By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Stephen Hartman, location manager for Commander Softpants, Inc., went before the Westborough Board of Selectmen Aug. 23 to seek approval to film a movie scene in the downtown area of Westborough Wednesday, Sept. 7, between 3 and 7 p.m.
The independent comedy featuring an “ensemble cast that explores international relations at a very local level” would require a police detail. Westborough will serve as a fictional Canadian town, St. Georges. Police Chief Alan Gordon had no issue with the filming other than the request to fly the Canadian Flag. Hartman assured him that camera framing could mitigate his concerns. He also will reach out to affected businesses and work out any issues concerning signage, lighting and parking spaces.
Selectman Denny Drewry inquired about the film’s rating, and Hartman said did not know what the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) would rate the film.
“I’m not going to vote on anything unless I know what it is,” he said.
Selectman George Barrette agreed, noting “it’s very, very vague.”
Drewry motioned to not approve filming until more details became available, but the motion was rejected.
Selectman Leigh Emery inquired about economic benefits to the town and Hartman said a $1,000 donation to the Downtown Beautification Project would be made. Local businesses and churches affected would receive compensation. Selectman Bruce Tretter said: “I support the idea and the opportunity of the town participating in the production; filming will be tight …it seems to be innocuous.”
He made a second motion to approve filming, which was approved 3 to 2.