Television trucks and vans crowded a Rocky Neck parking lot Thursday morning, leaving people wondering if another movie was in the making here on Cape Ann.
The rumors are true. Actor, comedian and producer Larry David, along with his film crew, have been shooting scenes for David’s HBO movie “Clear History” in Gloucester over the past week. And, though the crew’s weekend location could not be confirmed, the shoot will continue in Essex at J.T. Farnham’s Seafood on Eastern Avenue next week, with the crew setting up Tuesday then filming Wednesday and Thursday, according to Farnham’s owner Terry Cellucci.
In the film, David plays a former marketing executive, feuding with and seeking revenge on a former boss. David’s character in the movie has stepped away from his job at a start-up electric car company after an argument with the boss. The movie’s story is set on a small island off the Massachusetts coast, though much of it is being filmed here on the North Shore and on Cape Ann, according to Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office.
Strout said her office guided producers to Cape Ann and the North Shore because the region has the right feel for the movie and plenty of hotels and supportive communities.
“You all are in a very beautiful part of the state,” Strout said. “It’s wonderful that the communities up there have been really supportive. I think all of that plays into it.”
Scenes have been shot at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, at a large home on Holmes Street in North Andover, and at the Topsfield Fair.
The movie stars David, and features Kate Hudson, Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Phillip Baker Hall, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan and JB Smoove. It isn’t the first time Mendes has been in movie filmed on Cape Ann; she starred with Matt Damon in the Farrelly brothers’ movie “Stuck on You.”
Cellucci said she has no way of knowing which cast members will act in the restaurant scenes at Farnham’s. But, she said, the filmmakers plan to set up the dining restaurant, famously known for its fried clams, as a diner, transforming the space with different silverware, plates and decorations.
“They set out to find a restaurant that looked like a diner,” Cellucci said. “And one thing led to another.”
So Farnham’s will close to the public all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Though the filmmakers will compensate the restaurant to cover lost business, according to Cellucci, the restaurant will also get a shout-out in the movie: the “Farnham’s” logo will be featured on the front of T-shirts worn by the actor waitstaff in movie scenes.
“They will be using our name in the movie, which definitely will bring us some business next summer,” Cellucci said.
Cellucci said though she and her employees will respect that filmmakers and actors are at work in the restaurant, they hope to meet the celebrities. She said some Farnham’s employees signed up to be extras in the film.
“There’s a list of people who don’t want the day off. They just want to be here and be in the movie,” Cellucci said. “We’re hoping to meet the cast.”
The movie crew is also slated to film a scene at Woodman’s on Main Street.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.