HONEST THIEF, was filmed in Fitchburg, Leicester, Oxford and Worcester, Massachusetts in 2018.
IN THEATERS OCTOBER 2020
HONEST THIEF, was filmed in Fitchburg, Leicester, Oxford and Worcester, Massachusetts in 2018.
IN THEATERS OCTOBER 2020
By Kevin Slane
July 30, 2020
“Honest Thief” was filmed in Massachusetts in 2018, and is expected to hit theaters in October.
The list of Boston crime movies just got longer, thanks to Liam Neeson.
On Thursday, Open Road Films released the first trailer for “Honest Thief,” an action-thriller starring Neeson (“Taken”) that takes place in Boston and was filmed in Massachusetts.
Neeson plays Tom Carter, a meticulous thief known as the “In and Out Bandit” because he has managed to steal $9 million from small-town banks while keeping his identity hidden. But after he falls in love with Annie (Kate Walsh, “Grey’s Anatomy”), Tom decides to come clean about his criminal past. Upon doing so, he is double-crossed by a pair of FBI agents who want to take his bank-robbing fortune for themselves, forcing Tom to take drastic measures to make things right.
The filming of “Honest Thief” caused quite a stir in downtown Worcester in 2018, with Neeson and other actors filming fights, crashes, and a stunt involving a man thrown out of a third-story window of the AC Hotel Marriott on Front Street.
While there are plenty of establishing shots of Boston, it appears filmmakers may have erred at least once in depicting the city: Unless there’s a twist we don’t know about, the hotel featured at the 21-second mark of the trailer (which appears to be the aforementioned AC Hotel Marriott in Worcester) is probably supposed to be called the Charlestown Hotel, not the Charleston Hotel.
Written and directed by “Ozark” creator Mark Williams, “Honest Thief” features Amesbury native Jeffrey Donovan (“Burn Notice”), Jai Courtney (“Suicide Squad”), Anthony Ramos (“Hamilton”), Robert Patrick (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”), and Jasmine Cephas Jones (“Blindspotting”).
While film release dates are still very much in flux due to the coronavirus pandemic, “Honest Thief” is expected to receive a nationwide release on October 9.
CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE ON LOCATION WORLDWIDE
THE 2020 LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD
THE NOMINEES FOR THE 7th ANNUAL
LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD INTERNATIONAL AWARDS
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A PERIOD TELEVISION SERIES
Babylon Berlin Season 3 – X Filme Creative Pool, Netflix
The Crown: Season 3 – Netflix
Perry Mason – HBO
See: Season 1 – Apple TV+
Westworld: Season 3 – HBO
Wu-Tang: An American Saga – Hulu
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A CONTEMPORARY TELEVISION SERIES
Giri/Haji – Netflix
Goliath: Season 3 – Amazon Prime Video
Killing Eve: Season 3 – BBC America, AMC
Messiah – Netflix
Treadstone – Captivate Entertainment, USA Network
White Lines – Netflix
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A LIMITED ANTHOLOGY TELEVISION
Belgravia – Epix
Catherine the Great – HBO
Little America – Apple TV+
The Plot Against America – HBO
The Spy – Netflix
ZeroZeroZero – Amazon Prime Video
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A COMMERCIAL
Ford: Human Power – Link – Primo
Georgetown Optician: Eyes Say More Than Words – Link – Design Army
Gucci: Of Course A Horse – Link – GE-Projects
Mask of the Zodiac – Link – Stink Shanghai
Renault Clio: The French Exchange – Link – Academy Films
Sprite “You Are Not Alone” – Link – Primo
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A PERIOD FILM
1917 – DreamWorks Pictures
Dolemite is My Name – Netflix
A Hidden Life – Fox Searchlight Pictures
Jojo Rabbit – Fox Searchlight Pictures
Little Women – Sony Pictures
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Columbia Pictures
OUTSTANDING LOCATIONS IN A CONTEMPORARY FILM
6 Underground – Bay Films, Skydance Media, Netflix
Da 5 Bloods – 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Netflix
Extraction – Netflix
The Last Black Man in San Francisco – A24
Peanut Butter Falcon – Armory Films, Roadside Attractions
OUTSTANDING FILM COMMISSION
Abu Dhabi Film Commission
Berlin Brandenberg Film Commission
The Municipality of Port Hope Marketing & Tourism Office, Ontario
New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
Toscana Film Commission
Trailblazer Award – Spike Lee
Lifetime Achievement Award – Veronique Vowell/LMGI
Eva Monley Award – TBD
Humanitarian Award – TBD
On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor and Women’s Bureau announced the availability of $4.1 million to support two-year grants for the 2020 Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program.
At the Women’s Bureau, working to ensure that women have access and opportunity to employment in all industries is one of our top priorities. Since 2017, the Women’s Bureau has awarded nearly $4.4 million to 11 community-based organizations throughout the country that help women pursue apprenticeships and provide technical assistance to employers and labor unions to successfully recruit, mentor, train, and retain women in apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations.
Through quality apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, women have access to sustainable, successful, and high-paying careers in industries such as manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and healthcare.
This year, the WANTO grant program will award $4.1 million to up to 11 community-based organizations that support women pursuing apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations. The closing date for receipt of applications under this announcement is August 3, 2020. Applications must be submitted electronically and received no later than 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.
Our WANTO grantees support women at every step of the way on their path towards finding dream careers. The Women’s Bureau is honored to administer the 2020 WANTO grant program to support this important work.
Make a movie with Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald!
Legendary producer Ridley Scott and Academy Award® winner Kevin Macdonald invite you to participate in Life in a Day: a historic documentary film to capture a single day on Earth. Film your day on July 25 and submit your footage at http://lifeinaday.youtube.com for a chance to be part of the final film.
June 19, 2020
BOSTON — As some Massachusetts businesses prepare to launch into the next stage of the coronavirus reopening plan, others will have to wait at least one extra week before welcoming back customers.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday announced that Phase 2 of his reopening plan will progress to the second stage on Monday. That includes allowing for indoor dining, 50% capacity in offices and personal services like nail salons, all with various safety procedures.
Under the state reopening plan, each phase was slated to last at least three weeks. That would’ve put the start of Phase 3 as early as June 29, but Baker on Friday also announced that he would delay that transition at least one extra week.
That means Phase 3, which includes gyms and casinos, will start no sooner than July 6.
“I absolutely believe that one way you reduce the size of the problem that you have in the fall is by doing everything you can to squeeze as much of the heat out of the virus as you possibly can between now and then,” Baker said.
The state’s numbers are still trending in the right direction for continuing through the reopening plan. As of Friday there were 228 new cases of COVID-19 reported and 30 new deaths.
Still Rolling Initiative
The Still Rolling Initiative was started to support the freelance production community. When sports, movies, and tv shows around the world stopped, so did the entire workforce. We are all feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are looking to help those in our community who are hurting the most.
To learn more visit: www.stillrolling.org/
Experience a film festival like never before during this first ever free 10-day global film festival co-curated by over 20 film festivals from across the world, May 29 – June 7. All funds raised during the festival will benefit COVID-19 relief funds.
FILMS & PROGRAMS ADDED DAILY — Check back often to see new additions.
For the full festival schedule of what’s to come go to: www.weareoneglobalfestival.com
The festival will feature programming curated by the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR), San Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.
By Steve Pond
May 26, 2020
We Are One: A Global Film Festival, a 10-day collaboration between 21 different international festivals that will bring features and short films to YouTube for 10 days of free programming, has announced a lineup of 31 features and 72 short films from 35 different countries. The free online festival will also include television and VR programs and a series of conversations with figures including Jackie Chan, Guillermo del Toro, Bong Joon Ho and Francis Ford Coppola.
We Are One was spearheaded by the Tribeca Enterprises in the wake of that festival’s postponement this year. The online festival will begin airing on YouTube on Friday, May 29.
The films were programmed by nearly two dozen different festivals, including the Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance and New York Film Festivals. About half the festivals selected both features and shorts, though Cannes and the New York Film Festival submitted only short films, while Toronto, Macao, Tokyo and Berlin submitted only features and Locarno is responsible only for two special presentations of programs at their 2019 festival.
The feature films include two world premieres: “The Iron Hammer,” a documentary by Joan Chen about Chinese volleyball legend “Jenny” Lang Ping; and “Wake Up: Stories From the Frontline of Suicide Prevention,” in which director Nate Townsend looks at the issue of suicide prevention from the perspective of veterans, students, gun owners and the LGBT community.
Another 10 films are online premieres, including Cherien Dabis’ 2009 drama “Amreeka”; Josh Swade’s “Ricky Powell: The Individualist,” about the New York street photographer; the Ugandan action movie “Crazy World” (with a new scene exclusive to We Are One); Ulrike Ottinger’s 1979 German drama “Ticket of No Return”; and the 2014 anthology film “Bridges of Sarajevo.”
Most of the films are from 2019, though they date back as far as 1977.
The shorts program includes 10 of the 11 films that competed in the Cinefondation section at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, including the winner of the Short Film Palme d’Or, “The Distance Between Us and the Sky.” It also includes “Atlantiques,” the 2009 documentary by Mati Diop that led to her 2019 Oscar-nominated feature “Atlantics”; “Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight,” a 2011 short by “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” director Eliza Hittman; “Motorcycle Drive By,” a short documentary about Third Eye Blind; as well as three shorts by DreamWorks Animation, “Bilby,” “Bird Karma” and “Marooned.”
Television programming consists of episodes of new programs from Israel, Australia, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A., which is represented by Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia’s “And She Could Be Next,” which follows women of color running in the 2018 midterm elections.
VR/Immersive programming includes Eric Darnell’s “Crow: The Legend,” Ethan Shaftel’s “Extravaganza” and Roger Ross Williams’ “Traveling While Black.”
The Talks & Panels section include conversations recorded at recent Sundance, Berlin, Locarno, Cannes, Toronto and Tribeca festivals, as well as new conversations with actor and director Diego Luna and Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid.
The list of participating festivals: Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jerusalem Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival (which is not listed as the curator of any specific film), Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, San Sebastián International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.
The full festival schedule is available at www.weareoneglobalfestival.com.
Comet is a television channel dedicated to science fiction shows like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Wild World.” It also offers a selection of movies, including thrillers, horror films and science fiction classics.
You can stream Comet’s content online free of charge at comettv.com, on cable, on a Roku device or on Apple TV.
2. Court TV
Do you miss the real-life trials and dramas of Court TV? Katz Networks has revived Court TV.
This free streaming service from Sony offers TV shows, movies and original content. You’ll even find TV series from days gone by — from “All in the Family” to “What’s Happening?” and “Roseanne.”
Hoopla says its passion is the “public library patron.” It provides libraries across North America with movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, ebooks and comics.
5. IMDb TV
This popular movie website has launched a free streaming video channel. Find it at imdb.com/tv or with Amazon Fire TV devices.
Recently added movies include “Spiderman,” “My Girl” and “Elf.” If you’re missing older TV shows, catch “Bewitched,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Columbo” and other classic hit series.
By partnering with public libraries and universities, Kanopy aims to provide thought-provoking entertainment like documentaries, foreign films, classic cinema, independent films and educational videos — without ads. That’s also why you need a library card to view Kanopy’s collection.
You can search for your local library or university on Kanopy’s site to find out if it partners with Kanopy.
The not-for-profit service streams live local broadcast TV for free in 18 markets across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. All you need is an internet connection and a Locast login. Find local stations at locast.org.
“All you have to do is sign up online, provide your name and email address, and certify that you live in, and are logging on from, one of the select US cities. Then, you can select among local broadcasters and stream your favorite local station.”
8. Pluto TV
You do not need to create a username and password to get free content on Pluto TV. Simply search for Pluto TV on a smart TV or through your streaming device.
Pluto has more than 250 channels and thousands of on-demand movies. Get it with Pluto TV’s mobile app, internet browser or Windows desktop app.
On-demand movies include the James Bond 007 series and other classics. You can also view episodes of “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “Roseanne,” to name a couple, in addition to live TV access. View the daily lineup at pluto.tv/live-tv.
The free service is owned by a motion picture distributor, Screen Media Ventures, and specializes in movies. As Popcornflix explains it:
“Popcornflix was created for people like us who want to watch ‘Great Movies. Free.’ Popcornflix has full-length movies that will make you laugh, make you cry, scare the heck out of you, or inspire you to hug the person you love. We have compelling documentaries, foreign films, unique original web series, and a place that showcases the brightest film makers of tomorrow.”
10. Redbox Free Live TV
Redbox, the movie-rental kiosk company, has a free streaming TV service with about 30 channels of movies and television plus three channels of exclusive content. Redbox Free Live TV is available at Redbox.com or through the Redbox app.
Channels such as American Classics, USA Today and Unsolved Mysteries offer movies, TV, news and more. Exclusive channels include:
11. Sling Free
Sling TV, the internet television service owned by Dish Network, recently announced it has made some of its content free on mobile devices and internet browsers. No subscription is required to watch some 1,000 movies and 4,000 TV episodes this way.
Sling TV also is making its Sling Blue package available for free from 5 p.m. to midnight every night for a limited time during the coronavirus pandemic. For more, check out “Sling Offering 50 Channels of Free TV Every Night — No Strings Attached.”
Select U.S. cities can receive live local news and sports on Stirr, a streaming service from Sinclair Broadcast Group. Movies and on-demand TV shows are available, too. Advertising is also part of the mix.
Tubi reported seeing record growth in 2019, with 25 million monthly active users.
Announced this weekend, the Department of Unemployment Assistance will be holding Virtual Town Halls, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24th (in Spanish) , Wednesday, March 25th, Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th (in English), to answer your questions about unemployment and about Workshare.
Please note: The virtual town hall is offered both over the phone and online. If you plan to join ONLY via phone, please enroll by 5:30 the night before in order to receive a call.
By MM Staff
January 31, 2020
The City of Boston has been named one of MovieMaker’s Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2020, ranking 10th out of 20 cities.
“We believe all of our filmmakers are notable,” says Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office. That sense of camaraderie is part of what helped BeanTown crack the top 10 this year. In 2019 alone, that notable group included Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton, Rosamund Pike, Ryan Reynolds and Adam Sandler. Kevin Hart even filmed a scene on the iconic swan boats in Boston’s Public Garden.
But it isn’t just Hollywood productions that make Boston an attractive city for moviemakers. The city boasts top-tier film programs at Emerson and Boston Universities and a menagerie of charming independent theaters: The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Somerville Theatre and Brattle Theatre are among them. The Art Deco Coolidge was founded in 1933 as the community’s first theater with a mission “to entertain, inform, and engage—building a vital community through film culture,” and its inspired events— like The Rza recently providing a live score for the Shaw Brothers’ The 36th Chamber of Shaolin—are unmissable.
Boston also has a vibrant documentary community, anchored by WGBH, home of the PBS documentary shows Frontline and American Experience. And the Boston Independent Film Festival screens a slew of documentaries every spring.
Finally, when you’re stuck on your screenplay, you can always go visit the locales from Good Will Hunting.
MovieMaker determined the winners using surveys, editorial research on tax incentives and recent productions, and personal visits to most of the locations on the list. For the complete 2020 list of Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker, visit MovieMaker.com.
By Dave Copeland,
January 16, 2020
Producers will take over Marblehead’s historic district for two days next week as crews shoot scenes from “Frills.”
MARBLEHEAD, MA — Film crews will be in Marblehead’s historic district next Wednesday and Thursday to shoot scenes for “Frills,” a Cinderella prequel that will eventually be available on the Disney+ streaming service. In addition to a half day of shooting at the intersection of Pleasant and Washington Streets, producers will shoot scenes in the Harborlight Inn and The Landing. Disney plans to compensate local store owners for lost business.
Filming for “Frills” will continue in other greater Boston locations through March, according to Disney. Described as the story of “A young fairy godmother who comes from a magical-gothic parallel universe and attempts to help a single mother who thinks she will never get a fairytale ending,” the movie is being directed by Sharon Maguire, who previously directed the Bridget Jones films.
By: Shaun Chaiyabhat
January 13, 2020
CONCORD, Mass. —
A Massachusetts town played a big role in the film “Little Women,” which has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The movie is based on a novel of the same name written by Louisa May Alcott, who wrote it in Concord.
The coming-of-age story set in the Civil War follows four sisters and is loosely based on Alcott and her family.
Alcott’s family home in Concord remains a historic site and museum.
“In 150 years, the book has never been out of print,” said Jan Turnquist, the executive director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. “It’s been translated into over 50 languages. We get visitors from all over the world.”
The novel has been adapted for television and film numerous times, but the 2019 movie was the first that did most of its filming in Massachusetts.
“They did an awful lot here,” said Erin Stevens, Concord’s public information and communications manager. “It’s where (the story) was born and it’s where it stays. We’re really thrilled that it’s bringing so much more life and bringing history back around.”
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2019 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California February 9, 2020.
Here is the full list of 2020 Oscar nominations:
*Made in Massachusetts film or connection, in blue
Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
The Irishman (Netflix)
Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Joker (Warner Bros.)
Little Women (Sony)
Marriage Story (Netflix)
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
Renée Zellweger (Judy)
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)
Al Pacino (The Irishman)
Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
Florence Pugh (Little Women)
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks)
I Lost My Body (Netflix)
Missing Link (United Artists Releasing)
Toy Story 4 (Pixar)
1917 (Roger Deakins)
The Irishman (Rodrigo Prieto)
Joker (Lawrence Sher)
The Lighthouse (Jarin Blaschke)
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Robert Richardson)
Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson (The Irishman)
Mayes C. Rubeo (Jojo Rabbit )
Mark Bridges (Joker)
Jacqueline Durran (Little Women)
Arianne Phillips (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
Todd Phillips (Joker)
Sam Mendes (1917)
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar
The Cave, Feras Fayyad
The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa
For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
In the Absence, Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me, Kristine Samuelson, John Haptas
St. Louis Superman,Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk Run Cha-Cha, Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt
Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland
The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
Joker, Jeff Groth
Parasite, Jinmo Yang
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar
Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
1917, Thomas Newman
Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir
Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story, Randy Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”, Toy Story 4 — Randy Newman
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman — Elton John & Bernie Taupin
“I’m Standing With You”, Breakthrough — Diane Warren
“Into the Unknown”, Frozen 2 — Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez
“Stand Up”, Harriet — Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo
The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh
Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Dcera, Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry
Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan
Memorable, Bruno Collet
Sister, Siqi Song
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur
Nefta Football Club, Yves Piat
The Neighbors’ Window, Marshall Curry
Saria, Bryan Buckley
A Sister, Delphine Girard
Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester
Joker, Alan Robert Murray
1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord
Ad Astra, Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
Ford vs. Ferrari, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
Joker, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
1917, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano
1917, Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
Avengers: Endgame, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick
The Irishman, Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli
The Lion King, Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
Just Mercy, Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Knives Out, Rian Johnson
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han
NEW MUTANTS, was filmed in Medfield, Millis, Lynn and Weymouth, Massachusetts in 2017.
IN THEATERS APRIL 3RD 2020
By Karen B. Bento
When Louisa May Alcott sat down at the small, wooden “shelf desk” her father built especially for her in her bedroom at Orchard House in Concord, she probably devoured a few crisp apples as she feverishly penned her novel, “Little Women.”
One hundred fifty years ago, it was impossible for Alcott to know that this holiday season families would be flocking to movie theaters to see writer and director Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of her beloved classic. It’s a novel that has been passed down from one generation to the next and is just as progressive now as it was in 1868 and 1869 when it was originally published in two volumes. Alcott’s father, Bronson, nourished his daughters’ minds and fostered a love of reading, creativity and independence.
In the same way, Alcott created a world where the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, all made do with what New England had to offer during the Civil War when their father was away, and where Marmee fed her daughters’ aspirations by giving them the strong foundation they needed to succeed in what was predominantly a man’s world. Gerwig’s adaptation staunchly pays homage to the story, the characters and the foods they prepared. She does so with the expert assistance of many talented women, including Food Stylist Christine Tobin and Set Decorator Claire Kaufman.
Tobin, whose career as a food stylist was launched while working with Executive Chef Ana Sortun at Oleana in Cambridge and is now the key food stylist at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, earned her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and has been wowing food enthusiasts for decades. Remember the steamy pie scene in the movie “Labor Day”? That was Tobin’s handiwork, and her first film. “Working as a food stylist for film is very much like working at a restaurant. It’s fast-paced, there is constant pressure and you always need to expect the unexpected,” says Tobin. In the past she had worked alone, but for “Little Women,” she had the opportunity to hire two amazing women food makers to assist her. Her semi-industrial kitchen at home, with an attached sunroom to store extra equipment such as a freezer, refrigerator and Cambros (insulated food transport boxes), is invaluable to her work. “The foods I prepare for various films are always real, always edible for our actors. This helps define a moment, a character and a scene,” says Tobin.
In keeping with Alcott’s vision, and to ensure verisimilitude occurs even in the smallest food scenes, the first thing Tobin did, after speaking with Prop Master David Gulick, was visit Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. What she thought was going to be a brief, impromptu tour turned into a four-hour, intense study of the Alcotts’ life. “I could not have been more lucky than arriving and accidentally meeting Orchard House’s Executive Director Jan Turnquist,” says Tobin. Here she learned about the culinary history of New England, which catapulted her into research that was needed to ensure the piece’s historical accuracy while bringing the Alcotts’ timeless treats and dishes to center stage. Tobin spent innumerable hours researching online, collecting vintage cookbooks and comparing old and modern recipes. Having background knowledge of how the Alcott family lived helped define the foods seen on the March family’s plates. “All foods were obsessively designed with the delicate balance of the reality of Louisa May Alcott’s life and her fantasy life of ‘Little Women.’ There are touches throughout all food scenes that were based on my discussion with Turnquist. For example, the Alcotts loved granulated sugar, so you will see sparkles of sugar throughout the film on cake tops and cookies as an homage to Louisa May Alcott,” says Tobin.
Tobin designed the food for this film to showcase the artistry, sentimentality and unconditional love the March sisters shared. “For my purposes, this was as much truth as the history of food during this time. Although the March family didn’t have money for fancy foods or dressings, I imagined them using autumn leaves, dried flowers, old ribbons and string to decorate their cakes and trays. The wealthy Laurence family had the means to own a hot house, growing beautiful flowers. These flowers are what adorned all the treats of their gift of a Christmas feast. All the magic of what that might have looked like is present in this scene. Like looking into a dollhouse. This is how I imagined Louisa May Alcott scripting her scenes,” says Tobin.
Tobin gleaned tasty tidbits of information when visiting Orchard House, which is also the setting for “Little Women.” The Alcotts raised chickens, tended vegetable gardens and cared for apple and pear trees growing in the orchard. Mr. Alcott built boxes and crates to layer their apples and pears in sand which helped preserve them when they were stored in the basement through their long winters. Foods were prepared simply using salt, but not spices.
Socio-economic status influenced how foods were prepared, too. The Marches would have cooked with dark flour, whereas the Laurences would have used white flour. “The Alcotts often ate bread, apples and water at mealtimes—and gruel for breakfast (sprinkled with sugar, of course!). They cooked with butter instead of meat fats. They were a vegetable-heavy family who never wasted their gardens’ bounty, so pickling, stewing and preserving was a big part of their regimen. Although meat was not a big part of their diet, cured or preserved meats were often used to flavor soups or stews. Iceboxes were used during this time, with ice brought in from Walden Pond. All the foods of ‘Little Women’ reflect what I learned about the Alcott family from my meeting with Turnquist,” says Tobin.
Set Decorator Claire Kaufman is a member of the Set Decorators Society of America (SDSA), and received an Emmy nomination for FX Networks’ “American Horror Story: Cult.” Her keen attention to detail adds to the authenticity of “Little Women,” and helps bring Tobin’s visions to life. She worked tirelessly to give each set a very specific color palette and feel. “In the March house, I used a lot of Blue Willow china, etched glassware and a bone flatware, as well as authentic bread plates and bowls,” says Kaufman. Most pieces were bought at a couple of small stores in Concord. She bought a ton of silver at the Brimfield Antique Show and at surrounding antique stores, all of which are proudly displayed in the Laurence household.
But she couldn’t have done it alone. “I cannot begin to explain how much scouring my two buyers, Katy Shiry and Melissa Cooperman, and I did for the film. As well as my Assistant Buyer, Olivia Dibs, who scoured the internet for items. We were able to purchase the entire movie basically in New England, which I love, because it made it so authentic,” says Kaufman.
There are a total of twenty seven food scenes in Gerwig’s rendition of “Little Women,” but one in particular stole Tobin’s heart: Marmee’s birthday celebration. “The cake was scripted to be a playful cake that Jo made with her students to be presented to Marmee for her birthday. Block-like, piles of frosting, as a child would do,” says Tobin. The cake Tobin designed was a simple chiffon with a buttercream frosting. “What makes this cake so special to me is that my (now nine-year-old) daughter picked the brightly colored leaves while we walked around Jamaica Pond and Forest Hills Cemetery. She helped me pick leaves, twigs and acorns as we strolled and chatted. These beautiful New England leaves are what adorn this simple cake,” says Tobin.
She was so thrilled to see how the characters presented this very cake to Marmee. “Like all the foods of ‘Little Women,’ food is love and the greatest gift to give is something that is made from one’s hands and heart. For me, the cake symbolizes a torch being held by all women. We are strong, we are fierce, we are ambitious, we are soft, we love. I am most pleased that I was able to include my own ‘little woman’ to this most special scene,” says Tobin.
In a new behind-the-scenes featurette, which EW can exclusively debut, cast members Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and more gush about working with director Greta Gerwig and the bonds they formed on set. The film has received rave reviews in advance of its Christmas Day release, and is expected to be a strong awards contender.