Friday, July 3, 2009

Lowell, Mass: Hollywood East

I live right in downtown Lowell, MA. During the spring of 2008 Ricky Gervais shot much of his movie, The Invention of Lying (working title, This Side of the Truth), in Massachusetts. Many scenes were shot on location here in Lowell. One weekday Liz and I decided to head down to that day’s location to see if we could spot a movie star. We knew we were getting close when we saw Middle Street lined with trailers. We didn’t see familiar faces around the trailers, but the name on each trailer door was worth the trip.

Out onto Central Street and we found the crew, shooting a scene on the sidewalk. We were directed to cross the street to stay out of the shot, then funneled across to Merrimack Street, where we stood looking back down Central to watch the show. Us and about fifty locals.

We caught sight of Ricky early on. He was both director and lead actor, so he never stopped moving. It was difficult to tell when they were shooting, rehearsing, or changing camera angles. The scene they were shooting involved a lot of movement, so they used a steadicam instead of a stationary camera or a camera atop a tripod or dolly.

We spent a half hour or so watching the bustle of the movie crew.

Aside from Ricky, none of the other actors were around, including Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K., and Rob Lowe.

Why am I mentioning this now, over a year later? Because the trailer for the movie, scheduled for a fall release, just came out. And Lowell is all over this thing. There’s restaurants like the Dubliner and Cobblestones, not to mention the very scene they shot on the sidewalk the day we were there.

Check it out, 18 seconds in:

Okay, that’s not all. Come this Monday, July 6, Hollywood arrives again, this time to film The Fighter, a film directed by David O. Russell, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. According to, “Wahlberg will play (Micky) Ward, a fighter (from Lowell) who was losing bouts and was ready to hang up the gloves when his brother came back into his life. Bale will play Eklund, whose drugs and robbery spree drew him a 10- to 15-year sentence in state prison. There, he kicked drugs, became a model prisoner and emerged as a changed man who helped his brother reach the glory that eluded him.” I have no idea how much of the movie they’re shooting in town, but it’s always cool to see a movie crew hanging about. Keep track of the shoot here.

Also, check out Liz’s blog post from last year. She talks more about seeing the Ricky Gervais shoot, with additional pics. Plus, she gives you a little history of another film shot in Lowell.


Laurie Haviland said...

I will look for this movie, Dell. Thanks again for sharing...
By the way, happy 4th to you and yours!!


Dell Smith said...

Hi Laurie. yeah, the movie looks pretty good. We'd probably go see it even if it wasn't shot in Lowell.

Happy 4th.

Liz (made in lowell) said...

Woot! I can't wait to watch this, IN LOWELL!! So much fun :)