1. EXT. DOWNTOWN/COURTHOUSE. DAY - SUNNY FILM CREW of a romantic comedy set up a SHOT for the scene in front of the COURTHOUSE. Crew members keep the flow moving to get the shot before the SUN moves and changes the LIGHTING. DREW BARRYMORE comes out of her TRAILER to do her scene. NAILS IT.
The people who either live or work in downtown Lexington had an opportunity to glimpse something special. Drew Barrymore and the crew of her romantic comedy was shooting outside of the old courthouse and 21c Hotel for the opening scene in her latest movie.
The majority of the movie was shot in New York City, which is where the film is set. Production wanted to shoot the opening and closing scenes in a smaller town so they 1) wouldn’t have to deal with the real life traffic and noise New York City brings and 2) the scenes call for a small town feel. Versailles is said to be the prefect small town setting for the happily-ever-after ending scene that every romantic movie has.
“It’s a moment after all of her trials and tribulations throughout the movie, the lead character and her love interest are going to open up a little shop where they are going to live happily ever after,” says Danny Tepper, EVP of Original Content at Wrigley Media and Executive Producer of The Stand In.
Ross Babbit, Executive Producer on The Stand In and EVP of Programming and Partnerships at Wrigley Media, said that he’s already seen the impact of this movie on Lexington through the enthusiasm and attention it’s gotten by shooting here. He said “There are so many beautiful parts of the city and outside of the city that can be used. They (filmmakers) want to see different types of architecture and like to go to towns that haven’t been over shot. So creatively it makes a lot of sense and from a business perspective its a huge impact for Lexington and the whole state when a film comes to town, it brings jobs.”
Most of the crew is from New York or LA, but they did bring on some locals to help fill their crew needs. Charles Moreland of Underline Themes Recordings is the boom operator for the downtown shoot and is a local that was brought on as a recommendation from Wrigley. When asked what this movie will do for the film industry in Kentucky he said “Oh I think it’s great. Hopefully lead to more of it and if there was more of a tax incentive hopefully there will be a lot more movies here.” One local grip said he skipped classes today to work on this film.
The scene asked for many extras to look like busy business men and women walking the streets of New York City. Extras wore their best and most professional outfits and were given props like coffee cups, brief cases, and umbrellas. Even with the cold temperatures and bitter wind, the background actors had smiles on their faces because they were having a wonderful time. So happy to be a part of something unknown to this city.
Lyssa High, a Lexington local, came to the shoot and was expecting to walk the streets with her fellow extras, but was asked to be a stand-in because of her height. “He needed somebody tall and I just happen to be the one in the bunch that was tall, so they needed me to stand in for the character named Stacey.” Being a stand-in allows you to be closer to the action on set. She had some wonderful words to say about Drew Barrymore’s acting, “It seemed like Drew kept it very organic. She didn’t do the same line the same way every time she came up. She did something a little different with it every time and just kept it real.”
Ross is the brother of Jamie Babbit who is the director of the romantic-comedy. “My sister Jamie reached out to me a few months ago because she was in development in pre-production. Part of the story is being in a small town and we’ve always wanted to work together on a project. I talked to Mr. Wrigley and Jayne Hancock, one thing lead to another and we are production partners on this film.”
Many pedestrians walking around downtown couldn’t help from staring and watching something that never happens in Lexington. Needless to say, the community will be very happy when the movie comes out to see our city on the big screen.
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