UPDATE 3/14/2017: This movie has aired! Get the details here >
Get out your lawn chairs, because you've got a lot of binge reading or viewing to do. Last week, a movie from British romance novelist Katie Fforde filmed on the West End of Beacon's Main Street, filled with extras, hair and makeup people, and even yellow cabs from New York City. This made-for-TV-movie called "Dancing on Broadway" will air in the fall in Germany on ZDF, "one of the biggest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe" (according to ZDF's website). This movie is part of a collection of other made-for-TV-movies from Fforde that are set in the Hudson Valley. According to ZDF, "Katie Fforde’s romances are
ideal for transposing to the TV screen. Everything that makes her
novels so popular – sparkling dialogues, love of life, beguiling
characters – also infuses the TV movies based on them." Beacon's City Administrator, Anthony J. Ruggiero, informs us further: "From what we were told, in the past they have shot fifteen episodes of this series in the Hudson Valley over the past seven years, also working in Beacon in episodes past, both in private homes as well as on Main Street."
|The camera tent covering camera equipment. |
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
|Yellow cab New York taxis used in a scene.|
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
Last Monday and Tuesday, the film crew was in Beacon to film a short
street scene with a fancy car, perhaps a leading man, plenty of extras walking up and down the street, and even yellow cabs straight out of New York City. Beacon was chosen because of its likeness to Brooklyn with tree-lined streets with small shops. According to American crew members, Fforde is in love with the Hudson Valley and Beacon itself, which makes sense being that she lives near Stroud, Gloucestershire, which is described by Wikipedia as being "noted for its independent spirit and cafe culture."
To see a clip of what life on a part of Main Street was like that day, see this footage from citizen reporter, Jean Noack:
You may have rubbernecked to see what was going on as you slowly drove by, only to
see a lot of people huddled around a TV monitor in front of Berkshire
Hathaway, Notions-n-Potions, or down the street from Artisan Wine. The movie did close the
street for short periods of time, and the production hired a police officer to help direct traffic. Says Anthony J. Ruggiero, "They did a pretty good job of keeping the sidewalks and street open.
The City insisted that they work with the Main Street businesses." The City of Beacon was paid a rate of $2,500 per day for a total of $5,000 which goes into the general fund. Ruggiero stated that "the production did rent space from some of the property owners for the movie." Several other storefronts may have been "in the shot," meaning, the front of stores were part of the filmed scene. Hopefully these parts make it past the cutting room floor!
The film crew may have looked like a bunch of New Yorkers, but several of them were from all over the country, including Massachusetts and Florida. This was a non-union film, so there's a larger pool for hiring crew members who are not in unions associated with filming like the DGA (Directors Guild of America). Usually, Beacon is too far a distance from New York for unions to let their crew members travel without generating further travel compensation.
Look for this film in the fall if you know how to watch German TV, or if you register to view at ZDF. According to someone at Reddit, the movie collection in Germany is wildly popular. Watch it, and see which spots you recognize!
Watch this clip with Fforde to get an idea of her spirit if you have not read her books yet. She is a mother of three, and did not begin writing under after her third child was born. Inspiring.