By Jamie Larson
When Location Manager Matthew Chamberlin
needed to find small town backdrops with texture, character and some “authentic grit" for the setting of the dark comedy Look Away
, starring Matthew Broderick
and Chloe Sevigny
, he said he found everything he could have hoped for in the always handsome and sometimes darkly comic city of Hudson, New York.
While Hudson is being used more and more as a location for scenes in movies and fashion shoots, the production of Look Away
used more of the city than any before, filming all over town, closing down sections of Hudson’s main business artery, Warren Street, putting false fronts on businesses, and one day littering wood and debris across the street as though a building had exploded. Scenes were also shot at the (now closed) Iron Horse Bar, which has served as a dive bar set for numerous films. Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep shot scenes for Iron Weed
in the Iron Horse and Paul Newman and Melanie Griffith spent time there for Nobody’s Fool
Chamberlain no doubt saw the same potential his predecessors did in the attractiveness of the area. Look Away
, set for a 2016 release, is almost entirely shot in Hudson, with sojourns to a cottage and tree in Germantown and the Hyde Park Drive-In
“When I came on the project, they were narrowing it down between Beacon and Hudson," says Chamberlin, who’s worked on everything from Armageddon
and Spiderman 3
to Must Love Dogs
and episodes of Modern Family
. “It’s an amazing town with a real sense of history. I’ve spent 20 years in locations in Los Angeles, so coming out here has been a real treat for me."
A production of Locomotive Media, Look Away
casts Broderick and Sevigny as the parents of teenager Bess Kraft, played by up-and-coming actress Shannon Tarbet. (Yes, we know what you're thinking: There’s some strange Hollywood age rejiggering happening here, but there are also actors cast as young versions of Broderick and Sevigny, so maybe all will be explained.)
The movie, directed by Andy Delaney and Monty Whitebloom, follows Bess, “a strong, off-beat, thoughtful young woman" who is literally unable see her mother due to a fictional affliction called selective blindness.
“With such a high caliber of talent in front of the camera, in conjunction with Delaney and Whitebloom’s unique visual storytelling style, we are excited to be bringing Look Away
to a wide audience" says producers Lucy Barzun Donnelly and Alexandra Kerry. “Matthew, Chloe and Shannon are perfect to complete our inventive vision for this project."
Though he may have a selective bias, Chamberlin said another star of the film is Hudson. There was an emphasis in Look Away
on settings that make an impact on the storytelling, more so than may happen in other films.
“I feel the locations in this project are characters in the movie. They set the tone and the feel," he says, adding that city officials and police were extremely helpful and accommodating, which is key for future productions. “I sense the Hudson Valley is growing as a location. It has a variety of looks that are very appealing."
But we already knew that.