‘Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid’ doc series makes stop in Greenfield

  • Mesa Verde co-owner Amy McMahon gets interviewed for “Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid,” with Brittany Texeira on the far right and Trevor Walsh behind the camera. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CAITLIN VON SCHMIDT

  • People enjoy the midway at the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield on Friday. Production crews with “Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid” documented scenes at the fair for a short-form documentary about Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/13/2021 5:05:21 PM

GREENFIELD — In between a visit to the Berkshires and a drive to the beaches out east, film crews from the short-form documentary series “Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid” spent the day in Greenfield on Thursday.

Crews captured images of area farmland and scenes from the Franklin County Fair, as well as images of the downtown and Poet’s Seat Tower, according to Dani Letourneau, chief of staff to Mayor Roxann Wedegartner.

“They asked us to formulate what kind of things we want (to feature) … and then they narrowed it down based on their shooting schedule,” she said. “They seemed really conscious about getting lots and lots of (content).”

“Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid,” hosted by the famed actor Dennis Quaid, produces educational documentaries on subjects such as business, finance, technology, travel, agriculture, health and culture that are then shared with public television stations nationwide. Typically, the programs are aired on stations such as PBS, CNBC and CNN.

Wedegartner had announced earlier this summer that the production company — which had chosen Greenfield to feature along with a handful of other Massachusetts communities — would be in the city this month to capture images of Greenfield and conduct interviews with locals.

After the initial announcement, officials clarified that the short-form documentary would come with an underwriting fee of $27,900, causing concern among residents and city councilors alike the fee hadn’t been publicly disclosed sooner. There was also some concern among residents surrounding financing, and if the project should, in fact, have required the mayor to seek written price quotes from multiple vendors before agreeing to Viewpoint’s contract.

According to MJ Adams, director of Community and Economic Development, funding for the project came from the mayor’s unrestricted account, which may be used on “any legitimate municipal expenditure.” Marketing is one such possible expenditure.

Additionally, the project falls under “sole source,” explained Laura Phelps, chief procurement officer for Greenfield. This is because the city was approached by the production company; it represents a marketing opportunity for the community; it offers specific distribution channels; and the city will own the segment in its entirety.

Wedegartner previously said that the documentary will be three to five minutes long, with the theme “Great places to live, work and play.”

In addition to an interview with the mayor, Amy McMahon of Mesa Verde restaurant was interviewed, as was GCET (Greenfield Community Energy and Technology) General Manager John Lunt.

“It was really cool,” McMahon said. “I had a good experience.”

McMahon said as a resident of the city since 2002 and a business owner here since 2003, she felt as though she served as a good representative of the community. She commented on the producer and videographer’s enthusiasm about the area.

“I think people sometimes forget that Greenfield looks really great to people,” she said. “It’s nice to see people who’ve been all over come in and express the pride and wonder and appreciation for all the lovely things we have here. … I do think it was a really nice portrayal for potential residents of Greenfield.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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