Hammering out a set
Members of the film crew were busy in the parking lot behind McCloskey’s Hotel in Chesterville. From the left, RJ Nadon, Steve Bruni and Nick Cross. Thompson Goddard photo
CHESTERVILLE – People passing by McCloskey’s Hotel in Chesterville last week wondered at the reasons for the enclosure near the front door, the construction projects in the rear parking lot and other happenings in the vicinity of this local heritage building.
Dan Riitano, manager of The McCloskey Project, was pleased to explain to The Chesterville Record how the building had been chosen by Company BiProductions out of Toronto to be used for the filming of The Two Deaths of Henry Baker written by Sebastian Pigott. The plot revolves around Henry Baker, a recently released outlaw and his attempt to reunite with the son who had for the past 25 years been guard of Baker’s gold. He is followed by a group of friends and enemies to a hotel and the movie portrays the adventures and misadventures that result.
Riitano mentioned how the site was chosen by the production company as a result of personal connections to the artistic world, with mainly the bar, salon and stairway of the building being used for filming. Producer Bonnie Zipursky commented in an email to The Chesterville Record how “We were scouting locations that would work as our Belair Bar and Hotel – a local bar with rooms to rent above it.” She continued that they found bars which fit the bill and “hotels that work but it wasn’t until we saw McCloskey’s that we found the entire package.” Most of the film was shot indoors with only a few outdoor scenes according to Riitano who noted that watching the crew at work was an incredible experience.
He explained that there was a crew of about 40 people involved in the production, with Johnny Ross the second assistant director mentioning there was a cast of 21 actors. Christ Church United in Chesterville was chosen to provide accommodation for wardrobe, make-up and hair styling as well as a dining location.
There were many compliments from the crew, with Ross mentioning how the Chesterville experience had “been great” and how McCloskey’s was a perfect location for the script. Riitano echoed the comments of Ross who mentioned the feedback he had been receiving from the crew had been very complimentary. Zipursky was pleased with the shoot, commenting how “Dan was also so accommodating and great to work with. We had a very smooth filming experience overall,” and continued with words of praise for Christ Church United and Chesterville itself, mentioning how “we would be happy to shoot in McCloskey’s again and hope to do so.”
The McCloskey Project seeks to provide a venue for the artistic community in a heritage setting.