DEVENS - As construction of a $30 million Devens television and movie studio off Givry Road presses onward, a new set of filming guidelines has been enacted that outlines procedures for filming scenes off site on Devens locations. The Devens Enterprise Commission - normally tasked with the permitting process for the development of the 4,400 acre Devens Regional Enterprise Zone (DREZ) - approved the guidelines Tuesday night.
"We've got a movie studio coming," said DEC Administrator Peter Lowitt. "What we're trying to do is have a policy in place to deal with filming off site [from the studio]."
In the event a production crew wants to stray from the New England Studios sound stages, crews will be advised to make contact with the Devens Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police and Devens DPW crews, as well as "make citizens aware" of any scenes being shot in their neighborhood "so they can plan their days accordingly."
Crews must have a million dollars in general liability, auto liability, and workers compensation and employer's liability coverage, with certificates submitted along with event permit applications.
Also, productions will need to address any necessary traffic control, notification for neighbors, and alert the Devens Fire Department if productions intend to set off "explosions in the night," said Lowitt.
Lowitt said he recalled a film starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin shot in Concord where foliage was spray painted a "golden color" to provide a fall-like setting when shooting in the summertime. Accordingly, Lowitt said the Devens filming guidelines will require that altered or removed vegetation be restored to its original state before crews move on.
Following some edits to the text presented, the Devens filming guidelines are to be posted in short order on the commission's website www.devensec.com.
Commission Chair William Marshall asked whether the guidelines were modeled after ones enacted in another community. Lowitt said the draft guide was cribbed largely from Plymouth, where officials had braced for the promise of the now-abandoned Plymouth Rock movie studio project.
Other segments of the guide were styled upon guidelines in place in Wilmington, North Carolina where Lowitt said Warner Brothers has a studio. "We called them up and got a lot of input from them," said Lowitt.
What of noisy generators on location, asked commissioner William Castro. "We expect no complaints because we want them to be really nice to the neighbors," answered Lowitt.
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