film & TV office
The trailer for “Hall Pass,” the new Farrelly brothers comedy that topped the box office last weekend, opens with a shot of the Providence skyline.
But despite its setting and the Farrellys’ Rhode Island roots, “Hall Pass” was filmed in Atlanta.
We asked Steven Feinberg, the Rhode Island Film & TV Office’s executive director, why the Cumberland natives’ latest film – which stars Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as buddies whose wives give them a week off from marriage to relive their bachelor days – wasn’t shot here in their home state.
Feinberg said his office always makes a point to lobby the Farrellys to shoot their films in the Ocean State. “We always encourage Bobby and Peter to bring projects home to Rhode Island,” he wrote in an e-mail to WPRI.com. “And their desire is to film in Rhode Island as much as possible.”
Feinberg said the studio backing the movie, a Warner Bros. release, made the decision to move the production south because filming began in late February – a tough time to be shooting outdoor scenes in wintry Rhode Island.
If filming had started in June, “Hall Pass” probably would have been shot here, according to Feinberg.
But “Hall Pass” isn’t the only Farrelly brothers movie that won’t be shot in their native Rhode Island.
Marc Fischer, the movie’s executive producer, told Variety Magazine last May that the brothers’ next film, the much-talked-about “Three Stooges,” will also be shot in Georgia. He cited its generous film tax credits and Atlanta’s “amazing shops” as among the perks of filming in the Peach State.
But “Hall Pass” and “Stooges” aside, Feinberg argued that Rhode Island is still a major destination for film and television production.
With productions such as the new ABC series “Body of Proof,” which premieres later this month, “2010 and 2011 have probably been the most productive filming years ever for our state,” Feinberg said.
The film office is getting ready to announce another high-profile project that will be shooting here in May and June, he added. Though Feinberg didn’t offer specifics, Wes Anderson’s upcoming project “Moon Rise Kingdom” is supposed to begin filming in Newport this spring.
Claire Peracchio is a student at Brown University and a WPRI.com intern.
(photo: Time Warner via Wikipedia)
While writing about the Film & TV Office yesterday, I wondered whether it was really true that the hip 1956 musical “High Society” was filmed in Newport, as opposed to being set there but filmed in Hollywood.
Steven Feinberg, the office’s executive director, wrote in to tell me that indeed it is. Not only that, he said, but the late state Rep. Paul Crowley‘s father actually let MGM’s crew use his station wagon to secure the camera as they drove down Bellvue Avenue to film the opening sequence.
“High Society” was a remake of “The Philadelphia Story” with Cole Porter supplying the music, and featured an all-star cast including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong. It’s not the only toe-tapping flick set in 1950s Newport, either; the classic “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” documents the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.
And Feinberg’s e-mail gives me a good excuse to post the opening sequence he described – dig that Satchmo style: