By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – Residents and visitors lining Main Street sidewalks in downtown Hudson from May 1 to 3 weren’t necessarily there for flatbread pizza or uniquely-flavored ice cream. Many were watching the crew of Brandon’s Dads Productions shoot scenes featuring comic actor David Spade for a film with the working title “Who Do You Think Would Win?”
A buzz around town began soon after film location scouts visited sites in Hudson. Location manager Ryan Cook attended a meeting of the Hudson Business Association (HBA) held at Rail Trail Flatbread Company, noted Arthur Redding, HBA president and Hudson Appliance owner.
“He told us it’s an Adam Sandler film with Happy Madison Productions, made for Netflix,” Redding explained. “He asked if we objected to them coming in town and closing down Main Street. They really liked the way our downtown looks.”
Despite downtown street and sidewalk closures, and parking restrictions, HBA members expressed support for filming in town. They consider it a win-win situation.
“It’s a very exciting time for the town of Hudson to have a film shot downtown,” Redding said. “They have truckloads of crew people here for a few days; they’re bound to spend some money somewhere. Also, a lot of people will be looking forward to seeing the film, which will draw people to town to eat or shop here.”
Scenes shot in Hudson also featured Boston native Nat Faxon. His recent lead roles in comedy television series include “Ben and Kate” on Fox in 2012 and 2013, and “Married” on FX in 2014 and 2015.
The first day of filming was shot at Vic’s Barber Shop on Main Street at the Wood Square rotary. Onlookers were particularly fascinated watching Faxon push Spade up the inclined sidewalk, then shove him toward the shop’s front window. After several takes, Spade’s stunt double Danny Downey got hurled through the window.
When a resident on the sidelines asked Downey how he felt about Hudson, he replied, “It’s a great place to crash through a window!” He previously stunt doubled for Spade in “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star,” “The Do Over,” “Grown Ups” and “Rules of Engagement.”
Home base for the production team that day was New City Microcreamery.
Other downtown filming locations were the Washington Street businesses Robinsons Hardware, Hudson Gas and Sago Gas. Scenes filmed on Main Street captured another stuntman flashing pedestrians from a moving convertible.
The film shoot didn’t cause delays for the Washington Street Bridge construction. According to Kristina Johnson, assistant director of planning and community development, “MassDOT and the location management have closely coordinated on the issue.”
The production company extended its planned three-day shoot in Hudson and filmed beyond downtown. Their representatives attended a Board of Selectmen meeting May 1 to request permission for working at night. A waiver was granted for the town’s after-11 p.m. noise ordinance at two locations. Night filming took place May 4 at a private residence and David J. Quinn Middle School.
“We’re very happy to have Quinn being used in the film,” noted Michele Tousignant Dufour, Hudson School Committee chair.
Hudson Youth Baseball/Softball (HYBS) was scheduled to practice that evening on the Quinn field. The production company offered to compensate HYBS with a donation.
At different points during the prep day and film shoot, staging areas for production trucks were stationed at parking lots on South Street and at the First Federated Church, Hudson-Concord Elks Lodge 959 and St. Michael Church. Meals were catered at the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson.
Downtown businesses and residents received a letter from Joe Piasecki, assistant location manager. The letter read in part, “The cast and crew are very excited to film in Hudson. … The Massachusetts film industry employs thousands and it is only through the support of local businesses and residents that it can continue to grow and thrive.”
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.