2006-06-29 / Sam Bari

Ft. Wetherill the scene for film

By Sam Bari

Moviemakers descended on the beach at Ft. Wetherill to make an indie film last week. Moviemakers descended on the beach at Ft. Wetherill to make an indie film last week. Three 18-wheelers sat side by side at the entrance to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries parking lot at Fort Wetherill State Park. Two security guards wearing walkie-talkies with headsets kept intruders from entering the area. Crew members carried light stands, reflectors, and other motion-picture production gear from the "grip" trucks while others connected hundreds of feet of cable to a generator mounted on a trailer. The crew was filming a scene from "The Education of Charlie Banks," an independent film starring Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role with costars Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri, and Sebastian Stan.

Veteran filmmakers Marisa Polvino and Michael Corrente, through their production company Iridium Entertainment, are producing the independent film, which is being directed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame. A Rhode Island native, Corrente is known for directing "Federal Hill," "American Buffalo," "Brooklyn Rules," and "Outside Providence," to name a few of his major productions.

Headquartered in Providence, "The movie has a six-week production schedule in Rhode Island with two days of filming in Jamestown on June 21 and 22," said line producer Declan Baldwin.

Jason Ritter, the late John Ritter's son, and Eva Amurri, actress Susan Sarandon's daughter, came by their talent honestly. However, they don't need their famed parents to boost their careers. They are quickly rising to the top of the movie industry on their own.

"I play Mick Leary. He's a bully in this film," Ritter said. "And Eva plays the love interest, Mary. Both Charlie Banks and my character are kind of competing for her charms," Ritter continued. "In the end, Jesse (Eisenberg) gets the girl, though," he said, laughing. "Jesse always gets the girl." The movie is a drama with some comedic scenes, "but mostly a drama about coming of age," Ritter said.

"We really like shooting in Rhode Island," Amurri said. "Jamestown is so pretty, and the people are very nice," she added.

Anita Durst, the director's mother came up from Jacksonville, Fla., to help her son make the movie, she said. "I think Jamestown is just beautiful," she said. "We just love it up here."

Nicole Anderson, who was in charge of craft services, said that the production company is just great. "It's a good crew with good actors, and everybody gets along really well," she said. "Now that Rhode Island has a film commission, a lot of work is coming to the state. Last year, I only worked on one film. This year we've shot 'The Brotherhood' for Showtime, 'Hard Luck' with Wesley Snypes, a pilot for CBS called 'Waterfront,' and the Disney movie, 'Underdog,' and now, this film," she added.

Steve Peloquin, best boy for lighting, was contracted in New York to work on the film. He said that the Rhode Island crew was "really good, and easy to work with. New England is a great place to shoot. The people are nice and they like movies to be shot in their towns. It's nice to feel welcome," he added.

Return to top