Sunderland Selectboard OKs film permit for TV show

  • Amherst Road (Route 116) in Sunderland between North Main Street (Route 47) and Old Amherst Road will be used in an upcoming television show scene. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Amherst Road (Route 116) in Sunderland between North Main Street (Route 47) and Old Amherst Road will be used in an upcoming television show scene. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Amherst Road (Route 116) in Sunderland between North Main Street (Route 47) and Old Amherst Road will be used in an upcoming television show scene. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 3/31/2021 5:03:04 PM

SUNDERLAND — The Selectboard has approved a film permit for a television show that will be filmed entirely in Massachusetts, according to a location scout for the show.

The permit approves a request to shut down Amherst Road (Route 116), between North Main Street (Route 47) and Old Amherst Road, from 7 p.m. on May 7, until 3 a.m. on May 8. Old Amherst Road, therefore, would be used as a detour route for drivers to get around the closed section of Route 116.

“We were looking for a highway to use as a filming location — we have a semi-truck driving scene,” said Joe Piasecki, who works in location management for TV and film productions. “We found Amherst Road had the best look for what we were going for.”

Although Piasecki could not speak to details of the show’s plot, he said the show is currently named “Marble” and will be filmed in several towns in Western Massachusetts. He noted that it is a project of Possible Productions, producing a TV show for Showtime.

“We were actually in town a couple years ago for the filming of ‘Defending Jacob’ for some driving scenes,” he said.

Showtime could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Piasecki said he’s already been in touch with some of the businesses in the area, and that the company hopes to use a few properties as staging.

“Hopefully, we can work out a deal where we can put our lighting and our staging … where we could also provide compensation, so there wouldn’t be any loss in business,” he said. “We would be there to make up for that.”

Signs would be posted at each end of the closure, allowing for local traffic and residents only. Fliers or some other kind of notice would be provided in advance to those affected by the closure.

The permit also approves the use of a prop gun, the noise of which local police will be made aware of in advance.

Piasecki added that he works with road safety companies, and will bring in official road closure and one-way signs to help accommodate people who need to exit North Silver Lane or Garage Road.

Aside from a few questions — including whether a rain date would be necessary, to which Piasecki said although it’s unlikely given the fact it’s night shoot, a decision would be made 24 hours in advance if rescheduling was necessary — the Selectboard was supportive of the request.

“Thanks for thinking of Sunderland again,” commented Selectboard member Scott Bergeron. “It’s nice to have you back.”

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


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