It’s a wrap for ‘Dexter’ in Shelburne Falls: TV show filming a boost for businesses

  • Chris King, owner of Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls, changed the coffee shop’s schedule to accomodate the filming of “Dexter.” STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Ashley Wichman and manager Melissa Stevens of Hearty Eats in Shelburne Falls were busy feeding the crews working the “Dexter” filming. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Christmas is over again in Shelburne Falls with the toppling of the tree erected by the “Dexter” film crews and the removal of the holiday trappings. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Mocha Maya’s on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Hearty Eats on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls did good business with the “Dexter” film crews working in town theses past few weeks. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 4/22/2021 4:52:22 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — After two weeks of Christmas in April, business is returning to normal in the village.

Last Friday marked the final day of filming in Shelburne Falls for the new 10-episode limited series of the Showtime production, “Dexter.” On Thursday afternoon, crews were in the village removing lights from trees and other decor that had been set up in the weeks prior to the film’s first day of production April 5.

“Shelburne Falls is the prettiest town I’ve ever seen,” said Clyde Phillips, showrunner for the series, speaking from New England Studios in Devens. “We had six towns to choose from, and Shelburne Falls was by far our first choice. We felt very fortunate to get it, to be able to shoot there.”

The show — which was being called “Marble” before the official announcement was made that “Dexter” would be returning — has other shoots planned in several locations across Western Massachusetts, including in Sunderland on Amherst Road, and in Whately, where crews will be at the beginning of May to film a truck stop scene.

“Dexter” follows forensic analyst Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall), who spends his days solving crimes and his nights committing them, according to a synopsis on Showtime’s website. But the character lives by a “strict honor code” — acting as a vigilante serial killer.

The final episode of the original series, which lasted eight seasons, aired in 2013.

Phillips said the new series, however, won’t be a “season 9.”

“Time has passed, and we acknowledge that,” he said of the new, limited series that is set in Iron Lake, N.Y. “It’s obviously not Miami anymore; we’re in a cold climate, and Dexter’s trying to assimilate into this town.”

The showrunner thanked the community, in particular the local businesses, that made the production company’s experience so welcoming — including Hearty Eats, which he said provided much of the nourishment for the cast and crew.

“We had a really great experience with the cast and crew, at least from my perspective,” commented Melissa Stevens, general manager at Hearty Eats on Bridge Street. “They brought a little bit of action to our otherwise sleepy town this time of year. It was really fun to watch their operation.”

Stevens said it was an experience she found fun to “observe and be part of.”

“They were very supportive of us,” she said. “We got a fair amount of business from them while they were here. Everyone was really kind and courteous and respectful.”

The owner at Mocha Maya’s on Bridge Street adjusted the cafe’s schedule to accommodate some of the late night film shoots.

“We had a few late nights,” said Chris King. “I would close for a little bit, and then reopen — staying open until 10 (p.m.) some nights.”

King said the cast and crew were friendly and accommodating as well.

“Being a TV show, you expect it to have less of an impact than a movie, but they definitely did more to the town than any of the movies did,” he said, referencing the filming of “Labor Day” in 2012 and “The Judge” in 2013. “It’s enjoyable; it’s always fun to see how it works.”

Al Goodwin, store manager at McCusker’s Market on State Street — which was used for filming the interior as well as the exterior — said he felt the experience was a good source of promotion for the town and the store.

“We had a lot of people curious about what was going on, so we probably introduced some new people to the store,” he said.

From the town’s perspective, the project was “well-managed and a good experience,” said Buckland Town Administrator Heather Butler.

“We were particularly pleased with the response from the location manager, Matthew Beltz, who seemed to be able to address any concerns from residents or business owners who reached out with any problems during the filming,” Butler said, acknowledging there were a handful of complaints received during the production process. “We know that there were some disruptions to the status quo of April in the village … but we think overall, most residents found the experience to be a nice distraction.”

And that two-week-long “distraction” may even have brought the original series some new viewers.

In fact, at Town Hall, Butler said, most employees have watched at least half the original series, if not all of it, at this point.

“And we’re anxious to see (the new series),” she said.

At Hearty Eats, Stevens, who said she had previously watched part of the original series, said she’s excited to watch the new series as soon as she can.

“I’m definitely eager to watch,” she said, “and to see what little glimpses of Shelburne Falls we might be able to get.”

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


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