Paul Giamatti movie to film movie on St. Mark’s campus

Above: Actor Paul Giamatti will be filming on St. Mark’s campus next month. (images L-R cropped from Wikamedia and St. Mark’s Facebook page)

Southborough will be the site of another Hollywood production. Filming will likely be less visible to the public than when “Grown Ups” was filmed at Pilgrim Church in 2009. Miramax will be using St. Mark’s School’s campus during their March break.

Last night, the Board of Selectmen discussed a request from Miramax request to park some trailers on Southborough side streets, off campus.

(Scroll down for more info on the movie itself.)

As part of the discussion, Selectmen Sam Stivers asked about potential disruptions to nearby neighbors in terms of late night lights and sounds.

Thomas Cadrin, a representative for the production said that his role is to work with towns and mitigate neighbor concerns. He had just come from a meeting with some Somerville residents about their filming plans in that town.

He promised selectmen that the big noisemakers – the generators – will be tucked into the school’s campus, and not noisy for neighbors.

Cadrin also noted that most of the filming will be in the daytime with only a few evening scenes. Those could go past 7:00 pm, but not much later.

The site of trailer parking wasn’t resolved last night. Cadrin originally requested use of St Marks Street. That was an issue for Public Works chief Karen Galligan.

The shooting in mid-March is at the time she expects crews to go back to work on the pocket park project at that corner. It was also an egress concern for the Police and Fire chiefs, especially if there’s still snow on the ground.

In looking at alternatives, Assistant Town Manager Vanessa Hale said the three chiefs’ main concerns were safe egress and the ability to plow in case of snow.

She and Town Administrator Mark Purple had some ideas, but hadn’t had a chance to review them with Cadrin yet. They’ll continue to work with him and the chiefs. (They’ll also be discussing police details and security.)

Before moving ahead on parking alternatives, Hale was seeking any guidance the Board wanted to give.

Vice Chair Chelsea Malinowski asked to make sure the public is aware of the fliming in advance, to reduce concerned phone calls and questions when it starts.

As the Chair of the Board of Health, Malinowski also asked that they keep that Board in the loop about any inspections required related to food, sanitation, etc. (Earlier in the meeting, Cadrin described their Covid safety protocols.)

Cadrin noted that their catering vehicles only service their cast and crew. He said that inspection requirements vary by Town. Malinowski said she’d get back to him.

Answering a question from Member Marty Healey, Cadrin said that much of their crew and cast parking will be on Dell’s campus. From there, people will be shuttled to the set.

Selectmen will expect to hear back from Hale on alternative choices selected at a future meeting. Filming in Southborough is scheduled to take place March 15th through the 23rd.

So what’s the film?

Though the Miramax movie won’t feature a cast as large and mega-famous as the Adam Sandler movie, it does feature a fairly big name.

Character actor Paul Giamatti is the lead in the film “The Holdovers”. The Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild winner will play a private boarding school professor on campus over a break. (Thus the setting.)  

This time, instead of a lowbrow humor comedy or a cult sequel, the film is being billed as a comedic drama acccording to Variety, the film is being billed as a comedic drama. 

Cadrin described it to selectmen as a feel good Christmas movie. In addition to St. Marks, scenes will be shot in and around Boston.

Variety wrote:

In “The Holdovers,” Giamatti will portray Paul Hunham, a universally disliked professor at a prep school called Deerfield Academy. With no family and nowhere to go around the holidays in 1970, he stays on campus to supervise students who couldn’t go home. After a few days, only one person is left: a troublemaking 15-year old named Angus, a good student whose bad behavior always threatens to get him expelled. Along with the school’s head cook Mary, whose own son was recently lost in Vietnam, the three form an unlikely bond as they spend Christmas together during two very snowy weeks in New England.

The movie will be directed by Alexander Payne who directed Giamatti on the 2014 Oscar winning film “Sideways”. Da’Vine Joy Randolph has been cast as “Mary”. She is best known for her roles in the film Dolomite is My Name, and the series “High Fidelity”, “Empire”, and “Murders in the Building”.

Cadrin didn’t know when the movie will be released, but told selectmen it’s typically about a year sometimes a little less. (I can’t help but think that if it’s a feelgood Christmas movie, they’ll be looking for an appropriate release date. So, maybe December ’23?)

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