A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oldbury Hill Episode 7 and Streamy Awards

Watch Episode 7 and nominate the made in Sturbridge series for Streamy Awards!

Episode 7 is up and it takes place inside the Sturbridge Marketplace. Only at the end does it really relate to the plot to date but it's fun. Link here.

The Streamy Awards are the webisode version of the Emmys. If you have been following Oldbury Hill and enjoy it, you might want to vote for it. Information here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs for the Creative in the Sturbridge Area

Doug and Melinda Kirkpatrick, impresarios of OurFilmSpace.com and OurTVSpace.com and the movers and shakers behind the Oldbury Hill Webisodes have taken a good size space in the Sturbridge Market Place (picture above).

They are serious about producing entertainment as evidenced by their annoncement below.

Team OurTvSpace is Hiring! Come Dream With Us and Help Build Our New Media Company!

OurTvSpace - the new Digital Network startup company - is planning to hire for full-time paid positions for first quarter -2009 for its new headquarters in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, convenient to Mass Pike, Junction 84, and Route 20! We are assembling an “A-Team” for our New Media Company! Join an exciting, creative, and high growth company at the ground level – we are seeking highly motivated and skilled individuals who enjoy working as a team to build value and growth in a rapidly evolving, flexible, fast-paced, and friendly environment. Must be able to execute and deliver on fast-paced task oriented growth plan. OurTvSpace is planning on hiring in the following areas:

1) Web Design and Development – Senior and Junior Personnel;

2) Graphic Artist/Digital Media;

3) Editorial/Sound – for Video Production;

4) Camera/Video Production;

5) CGI/Digital Media Artists;

6) Marketing and Sales/Promotion – Senior and Junior Personnel; and

7) Administrative.

Pay scale based on experience but competitive with start-up companies. Equity Incentive Program and Benefits. Plus – a fun place to work!

OurTvSpace is also hiring part-time paid personnel as well.

We are also recruiting for our Intern Program – which is volunteer – but a training ground that may lead to full or part-time employment. Also possible school credit.

Interviews will be conducted after the Holiday – as soon as possible!

For further information, Message Doug Kirkpatrick on www.OTSVillage.com - the Official Network of www.OurTvSpace.com!

Love – OurTvSpace.com

So get your resumes out and send them in. The link to the original message is here.

Oldbury Hill Continues

The latest episode of Oldbury Hill is out and the plot thickens. There is a hint of conspiracy.

In the last chapter TJ and Maggie are getting to know each other. They have a pleasant interlude canoeing. In the current episode, TJ's older brother reads him the riot act. Maggie is not part of the "cause." TJ ignores Maggie and she is hurt.

So what is this cause?

Keep tuned.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Location-White's Landing, The Quaboag River and Oldbury Hill Update

The latest Oldbury Hill webisode has two of the main characters displaying a bit of chemistry as they interact canoeing on the Quaboag River. It's pleasant chapter made more pleasing because of the venue.

I meant to post more about White's Landing and the view of the Quaboag River from the Bridge at that spot. If you go by it late in the day til sunset, you have a sight of enormous natural beauty.

White's Landing itself has many aspects. There is a cafe, boathouse, fishing supplies and much more. They have live music on occasion and it is at maybe the loveliest spot on the Quaboag. Your hostess is Anna Patricia White, 13th generation Mayflower descendant. For more information go here. Also, I mentioned White's Landing in my November Sturbridge Times Column.

Episode 5 - The River from OurTvSpace.com on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Don't Miss White Christmas in West Brookfield on Sunday, December 7

Every year on the first Sunday in December we have a town celebration all through the center. Most all of the businesses will have open houses as will the library and the churches. It starts around noon.

You can get some roasting chestnuts from Roger Allen at the Common or go for a hayride. At 5:45 p.m. the tree will be lit and then it's off to the Great Hall in the Town Hall. There will be a concert featuring the Quaboag Chorus led by Erich Von Bleicken. Also, Samantha Gillogly, a local virtuoso and student at Berklee College will play violin. Father Christmas will also come by. Then it will be over for another year. So don't miss it.

You can also go to the Sturbridge Times and click on the December issue and scroll down to page 14 for my more extensive article on the event.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Shameless Self Promotion-The Sturbridge Times December Issue is Out!

Yup, the December issue is online and I have a couple of articles and my column. click here or on the link to the right.

On Page 4 is my story about Doug and Melinda Kirkpatrick and the new media enterprise they are bringing to Sturbridge Marketplace.

White Christmas in West Brookfield is a beloved town tradition and you can read about it on Page 14.

My column is on page 20.

There are many other great articles. If you don't want to read online, you can pick up a copy at many area businesses and other public spots. I've stolen the list below from the website. Click on the picture to enlarge the list.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

CRUELTY update - it's a wrap!

Kristen Zaik sent this out and I am posting it as is (almost) to spare myself effort.

Hey everyone - it's time for another CRUELY update!!


Sixunder7 Films and Baker Street Productions wrapped principal photography for the independent feature film CRUELTY on November 1st, and are pleased to report that the shoot was an overwhelming success! The footage looks amazing, and we are so very proud of what we were able to accomplish together, as a team. Though we're all sad that this shoot has come to an end, there will surely be many more to come!

Keep your eyed and ears peeled for us on the news and in print... and for our trailer,which will likely be done and online for viewing by the end of December.

Though we're not sure how, we made it - Check us out on IMDB!


We'd like to thank our awesome still photographer Tony Colapietro for spending time with the CRUELTY cast and crew! His photographs of the shoot can be viewed on his OurFilmSpace.com profile.

You can also visit Tony’s own website.


See more of our photographs on the Sixunder7 Films Myspace profile, in the album titled CRUELTY:

During our shoot we were treated to brunch at the Blackstone Grill Restaurant by the lovely Pat Manos, and interviewed once again by Richard Murphy of the Sturbridge Times. Read his write-up here, on Tony Colapietro's Blog.
(note: it is also posted on this blog, but Tony's website is worth a visit)


We'd like to extend a special thanks to the following local businesses who helped to make this shoot a success:

Parker Audio
Whiskey Hill Sports
New England Fleet Cars
Ware Walmart SuperCenter
PA Cleaners
Café Dolce
K’s Ambulance
Goretti’s Supermarket
Spalding Inc.
Magic Hat Brewery
Smokey Mountain BBQ
Paul’s Center Bakery
Keown’s Orchard
Waters Farm
Sposato’s Flower Shop
The Sutton Women’s Club
The Palmer Big Y
Palmer Dunkin’ Donuts
The Sutton Police Department

*Special Thanks to Robert and Julie Zaik, Amos and Karen Green, Sue Green and Jim Peirce, Carmine and Tina D'Angelo, and Jay and Becky for their tremendous hospitality to our cast and crew throughout the shoot!


We're proud to announce exciting news for our sister company Sixunder7 Music! Congrats to RJ and Brett, who together make up Valerna, as this week has seen their first international release!

Download the Valerna album here.

Listen to their latest interview on IsGoodMusic.


Our website is in the process of being re-vamped, so check back there for updates :www.sixunder7.com/

Sutton PD, 2nd Unit

Kristen Zaik
Sixunder7 Films

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Help Nominate Local Website Promoting Webisodes For an Award

Here is the message from OurFilmSpace.com,

www.OurTvSpace.com recently launched its new Digital Network in 2008 with its new Web Series "Oldbury Hill"! The startup Company also just secured 4,000+ square feet of production and office space in Sturbridge, MA! The Company will laiunch an angel round of financing in early 2009, and will start to train interns for possible employment for full-time positions with the Company! Several new program channels are in development at OurTvSpace and are planned for production in first quarter 2009 - announcements will come shortly. OurTvSpace.com is also looking to partner with talent, crew, and producers for new programming in 2009 and beyond that will build audiences and involve web interactivity!

Please Help OurTvSpace.com get nominated for the Best Bootstrapped Startup Crunnchie Award for 2008! This award goes to a company that has raised less than $100,000 cumulatively from individuals, angels or others. The 2008 Crunchies is the second annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year. Just Click Below - there is no e-mail signup or registration - it takes a few seconds! Please Help Us Spread the Word on MySpace and Facebook - with all your Friends!!!

Also, if you haven't been following the OldBury Hill Webisodes, click on the OurTVSpace.com link to the right or right here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Shameless Self Promotion-My Movie Reviews at EZTakes

EZTakes is an online video download store offering films from many different genres that are not usually featured on more mainstream channels.

On their blog are movie reviews and I am one of the reviewers. My profile is here. My review of The Third Man is here. A quirky French Film, A Matter of Taste, is here.

More reviews should be up as time goes by and I'll let the world know here. Please visit and comment on my reviews.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Saveur Magazine is a foodie journal. Now, I don't believe I live to eat but good food is one of life's pleasures. Saveur highlights great donuts in an article online here.

Where the barbarians blaspheme is they list Atkins Farm cider donuts as the ne plus ultra of that variety. Now the Atkins Farm cider donut is very good. However we have a local institution that makes a cider donut and the Atkins concoction does not compare.

Breezelands Orchards (1791 Southbridge Rd. Warren, Ma. 01083 (413)436-7122 marktuttle230@gmail.com) in our neck of the woods (almost in both West Brookfield and Brimfield) has the finest cider donuts in the world. I posted about them before here.

You do have to hurry if you want to get some donuts as they close for the season at Thanksgiving. if you go to there website, you can get a coupon for a free 1/2 dozen with purchase here.

Please note, I unfortunately get no commission or fee from this posting, or even free donuts. Sad to say.

Also, as part of the mission of this blog, we wish to point out the Breezelands country would make a wonderful rural country scene for movie making. This thought might horrify the Tuttles, but we are just pointing out what could be.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oldbury Hill Webisodes Are Up!

The Oldbury Hill Webisodes filmed at Hyland Village are up and you can see them at oldburyhill. Or, you can watch the first installment here.


The night this was made, the weather was much colder than today. The fortitude of the actors and extras and crew was something to see. I know as I was the baby, staying as close to the fire as possible while wearing warm clothes.

Shamless nepotism, the extra wearing the bee suit is my daughter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Preview Webisode Made in Sturbridge

Below is the preview of the first webisode made by OurFilmSpace.com. It is called Oldbury Hill and you will be able to watch future episodes here. It was filmed in Sturbridge at Hyland Orchard and the Public House.

Oldbury Hill - New Web Series Premieres Soon - Preview Upcoming Webisodes! from OurTvSpace.com on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Cruelty Radio

Monica and Kristen, the Cruelty team will be on WTAG with Mike Messina on Tuesday, November 5 at 6:30p.m.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion-The Sturbridge Times November Issue is Out!

Yup, the November issue is out and I have a restaurant review, an article and my column. click here or on the link to the right.

The Rimscha Concert Series is back for Season 4. Read all about it on page 2.

We went to Enrico's for pizza and tell the tale on page 5.

My column is on page 16.


I wish I could take a better picture of the Quaboag River. This one does not do it justice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brunch With Team Cruelty

UPDATE:Kristen and Monica will be on the radio with Jim Polito at 8:07a.m. Friday, October 31. Tune into WTAG, 580 AM.

Last Sunday Team Cruelty came together at the National Grill in Sutton for a brunch. Not all the cast was there. The actors and actresses present were the California contingent. It was a pleasant morning to talk movie making.

The pictures you see are the work of Tony Colapietro,

The first actor I spoke to, Joseph Eid plays Michael Sullivan, a policeman. Stereotypically, police officers on screen are Irish and Joseph’s character does have a Hibernian name. Joseph, however, looks more like he might be from County Lebanon. True enough, his family is from the Levant. He is pleased to be on location, “It’s not like on a lot, it’s real.”

From New York City, Joe grew up in the suburbs. He started med school, but that was not to be his calling. Like most of the actors, he does have to make ends meet. To that end, he does freelance office management.

Ryan Jones is Tommy Brown. Ryan worked with Kristen in LA and was asked to read for the part. Relatively new in the business, he must have impressed. By the end of the month, he will have acquired significant experience in film.

A crew member from the West Coast was also there. Caitlin O’Hare is the wardrobe stylist and costume designer. She had to coordinate the clothing worn by the cast. According to Caitlin, if a film has a large budget, they will go out and buy what is necessary. In the case of Cruelty, financial reality required going through the closets of the performers and utilizing their clothes. She did make the waitress’ costume for the diner scene and the shadow costume.

Caitlin graduated from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco with a degree in fashion design. She is no flash in the pan having known as a child what she wanted to do. She said, “I would be happy sewing for the rest of my life.” Caitlin also commented about the vagaries of making a living in the film business, “either you get a gig, or you don’t get a gig.”

“Team Cruelty” from the post title is more than just a term. This was emphasized by cast member Kat Kaplan who portrays the devious Terra Lisker in the film. Kat was enthusiastic about the bonding the cast is doing. As they are out here in Massachusetts, living together, the cast does not split up and go home at the end of the day. She notes that the group has a selflessness toward each other. At the start of filming the first scenes were tentative as the actors were playing opposite people they didn’t know weli. Now she feels lucky they are all together. Kat also noted how naturally Kristen and Joe work together as partners (their roles in the movie).

Kat and a girlfriend comprise the Short Bus Bunnies comedy troupe. She describes it as old school comedy, but bawdy.

The two impresarios, Kristen Zaik and Monica Green, were also there. I had spoke at length with Kristen, who plays a detective, in an interview for the Sturbridge Times Magazine’s October issue (click on link to the right). Today, I got to hear more from Monica.

Monica and Kristen knew each other in Boston, but really clicked as friends in LA. Monica was moving West when her housing fell through. Kristen’s boyfriend was an old friend of Monica’s and she was able to find a place to crash.

They were introduced to the Cruelty project by a writer not in a position to pursue it. He trusted them to see it through and they have been working on it for a year. They have persevered through the sea of obstacles that face anyone who is trying to produce something in the current economic conditions. Still, by August things had gone too far. There had been too much press and the partners committed. It was do or die.

So the team came home for a working vacation in October. Kristen and Monica are Massachusetts natives and they have garnered much necessary local support for Cruelty. Monica said, “without local help and support, it couldn’t be done.”

They sought the help of over 100 people, family and friends. Typical of local support was the high school scene. Filmed at Sutton High with many local extras showing up, the Sutton Women’s Club provided food and facilities for the cast and extras. Also a great help was the Sutton Police Chief who even let them use his office for a scene.

A fortunate connection they made was with Sean Doyle and Baker Street Productions based in Arlington, Mass. The team is co-producing Cruelty with Kristen and Monica, lending their own Josh Leonard to direct. The assistant director they brought with them, Paul Speziale, has fit right in with Josh and Baker Street.

So, it is all coming together. At the National Grill, Monica looked a vision of tranquility. I was taken aback when she answered the question about making a movie in a three week time span and she answered that it was “ludicrous.” Well of course it was, but still they are getting it done. What amazes even more is how young they are. Monica is only 22 and Kristen 26 and they have taken the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Whether it was insanity or courage, is by now, beside the point.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cruelty Update

Having never been on the set of a real movie, I jumped at the chance to be an extra on the set of Cruelty. Cruelty is the project of local actresses, Kristen Zaik and Monica Green. I have writen about the project for the Sturbridge Times Magazine October Issue, link to the right and the Cruelty web site link is there as well.

Last Tuesday evening at Thirsty John's I was background with a few others as one of actresses is talking with an actor whom she is enamored of and whom she has been having an affair with. Wednesday, I was part of the background of the funeral scene at the Oak knoll cemetery. Both locations are in Palmer. Sean Doyle, Jeff Paolone ran the show and Josh Leonard directed. There were others who deserve notice, but my memory fails.

There was a lot to learn and though my knowledge of the film industry is not exhaustive, even after two sessions of movie making, I can offer some insights.

Acting is work, even for extras. Of the actual production staff, the poor fellow who had to hold the sound boom has quite a job. There is a lot of hurry up and wait. I am sure the director and production folk have worked a lot of it out, but planning beforehand can only take you so far.

As part of the hurry up and wait, you have to be a very social person. I am not a grand champion schmoozer so I don't think I am cut out for that life. Don't get me wrong. I didn't have a bad time. There was a lot of fun talking and joking with other extras and some of the of the production folks. Still, I know that more stamina then I possess is necessary to be in film.

Take after take is necessary to get the smallest segment of dialog translated to a finished scene. Attention to detail is necessary and the first 5, 10, 20 takes may be needed to get it all right. Eventually, they get it done. It is as high a level of skill as most trades and many professions.

Another problem, from the point of view of a gourmand, is the food. Now, ribs and wings are food groups unto themselves and I was happy to partake of them. There was no lack of candy. Just too much temptation.

So, I know Brangelina et al seem to be just foppish publicity hounds and they probably are. Publicity, after all, is coin of the realm in that industry. Don't envy them, though, they probably work a lot harder than you do.

Cruelty will continue filming in Sutton, Mass.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rimscha Concert Series Returns for Fourth Season

The Rimscha Concert Series has returned. The first offering, featuring the choirs of All Saints Church, Worcester. I had the pleasure in attending last Saturday and it was great.

Helen and Peter Morin have put together quite a series. The full schedule is below.

The Metro Sax Quartet, Saturday, November 15, 7:30 PM

Lessons and Carols, featuring the Brookfield Brass and combined choirs of St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s (Southbridge)
Saturday, December 13, 7:00 PM and Sunday December 14, 3:00 PM

Marimba and Piano, SUNDAY, January 18, 3:00 PM, International marimbist Fumito Nunoya

Jane Shivick, Saturday February 22, 7:30 PM

No March Concert

Violin and Piano, Saturday April 25, 7:30 PM, Helen Morin, violin, Peter Morin, piano, with special guest musicians

The concerts take place in St. Joachim’s Chapel on the grounds of St. Anne’s Shrine in Sturbridge.

For information call 508-347-7338

There is no ticket price but donations are appreciated and if you wish to be a sponsor, below is the address.

Rimscha Concert Series
16 Church St
Fiskdale, MA 01566

I'll have a full article in the Sturbridge Times coming out November 1.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

High School Just Got a Lot Creepier-teaser from Oldbury Hill is out

High School Just Got a Lot Creepier is on one of the photos from the Halloween Party at Oldbury Hill. I always thought High School was a Gulag and by definition creepy, but the webisode series is going to take it to a new level.

Anyway, below is a teaser for the webisode series.

Find more videos like this on OurTvSpace.com

Learn more at Oldbury Hill Village.

OurTvSpace.com will be up on Halloween.

Just remember this was filmed in Sturbridge. Oh, and none of it is real. It's just a webisode and could never happen in real life. Or could it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Opposition to Film Tax Incentives

From a New York Times article,

October 12, 2008
States’ Film Production Incentives Cause Jitters

“There’s no evidence yet that this is a particularly efficient or effective way to create jobs,” said Noah Berger, executive director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

The nonprofit center reviews budget and tax policies in Massachusetts, which is spending about $60 million a year on producer credits. A recent study by Mr. Berger’s center pointed out that the state’s film credit, at 25 percent, is five times higher than that offered to those who build in designated economic opportunity areas, and more than eight times the state’s standard investment tax credit.

In the words of Winston Churchill, "True but not exhaustive." The incentives cost the state money only if it could be proved that a certain film would be made even in the absence of the credits. If more films are made, there is a net gain in tax revenue even with the tax breaks. How much of an increase in revenue is created when we get another policy talking shop like the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. My guess is zilch.

The film industry may not be the next Digital Equipment or Wang Labs, but where are they now?

It would not be a bad idea to have your reps and senators email addresses handy. Here's a link.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cruelty happened last night, but no one was abused!

Last night, Friday, October 10th Team Cruelty got together at Thirsty John's in Palmer, Massachusetts.

No, this was not a group of torturers. Cruelty is a movie about to be filmed in Palmer and Sutton, a fair ride east. Some of the performers were there including the lead, Kristen Zaik. Also there was Monica Green. Kristen and Monica are the impresarios behind the production.

Also there were the Baker Street boys. The members of the team present were co-producer Sean Doyle, Director Joshua Leonard as well as Sound Engineer Jonathan Santarelli. I am surely in trouble as others were there and my memory is not good enough to recall the names.

Taking care of assigning extras was Caitlin Erin O’Hare. Caitlin is coordinating the costumes to be worn during filming.

I got to talk with the couple behind OurFilmSpace.com, Doug and Melinda Kirkpatrick. I hope to interview them for the December 1st issue of the Sturbridge Times. They have actually brought filming to Sturbridge. The Oldbury Hill Webisodes will be up at
www.OurTvSpace.com on Halloween.

This blog will keep you posted on the progress of Cruelty.

I apologize to anyone I met and whose name my faulty memory did not retain.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Local Movie Review-A Civil Action

A Civil Action was filmed partly in Palmer. Palmer could be a smaller version of Woburn, where the environmental damage took place. The Town of Palmer had its share of factories and mills that are now gone.

The Palmer scenes were of John Travolta looking at the Quaboag River from his Porsche and having a legal epiphany that there is a case that can make some money.

Not to beat the drum for local movie making.... Well, yes, I do want to beat that drum as often as possible. Palmer and all the towns here are good venues for movie makers. If cost is a problem, here is where we can contain that. They are building studios in Plymouth and maybe South Weymouth. If you want to do a scene outside the studio, there is much congestion to deal with that is not as big a problem here. Yes, it’s quiet, but if you are desperate for congestion, we’ll all get in our cars and give you that as well.

Palmer is strategically situated with a Mass Pike entrance.

I got the movie out of the library specifically for the Palmer footage. Even so, I enjoyed it. Travolta did well as the cocky Jan Schlichtmann. Jan is a personal injury lawyer who oozes sleaze at the beginning of the film. As the Woburn case proceeds, it takes over his personal and professional life. Financially sinks his small firm and sends him to bankruptcy court.

Schlichtmann never attains a happy medium. It is a study in hubris. He is today idealistically engaged in environmental law. One hopes he has reflected more than portrayed in the movie.

America’s most famous gangster, James Gandolfini, played a local working class guy who refuses to go along with his employer’s coverup of the pollution. Doesn’t do a bad job playing someone from North of Boston.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vote for Grand Trunk!

The Grand Trunk is a finalist for some funding. Nature Valley's Save the Trails project will award $5,000 to the Trail Blazers if they get enough votes. Help them by going here and voting.

Note, I had some trouble voting on my under powered Mac but was successful on a PC. Keep trying.

Hat tip Thinking Out Loud in Sturbridge

Monday, October 6, 2008

Location-Old Sturbridge Village

I was less than ten at the time. It was in the late 50s. My family was on a trip to the other end of the world. Well, that’s how a kid perceives it when you are going from South of Boston to the middle of Massachusetts. Finally, we arrived. When we got past the entrance, I was emancipated for the day.

What a day it was. I spent it fascinated by the different crafts and the interpreters describing how things were done. I still can remember watching the blacksmith heat metal until it turned red and then fashioning a horse shoe. The print shop was equally enthralling.

A mischievous child, this was one day I was no trouble to anyone except when it became necessary to drag me away. When we walked out of Old Sturbridge Village that evening, I left another world.

It is that other world aspect that is the subject of this post. Now that there are generous tax incentives for filmmaking in the Commonwealth it has become cost effective to make movies here. If one is going to make a period piece there is only one place to do it. Where else can you step back into the 19th or 18th Century. Heck, if the Village were amenable, even the early 20th Century is possible. There were not that many rural paved roads for the Model Ts and Stanley Steamers to travel on.

OSV has an advantage that is rare these days. In an article for The Sturbridge Times last June, Ann Lindblad, marketing communications director for OSV made the case,“There is no asphalt, no utility poles, and no light pollution.”

Sturbridge Village is at the junction of major highways and within reasonable distance of Bradley and other airports. There are ample hotel rooms in the area. OSV has been part of movie making already. Some of Glory and Michener’s Hawaii were made there. In May of 2007, a short film, The Ride, about Paul Revere’s trip was filmed in the village.

One other aspect of filming at OSV, accuracy. As the press release for the ride put it, the Village has a long history of working with film crews to insure the accuracy of historic settings.

So if you run into any producers looking for a location for the next colonial era epic, you know where to send ‘em.

Pictures are courtesy of Old Sturbridge Village. Click on image to see it full size.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday at the Farmers Market

Yesterday was as fine a day as one could ask for in Fall. The air was crisp. The Sun, while not searing and alternating with clouds, was warm enough to give me some color. It was great day for the Amherst Farmers Market.

Finally, I had brought honey to sell. My table was next to Bob's orchard. As I mentioned in The Sturbridge Times article about the Market, Bob Rondeau came over and introduced himself to me the first time I came. A very friendly fellow, Bob, now 86 is not as active as he was. His daughter Carol and granddaughter Jessica were selling for him. His son-in-law Richard, who does a lot of the orchard work was there as well for a short time.

Bob's Orchard is in Palmer, near enough to our area. Unfortunately, they have no sales at the orchard. They had a real winner yesterday in the Honey Crisp apples they have to sell.

It is a pity that a farmers market as good as Amherst FM does not exitst in our area. There are some that are trying. Brimfield is in the shadow of the famous antique shows and the Brookfield Market, Sundays at the Tip Top Cafe is trying, but not there yet.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The October Issue of the Sturbridge Times is Online

The October Issue of the Sturbridge Times Magazine is out. The print version has been distributed and the mag is online as well.

To view it in pdf form, click here. You can read my articles by going to the pages as outlined below:

Page 13, MAKING CRUELTY Indie horror flick gives a local twist

Page 14, Smith & Jones’ CREATEATHON works magic for Opacum Land Trust

Page 20, My regular column, Musings from Long Hill. This month, Six Degrees of Alger Hiss

I hope you will read and enjoy the whole magazine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Location-West Brookfield Common

We intend to highlight some of the great locations for filming in the area. This is the first effort.

In a way, I feel I am betraying myself by posting this. You see, I don't want people to move to WB. It is a nice, well kept secret. No, don't come here to live, but if you need a typical New England town common for a location, this is it. It is part of the reason we moved here.

The West Brookfield Common is a lovely spot that is enhanced by the houses that surround it. The Congregational Church also complements the scene.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why do people want to make movies?

Josh on one of the groups at OurFilmSpace.com asked a question,

I was just curious why everyone wants to pursue film making and do you remember what sparked the curiosity of this art?

I left this comment,

I'm only guessing. I stand behind nothing I say. It's just off the top of my head. I'm not addressing why I have an interest in particular, but why people might in general.

There are a lot of aspects of culture that only some people experience. some people are foodies, while others just eat to live rather than living to eat. Some people like rap, others rock. Still others love classical. Believe it or not, I've met people who don't like any music at all. When I was a kid, I was crazy about baseball, now I can't sit through a game while others are lost if the Sox aren't playing.

Yet, no matter what we don't share, we all go to movies.

The point is we all have different interests, but there is almost no one in this country that does not have some movie that did not effect them in some way. Some are so taken by some movie that they see it over and over again. Some are even challenged by movies that it might change their world view.

Movies are, in our culture, the art form that nearly everyone partakes of. More people are going to want to be part of it than any other form.

For an analogy, as an art form, Opera was dominant in 19th Century Italy. Do you think there would be so many Italian composers, librettists, tenors etc. If it were something else?

Friday, September 26, 2008

You ought to be in pictures. Here's your chance.

Yup, you too can be on film. The movie, Cruelty, needs extras and production assistants. If you are interested, get in touch by email with Crystal Perry (C.Marie05@yahoo.com)

Or, you can go to CRUELTY Film in need of EXTRAS & PA's page at OurFilmSpace.com and sign up there.

The movie will be filmed in Palmer, Worcester and Sutton.

These people are fun to work with, I know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cruelty in Vogue Here in October

Cruelty the movie, that is. Kristen Zaik and Monica Green, Two Baystaters working in Hollywood are going to make a movie here in October. I have written an article for the Sturbridge Times Magazine that will come out in the October issue.

Cruelty will be a film about revenge. As it says on the movies website, "You never know how much you hurt someone, until they hurt you."

The Cruelty team as an update to their progress which I am stealing with permission to post below;


First of all, we would like to announce the addition of a few new key people to the creative team!

Sixunder7 Films is proud to announce our partnership with Baker Street Productions of Arlington, MA! Baker Street is a fully functioning production house that is deeply involved in the MA film community, and is currently working with OurFilmSpace.com to produce the highly anticipated web series 'Oldbury Hill', which will be premiering at the Baker Street Film Festival in downtown Boston on October 26th! We welcome them to the CRUELTY team, and they will be working with us in October- you can learn more about Baker Street Productions at their website: www.bakerstreetusa.com.

With the Baker Street team comes Co-Producer Sean P. Doyle, Director/Cinematographer Joshua Leonard, Second Assistant Director Lance Reensteirna, Sound Engineer Jonathan Santarelli, Unit Production Manager Jeffrey Paolone, and Production Coordinator Crystal Perry.

We are also pleased to announce the addition of Suzi Levitch, of NY, as our Production Designer, and new addition to the cast, actress/model Gianna Simone.


As we near the month of October, CRUELTY has continued to pick up steam in the news- We've been featured in several more newspaper and magazine spreads:

PULSE Arts & Entertainment Magazine (Worcester MA)

The Reminder (East Longmeadow, Chicopee, Springfield, Wilbraham versions)

Millbury Sutton Chronicle (Millbury and Sutton MA)

Monica and I have been invited to be guests of Worcester Mayor Konstantina Lukes on her talk show 'Coffee with Konnie', which we'll be taping on October 9th... so look for updates!


We'd like to extend a special thanks to our Corporate Sponsors:

Magic Hat Beer, who will be featured in our bar scenes
Redbull Energy Drink, to be featured in our bar scenes
Spalding Inc, who will be providing us with some sporting gear and props
Walmart SuperCenter, Ware MA, who generously donated air mattresses and pillows
Big Y Supermarkets, for their contribution towards our food for cast and crew

We are currently in negotiations with Dunkin' Donuts to shoot at the Main Street Palmer store- and we LOVE our Dunkin' coffee!



We are still accepting donations, which you may give by visiting our website at www.sixunder7.com and scrolling down to the botton, OR by clicking this easy and secure PayPal link:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oldbury Hill Starts Production in Sturbridge

One can only admire the bravery of cast and crew at the Oldbury Hill shooting that occurred last Saturday night (September 20,2008) at Hyland Orchard. there may not have been frostbite, but it was cold.

The frigid weather was compounded by the necessity of some of the players wearing costumes that could not be called thermal. Memo to self: If ever cast to be in a Halloween party scene on a cold night, try to get a part as an Eskimo in a warm costume.

In spite of it all, everyone seemed to have fun. If you go to read the comments at OurFilmSpace.com, they are only about the good time had by all.

The next day, a scene was filmed at the Public House, also in Sturbridge.

Well, this is what we want. Production in Western Central Mass. It's not yet Titanic, but what the heck. That ship sank.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oldbury Hill to film in Sturbridge On Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21

Well, it's come out in a press release, so I guess it can be posted here. Other information on the project can be found at OurFilmSpace.com. To go there, click on the button to the right.


So you wanna be on TV? Local production to shoot pilot for series "Oldbury Hill" at Hylands Brewery in Sturbridge!

Okay - it's the Internet, not what we normally think of as TV, but the team at OurTvSpace.com, a new start-up digital channel that will launch with the airing of a pilot for its first web series called "Oldbury Hill" on Halloween night, 2008, is conjuring up a brew made of ingredients it believes will attract a craze of web traffic to its new channel: quality stories and content reflecting the New England aesthetic with exceptional local talent and production people. The team is also betting that the full convergence of television with the computer is coming sooner rather than later!

The production team will be in Sturbridge, MA, on September 20-21, 2008, to shoot a Halloween party scene at the Hyland Brewery. "Oldbury Hill" is a fictional Massachusetts town where teenager Maggie Phelps and her mom, Laura, are suddenly transplanted from Beverly Hills, California. There they encounter far more than just East-West culture shock…
Maggie is played by Massachusetts actress Victoria Nugent, while her mom is played by New Hampshire-based Laura Rocknak. The web series - geared toward the youth demographic - is seeking extras ages 15 and over who are ready to celebrate

Halloween a month early this year and don unique and interesting costumes from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, to shoot a Halloween party at Hyland Brewery at 195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge, that will be aired on Halloween night on OurTvSpace.com. A new webisode of "Oldbury Hill" will be released each week through 2009.

Extras who bring a carved Jack O'Lantern that can be used on the set will advance to the head of the line and possibly be selected to appear in the Halloween party! There will also be a Pumpkin Contest for a prize and the extra wearing the "best" costume selected by the production team will appear on a future webisode in a speaking role!

The production is also seeking Halloween props of all kinds, including scarecrows, skeletons, and the like along with a location for a professional office resembling a study or library and an inn-styled bedroom in a bed and breakfast or colonial-style house. For more information, contact Douglas Kirkpatrick at 310-804-8450.

Kristen Lucas, Producer
Goldilocks Productions

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Movie Review, An Acception That Proves the Rule

My kids got the movie, Accepted, out of the library. It is not much. Minimalist plot summary: Goofy kid can't get into college, starts one of his own and succeeds. In watching the movie accepted, it is obvious why “hero,” Bartelby, has not got into college. Stupid parents beget stupid kids. It is one long unending not so funny vulgarity. I don't know what it is about golf and college movies, but it appears de rigeur that there be an anti Anglo-Saxon jibe about anti-semitic blackballing. Hey, it's almost 2008, someone has to get the script writers of worthless movies a life.

So why do I waste time on something I think is dreck. The truth is, I'm not sure it was a comedy. Oh, it definitely wanted to be a comedy with nonstop lame jokes. Unfortunately, there was just a tad too much reality. The plot line of kid sets up college that is all things to all youth, well, is that not a lot of what college is sold as?

Lets take a look at a admissions web page for one of New England's popular colleges where cool kids go for a serious but fun four years (at least),

Imagine yourself at Middlebury College, with four years to try new ideas and explore the subjects and pursuits you feel passionate about. Four years to explore a liberal arts curriculum so diverse and interdisciplinary that it would take over a century to experience it all. Four years to act in a student production, do research with faculty scientists, join a relief mission to a third-world country, hike the Long Trail, or play left wing on the hockey team. Where would you start? No matter where you choose to begin, Middlebury offers abundant opportunities for learning and growth—and opens doors to the future you envision.

Ah well, I'm sure no catalog ever said something like, you will spend hours in the library doing term papers and we expect you to toe the line and if you don't, maybe voke ed is for you.

I was required to read Newman's The Idea of a University the summer before I attended a papist undergraduate institution. To my shame, I remember so little of it. I vaguely recall that an undergraduate curriculum at a Liberal Arts college should be knowledge for its own sake. Well, I guess the fellow in the film was pursuing the goal of blowing things up with his mind for its own sake, but that is hardly a liberal art. No matter, we want you to grow and learn at Middlebury while we open doors for that future you envision.

South Harmon Institute of Technology, the name of the college in the film (yes, they meant that acronym) also wants you to grow and learn. The standards are undoubtedly looser than Middlebury's but the idea is little different.

One should not object. After all, if we have a real system of liberal education, maybe one hundredth of one percent of the population might qualify. That is not on. The country would not stand for it and the thought of an aimless horde of seventeen year olds being unleashed on the country to search for work they are unqualified to do and probably does not exist is scary to say the least. No let them ferment for a few years and take jobs that the country needs like drug counselor or campus security worker.

Indeed, we have been marching toward this for well over a hundred years. No, it is not something that started with the post WWII GI Bill. Christopher Lasch, In the Culture of Narcissism wrote that The president of Princeton was hoping the success of the football team would lead to interest and applications to his college among Kentuckians well over a century ago. Princeton, that bastion of privilege, where the BA is a ticket to membership in the elite actually had to sell itself to rubes in the hinterlands?

The growth of college has probably been the most successful rent seeking enterprise in world history, putting the pre-christian pagan priesthood that it has much in common with to shame.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Issue of the Sturbridge Times Magazine!

The new issue of the Sturbridge Times Magazine is out. The Print edition has been mailed and is on stands. You can see the online edition by clicking the link to the right and then opening the pdf.

My articles are:

Page 12, Mass. Outdoor Expo
Page 14, The Big E
Page 20, My column

Though as usual, I am self serving, the whole mag is worth reading.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Movie Review, Just Another Dark Night of the Soul

Dark City came out in 1998. I just got around to seeing it because my son got the DVD as a birthday present.

Suspending disbelief is the only way to enjoy the bad plot devices of sci fi. I like many such movies, but you've got to get over the silly stuff.

For example, a staple of a lot of sci fi is the aliens aversion to water. In Signs, you have antagonists from a civilization able to cross galaxies to land on a planet 70% the substance that will do them in. You would think that higher life forms would figure this out. Okay, it doesn't ruin the message of the movie, but as a plot device, it is lame.

In Dark City the water problem is there , but is not fatal to the aliens as they seem to be a bit smarter than the wraith looking creatures of signs. the major plot device is, like the matrix, the creation of a controlled world inhabited by humans.

The difference is that in the Matrix machines let humans think they were living real lives while stealing the electric power while in Dark City it is dying aliens wishing to find what makes humans human so they can save their species.

the Matrix is more believable, if only because serious scientists such as Ray Kurzweil have posited that we must merge with our technology or be left behind by it. Still, it is not too believable. The idea that the machines need people as "coppertop" batteries and have to provide a virtual reality to keep us going does not really hold up. No matter, I enjoyed the fable and its twists and turns.

The Dark Night sci fi plot device of aliens crossing the universe to set up a controlled environment so they can find out what makes humans tick and then use it to regenerate their dying species is less credible. Somehow, studying beings orders of magnitude less intelligent so you can be like them and survive is not too believable. Getting some and dissecting them might be. Something that would be believable would be the aliens set up some powerful receivers to get Earth TV, watch a few reality shows and realize there is nothing terrestials have that they want.

So why did I like this movie? Well, once disbelief is suspended, the plot is not bad. Guy wakes up wondering if he's a killer. He is helped to awareness by a Doctor who knows what's going on. Falls in love with the woman he has been programmed to love and not love. Resists aliens and awakens the controlled population.

As Doctor Schreber, Kiefer Sutherland overdoes it, but it worked. William Hurt as Inspector Bumstead is William Hurt, as always. That isn't a problem. Rufus Sewell as the lead works well. He nicely does the confused guy trying desperately to find himself. Jennifer Connelly's performance is well done. Alex Proyas' direction of making a 1940s metropolis the locus of the story sets the mood. Sort of science fiction meets Mickey Spillane.

Sewell and Connelly could have been replaced by any number of actors. It is Sutherland and Hurt who give the movie its flavor. Hurt could have made a career out of the detective genre if there were demand.

For some reason I can’t get Connelly’s rendition of Runaround Lover out of my head.

Still, I can't say why I like dark sci fi. Such ridiculous stories, even when well done, are still ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The inevitability of the Web

The generational aspect of technology is everywhere. I can barely use a cellphone. Sometimes I think my son could change the Earth's orbit with his.

It was less than a month ago that I found out there was such a thing as webisodes. Last weekend, my daughter and I auditioned to be in one. Webisodes have been around since the 90s, still, they did not come into my view. Now, I am a slow learner and don't feel I need to get into everything, but sooner or later I do. I felt no desire to see anything on youtube and now see a lot.

There are many advantages to the Webisode. It is my guess that costs are orders of magnitude less. As someone who wishes to be a recovering accountant, the need to pinch a penny is crucial in most enterprises that seek to produce something. The webisode allows producers, actors, directors, etc. who are just trying to break into the business more opportunities.

So, from that one can conclude that the webisode is inevitable and every art will arrive on the web and live there until the web is succeeded by another form of information delivery.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Things are moving in the area

The people from OurFilmSpace.com (button to the right) are going to shoot a webisode series in the Brookfields. To find out more about it click on this link.

My daughter and I went to the auditions yesterday, Sunday, August 24. I had never done anything like that and it didn't go horribly until the improv. Manic is the only way I can describe how I felt.

My daughter came out of the audition on cloud nine. She prepared and if she performed in the audition as she did in front of me, she deserves to be satisfied with herself.

Of course, there was no lack of talent at the venue in Arlington. Many were called, but only few can be chosen.

Watch this space for updates on Oldbury Hill.

Nirvana in Apple Country

We are into harvest time in orchard country. Out here in Swamp Yankee exurbia, peaches are out as are some apples and it's great. A treat that comes with the reopening of the farm stands is cider donuts. If there are no more entries to this blog, you know there is someone in Massachusetts with "Surfeit of Cider Donuts" on the death cert.

There is a wonderful orchard near us, Breezelands in Warren, that makes about the best cider donuts. My daughter applied for a job and, due to a lack of experience, was turned down. On opening day, I suggested that a run over to Breezelands might be in order. My young Empress replied that she did not support them as they did not hire her. alright, I did not get ready for the errand. After awhile, Her Majesty told me I should hurry up.

That's how good those donuts are.

Now, I don't recommend addictive behaviors, but if you fall for cider donuts, by the time Breezelands closes, you might have enough body fat to hibernate and wake up slim for Spring. There are black bears that occasionally course through the land of the Quaboag. Maybe they will let you snooze in their den this Winter. Best of luck.