That’s a wrap! Charlemont film shoot ends
Ericka Hanger, makeup artist for “Then There Was.”
Film poster for “Then There Was”
CHARLEMONT — After an 18-day shoot in Charlemont, “Then There Was” actor, producer and creator Jordan Marder has wrapped up filming.
“I think it went very well,” Marder said. “I’ve seen some of the dailies and I think they’re good. The movie has a very ominous feel, but it’s also peppered with a little humor and other emotions. I think local people will be pleased when they see it.”
Marder said he hopes he’ll be able to show the completed film in a local venue, such as Pothole Pictures in Shelburne Falls, before a film company buys it for broader distribution.
Marder has appeared in several TV series and films, but “Then There Was” is his first feature film production.
From Sept. 24 to Oct. 14, a cast of 29 actors and 60 to 70 local “background players,” as Marder calls them, enacted scenes from this apocalyptic film, about the unraveling of society during a lengthy global power outage.
Charlemont is itself a character in this film and is called “Charlemont” on-screen. “This movie is really about outside forces coming into the town,” he said.
The film centers around a group of main characters, whose small New England town is visited by others as food, drinking water and gasoline become scarcer commodities.
“It was a very challenging shoot,” says Marder, “but one of the most talented casts and crews I have ever worked with.”
He said he appreciated the background players, who worked 12-hour days without pay for a film credit. “They have added such a dimension to the whole project,” he said.
Marder, who was lean to begin with, said he lost 20 pounds during the filming of the movie. “I wish I could have shot in sequence,” he said, so that his character would have appeared to grow more gaunt as people ran out of food.
One bit of reality gave Marder and the film crew a little “bonus” on the evening of Oct. 7 — a two-hour power outage. Marder said he and a camera crew member jumped into a vehicle and drove around the unlit streets to get shots of Marder’s character driving in the dark.
Marder, a Los Angeles-based film and TV actor grew up in Charlemont and has a home in town. Marder appeared in the film “L.A. Confidential” and was a recurring character, Dimitri, in the TV series “24.” He has also appeared on “The X-Files,” “NCIS” and “The Drew Carey Show,” among others. Other film and TV actors to appear in this film include Mark Valley, Ronny Gene Blevin, Abraham Benrubi and Costas Mandylor. The director, Louis Mandylor, is perhaps best known for his acting role in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
Marder said his next step is to enter “Then There Was” into film festivals and get a distributor interested in buying it.
“This is my first foray as producer and developer, so if it does well, I feel there will be good things coming ahead,” said Marder.
Ericka Hanger was packing up Tuesday morning at the Oxbow Resort Motel, after spending 18 days putting makeup onto movie stars and movie extras. Because the movie is about the ungluing of society in the face of a global blackout, Hanger’s job was to take the actors from looking normal — before the blackout — to looking haggard, hungry and unwashed during the long power outage.
“We wrapped up around 6 a.m. Monday morning,” said Hanger, of an overnight scene staged at the Mohawk Trail Regional School grounds. She explained that the call for wardrobe and makeup for the final scene had been Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.
She was one of only two crew members still in town Tuesday morning. “We had a wrap party, people had to catch flights. I stayed here to pack up and finish up,” she said.
Filming involved mostly 10- to 12-hour workdays, and Hanger says the good weather was a blessing.
“I’ve done about six or seven features, where I started doing special effects on movies,” said Hanger, who grew up western Massachusetts and now lives in Pittsfield.
“I have the skills to do special effects and beauty makeup — and I got to do both in this movie, which followed five characters over the course of 15 days,” she said. “There are some fight scenes, a couple of death scenes. So I got to do some really creative work.”
“I’ve always had an interest in special effects makeup,” Hanger said. “In high school, I wanted to go to a school called Makeup Designory in Los Angeles, but didn’t think I could do it,” she said.
But in 2007, Hanger decided to move to Los Angeles, and enrolled in a six-month program at that school, learning beauty makeup artistry, character makeup and special effects makeup.
“Right after I graduated, I started interning at a special effects shop, working with sculpture and prosthetic special effects,” she said.
Hanger said the special effects makeup community was small enough that she was able to find more work through networking and word of mouth.
Hanger said she put makeup on about 30 actors and between 30 to 40 extras on some days.
She said the high-definition cameras pick up “pores, wrinkles, everything” on a actor’s face. But for “Then There Was,” that’s a good thing.
You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
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