By Patrick Ronan
The Patriot Ledger
September 9, 2014
A warehouse in the shipyard has been converted into a makeshift movie studio for filming of Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the real-life rescue mission that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952.
QUINCY – They are making boats again at the Quincy shipyard – except now they’re for Disney.
A warehouse in the shipyard has been converted into a makeshift movie studio for filming of Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” which is based on the real-life rescue mission that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. Crews started shooting the film Monday.
The film stars Chris Pine, who played Captain Kirk in the two latest “Star Trek” films. The movie’s director is Craig Gillespie, whose past projects include “Million Dollar Arm” and “Lars and the Real Girl.”
Scott Levine, publicist for “The Finest Hours,” said a good portion of the filming will take place within a privately owned warehouse at the shipyard. He said crews will also shoot in Chatham and at several South Shore locations, though he didn’t specify which towns.
A huge indoor water tank was built inside the warehouse for filming. The warehouse is owned by auto dealer Daniel Quirk.
The shipyard is on the Quincy side of the Fore River. Shipbuilding began on the Braintree end of the Fore River Basin in 1883, but the shipyard moved to Quincy in 1901. The shipyard played a major role in World War II shipbuilding, but was shut down in 1986. Quirk, marine contractor Jay Cashman and the regional sewage treatment agency now control the shipyard property.
Across the street from the shipyard, several patrons at Pete’s Grille on South Street said some of the film crew have come into the bar for food and drinks after work.
“It’s cool,” said Tom Ruffini of Braintree. “They always film movies over there.”
Last year, scenes for Sony Pictures’ “The Equalizer,” starring Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, were shot in the shipyard. The movie will debut in theaters later this month.
The most notable Hollywood film to utilize the shipyard was “The Departed,” the 2006 release that won the Best Picture Oscar for a major Hollywood production. A big scene at the end of film, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, was set in the shipyard.
In 2011, the climactic showdown for “R.I.P.D,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, was filmed over several weeks on a rooftop surrounded by a massive 360-degree green screen set up at the shipyard. In 2009, scenes for “The Company Men,” starring Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner, were filmed in the shipyard.
The shipyard is only one of several locations in Quincy used by filmmakers in recent years. Just this summer, several scenes for “Black Mass,” the film starring Johnny Depp about the life of James “Whitey” Bulger, were shot in the city.
In 2011, Columbia Pictures shot much of the film “Here Comes the Boom,” starring Kevin James, in the old Quincy High School building on Coddington Street.
Other recent films with scenes in Quincy include “The Judge” with Robert Downey Jr. and “The Box” with Cameron Diaz. “The Box” was released in 2009, while “The Judge” is set to hit the big screen next month.