North River A young team of filmmakers from Boston’s Emerson College began their three-week shooting of the indie film “Approaching Normal” on Monday, May 21 at the Garnet Hill Lodge.
The film promises additional publicity for the historic lodge in North River and a chance for local residents to become extras in this non-union production. While the lodge owners have no connection to the college, one of the filmmakers has a direct connection to the lodge.
“Somebody in his family had once stayed here many years ago, 15-20 years ago, and somehow that person recalled that and remembered it as a rustic lodge and would make a good setting for this script,” said Garnet Hill Lodge co-owner Don Preuninger. “They came and looked at the place, and it just really clicked with them and fit exactly what they’re looking for.”
Preuninger has no aspirations on becoming famous. Although he was asked to play a bartender in a scene in the lodge’s pub, he wasn’t sure whether he would accept it. He’d rather keep his property in the limelight; the filmmakers are using the name Garnet Hill Lodge in the script.
“We are very pleased and excited to be able to make this film here at Garnet Hill Lodge,” said Zack Bernstein, writer, director and co-producer of the movie. “The setting and atmosphere is just what we were looking for to provide the scenery and the feeling of rustic comfort and tradition that forms the backdrop of the script.”
Various lodge locations will be used throughout the film, most prominently four of the guest rooms in the main lodge, the dining room, front lawn, the beach, and the old Buick car that sits just off the lawn and was once used to power the Garnet Hill Lodge ski tow.
Shooting for the film will continue until June 8, and locals are encouraged to drop by the lodge to become extras. During filming, the lodge will continue to be open to the public.