Local residents participate in film production at Greenwood Lake

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:44

Latest Rob Reiner movie proves to be economic boom for village, By Roger Gavan Greenwood Lake, N.Y. — The fictional “Belle Isle” in “Summer at Dog Dave’s,” a new movie directed by Rob Reiner and starring Morgan Freeman, Keenan Johnson and Virginia Madsen, is actually Greenwood Lake. In the movie, Freeman plays the part of a wheelchair-bound and alcoholic author who moves to a rural town, where he befriends a single mother and her three kids, who then help him to regain his passion for writing. The last day of shooting will be Friday, Aug. 12, and the film is expected to be shown in theaters early next year. Since early July, shooting the film on location has produced lots of excitement along with some inconvenience for village residents. Village filming code For Mayor Barbara Moore, it’s been a win-win, even though she now has to drive the wrong way on a narrow one-way street while dodging all the commotion on a movie set just to get to her own house. “The residents of the Greenwood Park area of the village are generally pleased that the movie is being filmed in the neighborhood,” said Moore. “We have less traffic because the road is open to local traffic only. And many of the residents of Greenwood Park and the Village have been used as extras. The cast and crew have been extremely professional and show great concern.” Moore explained that five years ago the Village of Greenwood Lake established a filming code in anticipation of being selected as a movie location. The village receives an administration fee, a daily fee, along with fees for parking, road closure and equipment rental from the production company. Village police controlling the entrances to the filming locations are being paid for their time totally by the production company. And they are working off of their regular schedules. Filming “Summer at Dog Dave’s” in Greenwood Lake has been an economic shot in the arm for restaurants and other businesses in the local community. Extras, housing and local crew members The production company has also hired village residents as extras, housed major players like Freeman in private homes and other employees in local hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. The company has also used crew members from the area. Globe-trotting production assistant director Christian Vogeler, for example, grew up in nearby Eagle Valley where his parents still own a home. He spent many of his summers in those days on the lake and he’s enjoying working here and visiting his parents. And there are interns like New York stage manager Juliana Crawford and high school actor Dean Mahoney who still live in Greenwood Lake and were able to seize the opportunity to learn more about film making. “The most outstanding memory that I will retain from this,” said Moore, “is that whenever the director, Rob Reiner, is approached by a resident of the community he takes the time to learn about that individual. He shows such a wonderful human quality.”