State Street doesn't normally keep pickled brains on bar.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Those missing their favorite watering hole during the COVID-19 shutdown will be able to catch a glimpse of it in the upcoming horror film "Cryptid."
A New York-based film crew was on site late morning Tuesday prepping the State Street Tavern for filming, and Assistant Director Andrew Fitzgerald said the local bar was just what they were looking for.
"We were looking for a hole in the wall so this is the perfect bar," he said. "It is already set with all of the pictures, all of the old wood, it is just perfect. If you had an empty set and wanted to make it look old this is what you would go for."
The film, directed by Brad Rego, takes place in a rural town in Maine. A mysterious animal is brutally attacking residents. Deemed to be a random bear attack by town officials, an investigative journalist suspects it might be more.
Fitzgerald said the movie is an "old-school style creature-feature" about a creature that comes out when it rains. He said the movie will feature no CGI and will be made in the spirit of low-budget horror films.
Originally, he said they planned to film in April, but with the pandemic, were forced to delay the project.
"We were all set up, that is why we sort of scrambled a little bit for the past six months," he said.
Fitzgerald, who has family in the area, said they needed a location to film their bar scenes, and their line producer, who had been to the State Street Tavern before, knew the perfect location.
Dennis St. Pierre, who owns the tavern with longtime friend Bobby Cellana, said the crew reached out to them and wanted to arrange a visit.
"They looked us up and wanted to check it out," said St. Pierre, who was there Tuesday to watch the action. "They wanted to come down and take a look."
The State Street Tavern has been closed since March and is unable to open under the COVID-19 guidelines because of its small size and lack of food service.
Before the shutdown, the bar was a daily meeting place for many and acted as a hub for a generational community.
St. Pierre, who essentially put the bar into hibernation, said it was a welcoming sight to see some life there.
"It's nice to see some action here," he said. "I wanted to crack open a beer."
Fitzgerald said the crew is in week two of a three-week shooting schedule. They are shooting throughout Western Massachusetts but planned to do all of the bar scenes Tuesday at the tavern.
He said they would have been unable to film in the winter, and he was happy for the overcast day that could possibly supply some rain to awaken the creature.
A large box truck was parked outside of the bar, and the small masked crew spent the morning unloading lighting equipment and cameras.
Fitzgerald said they are filming night scenes and planned to block out the windows so they could film during the day. Inside the bar, the crew was setting up more equipment and actors were preparing for the shoot.
"We are a small crew of about 14 or 15," he said. "We are just blocking out all of the light so we can light it ourselves ... the limited amount of windows is good."
Fitzgerald said it is not easy making a movie, especially during a pandemic. He said the crew has to be regularly tested, and it is difficult finding locations where they have permission to shoot.
He said they "lucked out" with the State Street Tavern.
"It can be a struggle to get everything rolling," he said. "Everyone here has been super welcoming which is nice for a small film crew."