We came. We saw. We got kicked off.
That's pretty much how it went Tuesday morning on the set of the new Cuba Gooding Jr. film about the Underground Railroad being filmed at the old Stephen B. Church mansion on Great Hill Road.
I was told that the Oscar winner, Gooding, was not on the set today, nor would he be as he has finished his scenes. And as I was attempting to locate other actors and talk to producers, I was told the media was not welcome on the set and asked to leave.
Oh well. We tried.
On Monday, the Guilford Patch had slightly more success as people submitted photos of production (see photos attached). However, producers would not talk to Guilford Patch either.
Still, the editor of that Patch site, Lauren Lanzon, wrote this piece that gives readers information about the film. And...action:
- Paul Singley
Cuba Gooding Jr. Movie Wraps Up Filming in North Guilford
By Lauren Lanzon
The latest film starring Cuba Gooding Jr., best known for his roles in Jerry Maguire, Men of Honor and As Good As It Gets, is set to wrap filming next month, and the actor, along with the film’s crew, were caught on set yesterday afternoon right here in Guilford!
North Guilford Congregational Church played host to the production (working title: "Something Whispered") and the well-known actor, who was spotted filming a scene by the front entrance of the church. Earlier this month, the cast and crew were filming at another historical Guilford location, Medad Stone Tavern on Three Mile Course Road, for other scenes featuring Gooding and the cast. Other Connecticut locations have included Killingworth, Pomfret, Mystic.
The film has been kept quiet by the production team, and not much is known about it; even the title is not yet official. What is known is that the film is set in 1850 and is a tale about the Underground Railroad. IMDB describes this storyline:
Set in 1850, the story centers on a man named Samuel (Gooding), who attempts to free his family from the brutality of institutionalized slavery, intent on escaping from the tobacco plantation they have been forced to call their home for two generations. Heading north towards Canada, via that network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves in 19th century USA (aka the Underground Railroad), they are tracked by a group of ruthless hired slave hunters, who constantly threaten Samuel and his family's survival.
While it is not confirmed, sources say that the legendary Dean Cundey, who is known for his work in Jurassic Park (cinematographer), Halloween (director of photography), Back to the Future (director of photography) and Apollo 13 (director of photography), is involved in the camera work on the film. The prominent cinematographer will work alongside director Peter Cousens to bring life the script authored by Tim Chey.
According to McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), the film will also feature the work of MSA Choreographer Jeffrey Page, who won the award for “Best Choreography,” at last years MTV Video Music Awards. His accolades include The Beyonce Experience, 2007 World Tour (choreographer with Frank Gatson) and FOX So You Think You Can Dance (Choreographer, Season 5/Top Five Male Finalists, 2009). Neither he, nor Cundey, were spotted in Guilford however.
This isn’t the first time Guilford has been visited by a renowned actor. Meryl Streep is among the famous Guilford guests in past years. The town’s involvement in film and theater is so prominent that there is rumored talk about the establishment of a Guilford Film Commission.
Filming has wrapped in Guilford for ‘Something Whispered’, for now at least, and while there is no official release date yet for the film, it is certain that our town can look forward to sharing the spotlight with some Hollywood greats very soon.
- We were told today was the last day of shooting in Oxford
- Oxford Resident Trooper Sgt. Dan Semosky said traffic would be stalled periodically on Great Hill Road. He did not say when those traffic delays would occur.