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

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.

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