April 07, 2020

Production starts on ABC miniseries

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — With just two weeks to go before film crews will begin shooting parts of Stephen King’s “Storm of the Century” ABC miniseries here, employees of the aptly named Rainfall Productions, Inc. were in high gear Monday.

Despite inclement weather — including sheets of freezing rain that covered Main Street storefronts soon to be transformed into the setting for the six-hour thriller’s blizzard scene — more than 30 production coordinators, location managers and others bustled about town coordinating details for set dressing and sending an unusual pulse of excitement throughout the normally quiet village.

In between talking about set dressings and snowblowers Monday afternoon, an energetic Valley Reseigne, Rainfall’s production supervisor, said, “We are in pre-pre-production right now. Actually this is pretty formal pre-production.”

Formal or not, the brouhaha inside two downtown buildings the company has tranformed into Storm Central is coming none too soon. Under the leadership of location manager Diane Lee, the company spent much of the fall wading through a long, but important process of obtaining permission to film from town leaders and businesses. Now that the go ahead has been given, production officials say they must have the set, which is currently being constructed in a secret locale in town, ready for the camera by late next week when film crews arrive.

If all goes according to plan, filming is scheduled Jan. 20-23, although it may finish early. A detour around the Main Street set has almost been completed and will be effective January 19-23. (It will remain in place for use again this spring when film crews return briefly to film other scenes.)

Already filled with a sense of anticipation, Southwest Harbor is likely to become even more exciting this week when casting for 104 extras takes place. Dee Cooke, the local casting director, is seeking extras for some of the plot’s earliest scenes in which a small coastal village is beset by a huge snow blizzard.

Cooke will be casting for people able to “portray how they feel about the intensity of the storm that is happening around them,” she said Monday. Locals who turn out for the casting call at the Legion Hall Thursday should bring a photo of themselves and can expect to be asked to do some on the spot acting, although nothing too professional, said Cooke.

Locals with snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snow mobiling experience are also being sought. Since “Storm’s” plot takes place in 1989, producers are looking for cars, pickups and snowmobiles made in that year or earlier. Although casting for the series’ main actors is not yet final, Cooke said that she will also be looking for people to play “look alikes” of all ages Thursday.

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