'Rhode Island is a very film-friendly- place to be...'
CLOSEUP: Steven Feinberg, executive director of the R.I. Film & TV Office, speaks with filmmaker Amy Redford, daughter of actor and director Robert Redford, during the R.I. International Film Festival's recent film forum in Providence.
Most Rhode Islanders knows that “Dumb and Dumber,” the 1994 movie by brothers Peter and Bob Farrelly, was partially filmed in the Ocean State thanks to shots of The Big Blue Bug and the Providence skyline. The same could be said for a few other films, including “The Great Gatsby,” released in 1974 and shot at the Rosecliff and Marble House mansions in Newport.
Specific scenes in “Dumb and Dumber” were set in Rhode Island. “The Great Gatsby” was shot here but meant to take place in Long Island, N.Y.
“You can find a lot of different looks [in Rhode Island]. It’s got a lot to offer,” said Colin Walsh, a Jamestown-based, film-location manager. “I don’t know of anybody who’s ever come here and felt like it wasn’t enough.”
The trick, of course, is to keep getting filmmakers coming here and, more so, to get more of them to film movies in Rhode Island. Walsh and others spoke about that very topic on a panel during the Rhode Island Film Forum on Aug. 9, part of the recently concluded 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival. Other topics at the forum included film exhibition and transmedia technology.
The festival, according to producer George Marshall, this year drew 176 exhibiting filmmakers from all over the world. Included among those filmmakers was Amy Redford, daughter of actor and director Robert Redford, who screened her film “Delivery” at the festival, held Aug. 7-12.
“Amy also was scouting the state for a feature film,” said Marshall. “That’s another part of what the forum does. It’s a nexus in which people can link up and network.”
Walsh, part of the forum, most recently worked on the state’s latest claim to film fame, the Wes Anderson movie “Moonrise Kingdom,” which was shot entirely in Rhode Island over spring 2011 and opened the festival.
“I think [the state] does a pretty good job of sort of marketing itself,” Walsh said. “It’s a very film-friendly place to be, once productions are here.”