Cornfield to be set up as site of plane crash
By Theresa Knapp Enos
September 3, 2009
BRIDGEWATER — Hollywood movie makers and local public safety officials will meet today to devise a plan to address safety concerns that could arise later this month when a movie scene is filmed in the Cumberland Farms cornfield off Curve Street.
The scene will feature actors Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and others in the aftermath of a Boeing 727 plane crash in the as-yet unnamed movie, currently being called the untitled Wichita project. The movie is being directed by James Mangold, who also directed “3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line,” “Kate & Leopold,” and “Girl, Interrupted.”
“Our biggest concern is for the people who will be there and for the neighbors,” said Bridgewater Fire Chief George Rogers Jr. “That’s what we’re going to concentrate on first and foremost.” Filming is scheduled for Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, starting at 3 p.m. on both days and ending at 6 a.m. the following mornings, during which time there will be pyrotechnics set off to simulate the plane crash.
Rogers said the production company will have all the required permits, and he has checked references of the company’s past performance in other communities.
Rogers said he has also talked with officials from Boston, Cohasset and Medfield regarding their recent experiences with movie production companies. Site work is already under way to prepare the 263-acre parcel for the arrival of the Boeing 727 fuselage, which will be trucked through the residential neighborhood in three separate pieces on Sept. 11.
“It’s almost as if they’re moving a small house and all of those things have to be worked out ahead of time,” said police Lt. Christopher Delmonte. Potential issues being discussed include traffic and security, crowd control and the height and width of the fuselage that will be maneuvered over back roads.
“The biggest problem is it’s a wide load,” said Hyunsoon Moon, assistant location manager for 20th Century Films, at a selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night, noting the sections are 15 feet 7 inches wide. The movie makers and town are working on a delivery strategy and route.
The film company has agreed to reimburse the town for all public safety personnel costs as well as other costs incurred as a direct result of the filming.
The town will not receive any monetary compensation for hosting the movie production, though local businesses will likely see a bump in sales because of the influx of 100 to 150 employees and 44 extras (plus spectators) in town for the filming.
And as far as a potential role in the new film, Delmonte had no comment. “Right now we’re just trying to work out the details of a large-scale project in a small residential neighborhood,” he said.