VERMONTVILLE - Scenes from the upcoming feature film "The Place Beyond the Pines," starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes, were shot in a farm field here Monday.
Local residents say a large film crew was working all day on property owned by Barbara Rottier on Norman Ridge Road, using the area's open fields and mountain panorama as the backdrop for several scenes for the film, which recently wrapped up production in the Schenectady area.
David Parker lives just down the street from where some of the filming was taking place, although he said he didn't get too close to the action.
The view of fields and mountains from Norman Ridge Road in Vermontville, seen Wednesday, was used Monday as the backdrop for a movie crew working on the feature film “The Place Beyond the Pines.”
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"I think they were shooting up here because they wanted the mountain views," Parker told the Enterprise Wednesday. "I think it's pretty neat that they were here."
"The Place Beyond the Pines" tells the story of Gosling's character, a motorcycle stunt rider, who learns during a visit to his hometown that he has a son from a one-night stand many years ago. In order to provide for him, Gosling's character becomes a bank robber and ends up running into a cop and current politician played by Bradley Cooper. Eva Mendes plays Gosling's love interest and the child's mother.
People who live near the site of Monday's shoot said they didn't know anything about it until they saw dozens of cars parked on the side of the road.
"I decided to drive over Norman Ridge that day, and there were more cars there than I ever saw in my life," said Karen Smalley, who lives in Bloomingdale. "There was a guy sitting on a motorcycle with an earpiece in his ear. I was curious, so I went over and said, 'What's going on?' He said, 'They're filming.' They had been in Schenectady and were filming the last scene of the movie here. He was there to teach one of the actors how to ride a motorcycle for that scene."
Tom Saehrig, who lives in Vermontville and is renovating a house on Rottier's property, said he didn't see any of the film's big-name actors, like Gosling or Cooper, here during the shoot. But he did watch as a scene was filmed where one of the younger actors in the cast walks up a dirt driveway to a farmhouse owned by Rottier. Later in the afternoon, the shoot moved to a different site on the road where there was a barn, Saehrig said.
"They were also filming on the road; they wanted to get some sunset shots," he said. "The reason they picked the farms is they wanted a farmhouse setting with mountains. They were apparently driving around looking for a place, and somebody told me they stopped at Stewart's in Saranac Lake, where somebody told them to come out to Norman's Ridge."
Saehrig was impressed with the way the production was run.
"There were probably 25 or 30 people, and they were all on their earpieces," he said. "Everybody knew what they were doing. It was very organized."
Production of "The Place Beyond the Pines" started in late June in Schenectady and wrapped up on Saturday, according to the Albany Times Union, which covered the three-month local shoot extensively. The film, directed by Derek Cianfrance, is scheduled to be in theaters in 2013.