By Arielle Dollinger
The football field, lockers and library are among the areas of Cold Spring Harbor High School that moviegoers may notice on the big screen come 2015, thanks to an agreement between the school district and Laika Productions, LLC.
The Cold Spring Harbor Board of Education voted Tuesday night to approve the signing of a contract that will allow for the shooting of scenes from a film called “Louder Than Bombs,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert, on the grounds of the district’s high school – a deal that will bring the district not only screen time, but $5,000 for each of five scheduled shooting days.
“It’s a business arrangement,” said district Superintendent Judith Wilansky. “Twenty-five thousand dollars certainly will be well spent, and it’s appreciated, and it will give us the ability to do some things that we ordinarily would not have been able to do.”
The film company approached the school in late spring, Wilanksy said, and sent in scouting teams over the summer to tour the facilities. According to a preliminary shooting schedule, filming is set to take place during September and October.
“Our high school really met the parameters of what the director was looking for,” the superintendent said, noting that the director did not give the district a concrete reason for choosing the location. “I do think they were looking for some sort of suburban or rural setting.”
Cold Spring Harbor’s school grounds have had some previous exposure to the show business world, Wilansky said. The parking lots were used during the filming of 2010’s“Eat, Pray Love,” starring Julia Roberts.
“It’s like, a little bit of side life in Cold Spring Harbor,” Wilanksy said. “I see in the area that filming happens all the time here.”
The USA Network television show “Royal Pains” films in the area, she noted. Other parts of Huntington have recently seen camera crews for projects like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “The Nest,” which features scenes shot in Dix Hills, and feature film “Good Friday,” directed by Centerport-native Dan Stone, which boasts scenes filmed in Greenlawn Park.
In the realm of reality television, reality TV star Ty Pennington filmed a Food Network pilot at Northport’s Shipwreck Diner a month ago and a show called “Bar Rescue” overhauled Huntington village’s Artful Dodger – now P’s & Q’s Auto Body.
The filming at Cold Spring Harbor High School was contingent upon the district’s condition that the activity would take place when school was not in session. And so, filming will begin while students are on break for Rosh Hashanah.
Wilansky also read the parts of the script that would involve the high school setting before the board decided to allow filming. The plot of the movie has not yet been released to the public, but Wilansky said that she is already sure the school’s students will want to see the film.
“[This is] an opportunity, as I said, for us to realize some dollars, and then of course I know we’ll all be going to the movies to identify parts of the building that look familiar to us,” Wilansky said.