealed in 2003.

The Loaded Gun source says “Fair Game” is currently scheduled to be shot in NYC and, of course, Washington DC which started filming on Saturday, March 14. However, because Manhattan is cutting their tax incentive program there’s a very good chance the full-length feature will move production to the Boston area within the next few weeks.

Director Liman worked with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the spy flick “Mr & Ms. Smith.” If Penn does commit to the project, this will be his second made-in-Boston flick--he starred in “Mystic River”--as well as his second film opposite Watts. The duo paired up in the 2003 drama “21 Grams.”

Casting scouts are on the hunt for actors to portray former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Bush’s chief of staff Andy Card, Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Control official Joe Turner, and several extras to play various reporters, journalists and businessmen.

Click here for the latest on "Fair Game."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ finalist Nina Flowers in Boston

Goth drag diva Jorge Flores also known as Nina Flowers, a top three finalist on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” known for his edgy costumes, tattoos and muscular physique, visited Boston over the weekend to spin at Epic/Roxy last night, according to WickedGayBlog and Mr. Naked Sports.

Here’s what Tony from Mr. Naked Sports writes about his close encounter with Flowers at Machine on Friday, March 13: “He was very friendly to anyone who approached him. He was laughing as he had a few attendees of Machine mimicking her hair dryer commercial from the third episode on ‘RuPaul's Drag Race.’ He was very down to earth, kind and has a great positive attitude!”

Flores, originally from Puerto Rico and currently living in Denver, Colorado, wowed judges last week after winning a vogue mini-battle and then facing off in a drag ball, an event where the finalists had to sport three looks including swimsuit, executive realness and evening wear. Absolut sponsored the ball so each queen had to portray one of the four pre-selected fruits. Flowers did a fierce mango.

Club Cafe, located at 209 Columbus Ave, airs two back-to-back episodes of "RuPaul's Drag Race" at 9 p.m. on Mondays, an event sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Also, finalist Rebecca Glasscock recently made at a guest appearance on Thursday, March 5 at Club Cafe.

Click here for Nina Flower’s MySpace page and here for more on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

UPDATE: Jorge Flores also known as Nina Flowers was second runner-up in the season finale of "RuPaul's Drag Race" behind the fab Bebe, who won "the next drag superstar" crown.
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