During the past few weeks, I worked on the set of Backmask. This film took place in Exeter, RI, in and around the Ladd Institute. The Opacity web site (http://www.opacity.us/site80_the_ladd_school.htm_) describes the Ladd institute in the following caption:
“At the turn of the twentieth century, institutions for the mentally and physically disabled began to dot the United States, separating them from the psychiatric population residing in the asylums. After the successes of the schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut, it was soon proposed that an institution should be built for the state of Rhode Island in the rural town of Exeter.
The Rhode Island School for the Feeble Minded was founded in 1907 as a farm colony for the residents to work and learn, with Dr. Joseph Ladd as the superintendent. The patient population grew quickly, and in 1909 a dormitory was erected as the other was full; the new building would be for girls only. In 1917 the name of the facility changed to The Exeter School as the term “feeble-minded” (amongst many other medical terms) were becoming objectionable at the time. As the facility grew in size and population, funding became more scarce, and the school began to deteriorate into an overcrowded place to put the state’s unwanted as many other state funded institutions did at the time. In the 1960s the facility had over 1,000 patients, and was re-named the Ladd Center in memory of its first superintendent.
The all too familiar stories of lawsuits and de-institutionalization are found to mark the closing of the Ladd School in the late 1970s. Various organizations helped move their clients from the school to group homes and other places that provide proper care. The facility officially closed its doors in 1994.
A memorial to the patients who have died at the institution stands in a grove of trees near a veterans cemetery”
During the day, this set was just like any other set, with perhaps a few extra bugs. It was extremely hot and sticky – but as an actress, I am used to working in all types of conditions without complaining. I consider myself a profession and it was only until the darkness of night creeped in that the set had a very surreal transformation and I became a bit nervous. Under the blanket of darkness, I couldn’t help but to think that we weren’t supposed to be there and I kept looking through the shattered windows into the black emptiness inside the old red brick structures. The old abandoned buildings seemed to look over us as we acting out our scenes and the graveyard that held the unnamed people who died there was always heavy on my mind. I felt very unwelcome, not because of the other people on set who were very nice and friendly, but I felt like that being there was wrong – like we invaded the place. One of the pictures that was taken on the set I could swear that you can see spirits hovering over the people. Perhaps it is just my overactive imagination – but I wasn’t the only one spooked. I am definitely looking forward to the release of this new horror film and feel that it will be Marcus Nispel’s best movie ever. I don’t think I will be able to watch it by myself without screaming.
Please note that all pictures were provided by the production
I promised everyone I would write about what it is like to be on movie sets and so I would be remiss if I did not mention Adam Sandler films. I have been on two of his films – Grown-Ups and That’s My BoyBoy and it is like nothing I have ever been on before. First of all – they are very large budget films and so there are a lot of cast, crew, fancy machines and cameras. Also – there are a lot of extras. In Grown-Ups, I spent the day playing at Water Wiz with hundreds of other kids while the cameras rolled. In “That’s My Boy” I was in a large auditorium with close to 1,000 other kids. They had painted the entire auditorium of the school where the set was to represent a different school and era. Big budget films are fun to be on because of all the excitement and Mr.Sandler ALWAYS takes the time to say “hi” to the crowds. He is very personable and nice. A very quality man and a true star! Also – because these sets are so large – I was never able to spot myself in the actual Grown-ups movie and although That’ s My Boy has not come out yet, I can just about guarantee I won’t be in it as I was “deep background” which means there was a very large crowd and I was behind a lot of others. Also – I do not have pictures of the set as they are strickly forbidden. Some of my other movies – we were allowed to take pictures but if you tried here, you might find yourself not invited back.
I heard a rumor that Adam Sandler might come back to Boston and film some more blockbusters. I sure hope so and now that I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I perhaps I will get a featured “extra” role or small speaking part. Any other actor who reads this knows that the likelihood of this is rare, but dream big and reach for the stars – who knows – it could happen, right?
Update Jan. 27th – just announced – Adam Sandler will be coming back to Boston to film Grown Ups II!!! Fingers crossed I make it my third Sandler film 🙂
The official teaser/trailer premiered on the Steve Katsos show Nov. 15, 2011
“Time is running out and the odds have been raised. Can Gabe and Lacey save his sister Toni before she too becomes a victim? This haunting thriller will leave an eerie chill down your spine. Evil leaves the Mark of the Dog Rose”.
Coming to theaters December 2012.
Please click on the the picture of me to visit (and LIKE) Mark of the Dog Rose official page.
The Martini Shot is a movie term for last shot of the day. Sometimes it can be a very long day and there have been times I am on the set till very late into the night. This is a picture of me looking very tired while waiting for “The Martini Shot”. I can only imagine the comments from people when everyone see’s this one. lol
Hi everyone! I wanted to share the updates on the film in Romania. The author of this information is producer Daria Trifu. I am really excited about Rollywood!!!
Updates from Daria Trifu:
- We signed the world distribution contract for ABUSED IN AMERICA;
- we took the first legal steps to open the BRASOV FILM CENTER and the BRASOV INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & MARKET;
- we have reserved the on-line domain for ‘Romanian Hollywood’: www.rollywood.org
- we have generated extensive media interest nationally and international interviews regarding our activity in Romania are being requested;
- we are close to concluding a $1.85 Billion investment deal: international finance has been approved; few technical things are missing:
Allocation of Funds: i) $350m to bring, under our control, the Romanian film industry to international Hollywood standards of production and profitability; ii) $1.5bn to create 150,000 micro enterprises for unemployed women and youth (release of the funds will be from bottom up);
- produce ABUSED IN AMERICA. Shooting scheduled to start: April 11, 2011
- create the BRASOV FILM CENTER: the work starts the day ABUSED IN AMERICA completes filming. Scheduled opening of the Center: Spring 2012
- create the BRASOV INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL & MARKET: the work starts the day ABUSED IN AMERICA completes filming. Scheduled 1st edition of the Festival/Market: July 2012
- conclude the international finance deal of $1.85 Billion: Scheduled to take place anytime in April 2011.
Select List of Articles/Press pick-ups:
Hi Everyone ! I have attached an article that was recently published on the Toronto Pictures network (link attached). The more I learn about Daria and Bruno – the more impressed I am by their commitment to change the world and make it a better place. I will be playing “Valerie” in this movie – a runaway trying to make it on the streets. You can see my picture below (2nd from right). I have been doing my research on child abuse and runaways – I owe it to this production and to all the victims of child abuse to bring a great performance. I am also trying to arrange an interview with a runaway who had been living on the streets and currently is at a Boston shelter. I am throwing myself 150% into this role – I might appear to be “in character” on and off the set as we are filming as these emotions are not always easily turned off and on. I am looking forward to joining the crew soon in Brosov and taking my place in history.