Yeah, yeah, I know we are all a little movie’d out, but I have one more article on . As with many other people in town, I had the great pleasure of meeting Ronnie Kuppferwasser, the Location Manager of the movie. As Director of Community Relations for the Stonington Borough Merchants Association, my job was to see if there was anything we could do to help with the filming and be a conduit for information to the member businesses.
We also wanted to make sure the crew felt welcome and appreciated by the business community. SBMA provided 100 "GHS Film Crew Discount Cards" to our visitors offering a 10 percent discount to all participating merchants and we were thrilled to see the cards being used by so many so often. After the first week, all was running smoothly and it was obvious how much we were all enjoying the film crew and the filming, but I wanted to check in with Ronnie and see how the film crew was feeling about us, the hosts. I basically wanted to know how our customer service was as a whole.
Ronnie and I chatted a bit at the one morning and the more I talked to him, the more I wanted to know, and he graciously agreed to answer some more questions via email to share with you.
Q1: Why was Stonington Borough selected?
The main reason we selected Stonington Borough is because it had the perfect look for what our director was hoping to achieve. The town of “Great Hope Springs“ is supposed to be a small coastal town in Maine, and Stonington is a perfect cheat for it. Since our goal is to film the entire movie in the State of Connecticut, we spent a long time searching every town along the coast of Connecticut (and some inland towns) and from the moment we saw Stonington, we knew it couldn’t be beat. The CT State Filming tax incentive is the initial reason why we want to keep the entire movie filming within the state of Connecticut.
Q2: Knowing that filming is a very fluid process, any unexpected happenings so far, good or bad? I know the first day had a few bumps, anything out of the norm?
The most unexpected happening is how wonderful everyone from Stonington has treated us. As you may know, it can be a complicated process to plan a film production and bring the large amounts of people and vehicles to any location. This can be very overwhelming to anyone who is not used to it. Everyone in the Borough, ranging from store owners to home owners, have all been extremely accommodating and welcoming to our entire crew, and fortunately for us, very understanding of the nature of how fluid of a process filmmaking can be. We are very thankful to everyone for working with us and for being so gracious.
Q3: How have you found the Borough, its businesses and residents, to be as hosts?
After a week of filming, two weeks of prep time, and months of planning, we’ve begun to feel like a part of the community. I feel like I’ve forged friendships with several people in the borough and hope to return often for a more relaxed visit (and hopefully for another movie production too!). Many people in our crew feel the same way and wish we could spend more time filming here in the Borough.
Q4: Are the movie's stars, crew and staff enjoying their time here?
Absolutely Yes! We’re having a great time. Although we are working long hours, we are making sure to enjoy the local restaurants, (which are all excellent!) and do some shopping too.
Q5: Can you give us some fun facts and figures to help us better understand what it takes to film here: for example, number of crew and what are some of those jobs, how many hotel rooms, where is the crew from, how many trucks/trailers/cameras, and where do all the props come from?
Our cast and crew consist of approximately 100-120 people, depending on each day’s number of background actors. We require so many hotel rooms, that we are split into four different places, and a few people have chosen to rent a house for a short term. The majority of our crew comes from New York, but we have hired several Connecticut residents as well. The props come from many places, most have been prefabricated before arriving, but we do a lot of local shopping to fine tune a few missing pieces to the sets.
Q7: Any guesstimate of how much money is being pumped into our local economy?
If I had to take a guess, I would say a truckload :)
Q8: Tell us what happens to props like the marquis, the side of , fake signs, etc?
Many of the props will go to a storage facility and remain available in case of any need to do reshoots. We are also planning to donate a few of the props to the (it would be an honor for us to make it into the future history of Stonington!).
Q9: Everyone here has their favorite spot in the boro....do you have one yet? We know is getting popular among the crew because of their fabulous margaritas, anything else that the crew might remember?
I’m not sure if I can pick one favorite spot as they all have their perks, and they are all good for different days/nights of the week. Personally, I have frequented and the most and have never been disappointed. My goal is to try everything on their menus at least once, but the daily special makes it tricky to get ahead of the curve! Of course, I’ve enjoyed , and too….so what can I say, they are all delicious!
Q10: Anything else you want to add?
I hope to return to Stonington for vacation and a future movie. You haven’t seen the last of me yet! :)
And, Ronnie, for business or vacation, we hope to see you and the crew again too!! It was a pleasure!