Hollywood comes to Cromwell, Middletown for Lifetime movie

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MIDDLETOWN – Shooting for an upcoming Lifetime The film took place in Cromwell and Middletown last week, with many local people and locations playing a big part.

The film, “Secrets by the Shore,” will air on Lifetime in the spring, according to producer David Gere. It’s a thriller produced by MarVista Entertainment about the disappearance of a young woman from a riverside community in Connecticut.

The film is set primarily in Old Saybrook, but several full-length scenes were filmed in Cromwell and Middletown, including Wednesday night when filming took place at Cromwell Town Hall and on the Riverside.


“This is something that not all communities participate in,” said Anthony J. Salvatore, Director of the Town of Cromwell.

The shoot turned out to be an economic victory for the city, Salvatore said. The crew is staying at a hotel in Cromwell and several locations were used for the filming, including the Covenant Living of Cromwell retiree community. Even catering for the crew came from Cromwell Pizza and Pasta.

“Economically it’s good for the city, and I think having the opportunity to see that side of the movies is absolutely great,” Salvatore said.

On Thursday, production crews took over the Brew Bakers cafe on Main Street in Middletown. Owners Josef Aigner and Eloise Tencher were delighted with this opportunity. “Right away we said yes of course,” Aigner said.

Tencher said she felt honored to be chosen out of all the other restaurants on Main Street. “I feel really important,” she said. “It’s really special to be involved.”

Tencher and Aigner’s son Billy Gillen as well as several Brew Bakers employees were given roles in the film.

Some members of the film crew are also locally based, including Greg Bereski, who was born and raised in Middletown. He is the production designer of this film. “It scratches my creative itch,” Bereski said.

He said this area has proven to be a great place to film and that he hopes to be able to work on other projects in the area.

Director Jacob Cooney agreed, saying this area of ​​Connecticut has proven to be ideal for working for several reasons.

“The community is really open to helping,” Cooney said. “The extras were great and the location turned out to be the perfect setting for the film.”

The main reason this upcoming film has such a strong connection to the region is Gere, who is responsible for managing star talent. Gere was born and raised in Cromwell, and was once the owner of the popular The Shadow Room nightclub in Middletown before closing that business in 2013 to open a film production company.

Shadow | Vale Productions is based in Cromwell.

It was thanks to these close ties to Cromwell and Middletown that Gere was able to use the existing relationships to set up several scenes. Gere has known Salvatore since he was a child and remembers Tencher and Aigner when he owned this nightclub near Brew Bakers.

“We couldn’t make movies in Middletown or Cromwell without these connections,” Gere said. He expressed his gratitude to the Mayor of Cromwell and other city officials, as well as the Middletown and Cromwell Police Departments for their assistance.

Including local talent, as well as his business partner Chelsea Vale is very important to him. Vale is from Hollywood, California, and was able to recognize some major differences between filming in Tinseltown and Connecticut.

“I think the most different part is how excited the whole community here is,” said Vale. “We want to give back to the community because they have given us so much.

One of the stars is actor Jason London, known for roles such as Randall “Pink” Floyd in the movie “Dazed and Confused”. He shares Vale and Gere’s ambition to bring more film sets to the region.

“I absolutely love it here,” said London. “It continues to show that this is a great place to film and I hope we can bring more projects here.”

The film also stars Christina DeRosa, Alec Nevin, David Chokachi, Laura Poe and DC Douglas.

Filming for the film will continue through the weekend, with a car crash scene taking place on the streets of Cromwell on Friday night.


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