It's been about a year now since all of the talk about the potential explosion of Hollywood East. Plymouth Rock studios in Plymouth, Massachusetts was predicted to expand into a Universal Studios type park where it would boast a multitude of studios, stores, eateries along with many other sites to see. I haven't heard anything else about this upcoming addition Hollywood since it was first in the news last year so I decided to dig around and see if I could get an update.
Evidently, the project will not be in the works until sometime in 2012, a little more than one year away. As a former extra on the set of the movie The Game Plan with Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, I'm excited that there should be many more opportunities headed my way to give it another go. I have no acting experience but suddenly it seems so interesting and more attainable now that Hollywood will be practically in my back yard, at least in comparison to Los Angeles.
The new project could bring about more jobs for our residents and possibly rake in a killing that would obviously benefit Massachusetts. Perhaps our taxes could go down (yeah right). Some residents are concerned about the hubbub that will come about as the result of the new expansion and the streets that are already jammed with traffic will become even more unbearable for commuters. Just remember guys, Hollywood, HOLLYWOOD! All I fear is that the tax credit offered to filmmakers might be taken away once everything is built. We all know it can't be this great for that long in Taxachusetts. I hope I'm wrong for the sake of the film industry. I would love to see this project go through and strive for many years to come.
Connecticut might be getting a head start on the action as the plans have recently become official that Connectucut Studios LLC will start construction on a 61- acre, $50 million sound stage in South Windsor. It is said that the new establishment could create 1,530 jobs right off the bat.
Many stars are already calling Boston a second home. The recent slews of movies that have been shot here have also brought with them a good share of celebrities who have now become well acquainted with our beautiful state. Martin Scorcese has been a fan since making his hit movies The Departed and Shutter Island. It would not be totally unheard of to bump into Scorcese, Kate Hudson or Tom Cruise and family on the streets of Boston. Imagine how it will be when this project really takes off.
It has not officially been written yet, but the new Rob Zombie movie will be filmed in Salem Mass once production is underway. Zombie doesn't seem to use many extras in his films but I would love to have the chance to be part of one of his movies. Just getting into the whole behind-the-scenes action in a horror movie is enough for me. The movie is The Lords of Salem and will focus on a coven of witches from the past that return to torment the town. This has to be interesting especially from Rob Zombie's perspective and it will certainly beef up tourism for Salem.
The last Hollywood star connected to Salem Mass is Elizabeth Montgomery for filming a few episodes of the hit TV show Bewitched back in 1970. She even has a bronze statue on Essex Street to commemorate her visit. Salem residents seem to be supporting the idea of the film being shot in their hometown though some say that the town is much more appealing now than it was in the past and that it may not be the best backdrop for a horror movie.
I haven't found any new information or updates about the construction of the massive Hollywood East facility but one thing I did notice is the growing number of films being shot here. Their website is also a great resource for people interested in breaking into the movie business. They have blogs about what is going on with new projects and offer acting and screenwriting classes that you can sign up for and much more. I recently joined the site to be kept in the loop and maybe get more info on upcoming movies and events that look interesting. Maybe I'll take another shot at being an extra or even trying something new.
It seems that Hollywood East is creeping its way into the limelight little by little. It is not necessarily in the news, but you can find new information online by reading articles and blogs posted on their related sites. The next two projects aside from Zombie's witch flick will be The Three Stooges and What's Your Number? The three major movies shot in Massachusetts that have topped the box office are Shutter Island, The Town and, most recently, The Social Network. So, my fellow residents, the next time you're out for a walk keep your eyes open. You could pass by a major Hollywood star!
By: Francis David