Reel work in rain
Filming continues in East Deerfield
A car marked as an Indiana Sheriff’s Dept. vehicle sits outside The Wok in the north end of Deerfield where crews were filming a scene for “The Judge” in Thursday’s rain.
Crew members try to keep cameras and themselves dry as they film a scene at the north end of River Road in Deerfield temporarily disrupting traffic on Routes 5 and 10 near the Cheapside Bridge.
Film caterers serve up grilled macaroni for movie staff.
photo by kathleen mcKiernan
DEERFIELD — Rather than chicken chow mein, sweet and sour chicken and beef fried rice wafting from The Wok, homemade grilled macaroni, salmon and meatloaf coated in ketchup was on the movie menu on Thursday.
The film crew from Warner Bros.’ “The Judge” transformed the popular Chinese restaurant on Routes 5 and 10 into a catered buffet for crew members and staff for its second week of filming in Franklin County. The film caterers rented out the restaurant so cast and crew could have a dry and warm place to heat on an unusually chilly and rainy June day.
“I was surprised,” said Albert Chin, owner of The Wok. “I didn’t know what to do. I’ve been in business for so long. The only day I close is on Thanksgiving. I never close.”
The filming was originally scheduled for next week, Chin said. But late Wednesday night, Warner Bros. producers called Chin and asked to use the restaurant’s parking and facilities this week instead.
At about 7 a.m., the big white box trucks came rolling into the wide parking lot spanning the properties of the restaurant and the Keg N’ Kork liquor store.
The movie crew would use the 37-year-old restaurant’s parking lot and its facilities for bringing in catered food for the film crew.
On The Wok’s entrance, Chin hung a sign — closed for a private function until 4 p.m.
“I feel obligated to my customers,” said Chin. “I feel bad for giving them a short notice.”
Though the public had to wait until the evening to get some General Gau’s chicken and infamous scorpion bowls, Chin allowed scheduled employees to come in so they could get their regular pay.
The Wok staff did not feel inconvenienced.
Waitresses Jamie Hagen and Gina Renaud helped clean up the restaurant and were able to get a first-hand look at how the stars eat.
In the kitchen, cook Jon Cooley prepared meat to be marinated.
“It’s exciting. My dad was coming home from work and he called to ask what was going on,” said Cooley, whose birthday was actually on the filming day.
At about 2 p.m. movie staff streamed into the Chinese restaurant — though there was no sign of the big stars.
Film caterers brought in piles of carrot cake, mounds of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and platters of sausage and cheese.
Outside under tents, crew served up baked corn on the cob, hot meatloaf, golden grilled chicken and mashed potatoes. To the right, fire blasted high as cooks grilled macaroni.
As staff grabbed some grub, the friendly film crew invited The Wok staff and members of the Deerfield and Greenfield Police and the Old Deerfield Fire Department to the Hollywood buffet.
Earlier in the day, down the road, the movie makers shot scenes on River Road below the railroad bridge in East Deerfield. At about 10:30 a.m., actors Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall were seen acting out an argument in the rain.
The owner of the Keg N’ Kork watched the filming early in the morning.
Susan Johnson was closing the store Wednesday night when the film crew came in and requested Johnson to close for a day so the movie could use her parking lot.
Johnson found it exciting.
The film crew paid the business owners for their time and lots, but they wouldn’t say how much.
The film crew also used the driveway of one Deerfield resident, Chris Couchon, who lives off Greenfield Road.
Deerfield Police Officer Nate Coffin had patrolled the area close to the filming, directing traffic.
“It was a good experience,” Coffin said. “Traffic was heavy at times, but we were able to control it.”
Working alongside the film crew, Coffin said “they’re a good bunch of people.” It is a sentiment felt by many Franklin County residents and businesses who have had the chance to get up close to the filming.
The officers worked eight hours Thursday, while a total of 14 hours the day before in Sunderland.
It is just one movie scene of many filmed across Franklin County. On Wednesday, the film crew shot scenes at Smiarowski Farm in Sunderland. And for most of last week, the film crew took over Shelburne Falls. Next, the movie spotlight shines on Millers Falls.
You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.