The stereotypical lights, cameras and action may have occurred behind closed doors, but motorists and other passers-by on Central Street still got a little flavor of Hollywood this week.
The Tinseltown taste was served up by production crews who were expected to descend on the vacated tax offices at the corner of Central and Wall streets the morning of Halloween for the first in a series of film shoots in Foxboro and surrounding towns.
The local filming, expected to conclude Nov. 7 with extensive shoots on both Union Street and West Street, is tied to a new sci-fi series being produced for a soon-to-launch streaming video service, according to Joseph Piasecki of Attleboro.
Piasecki, a film location scout who identified prospective area shooting locations in recent weeks, provided selectmen with details on logistics and schedule during a Tuesday night courtesy call.
Following Thursday morning’s interior shoot at 50 Central St., crews anticipated relocating to Foxboro Auto Gallery, a used car lot at the corner of Main Street and Route 1, to stage several other scenes.
“In fact, that’s what really attracted us to Foxboro,” said Piasecki, an Emerson College graduate. “The director really liked the auto gallery.”
Over the next week, crews will be filming at other locations around the area, ultimately returning to Foxboro on Nov. 7 for a long day of shooting at 30 Union St.
The Union Street shoot is expected to be a major undertaking, with four or five sizable trucks and dozens of crew members descending on the neighborhood from early morning to night.
“I think the major concern (on Union Street) is that we have a night scene in the backyard that would require us to be there until 10 p.m.,” Piasecki explained, adding that temporary parking will need to be arranged, either with neighbors or nearby churches.
Piasecki said he already has met with Union Street residents, some of whom have inquired about the prospects for serving as extras in some scenes.
“That’s what everyone wants to know,” Piasecki observed. “But for the most part everybody seemed excited.”
The Nov. 7 filming will then conclude in the overnight hours along West Street, where several roadside scenes will be staged.
“I’m hoping that traffic will be pretty minimal on that street at that time,” he said.
Piasecki told selectmen he already has met with Police Chief Michael Grace to discuss potential disruptions from the upcoming shoots, and said that detail officers will likely be required at some locations.
In the course of his presentation, Piasecki identified the new streaming video firm as Quibi, which has been billed as a short-form, mobile-focused streaming service expected to launch next April and compete with similar services like Netflix and Hulu.
According to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, Quibi (which stands for “quick bites” of video) will differ from conventional services by taking new, premium films and presenting them in short episodic chapters about 10 minutes long.
In addition, stories will be developed exclusively for viewing on mobile phones and distributed through a mobile app designed to appeal both to filmmakers and elusive younger audiences.
Veteran film mogul Jeffrey Katzenburg, chairman of the fledgling company, said in the Times article that Quibi will focus on a new form of visual storytelling that combines elements of film storytelling and episodic television.