Only yards from where we sit blogging here in Chelsea-by-the-Sea this afternoon, Hollywood heartthrob Ben Affleck is working on his directorial debut, "Gone, Baby, Gone," based upon the Dennis Lehane thriller about two Boston area detectives investigating the kidnapping of a little girl, "a masterful story of creepy child kidnappers, corrupt cops, and the Boston detectives drawn into their dark web," according to the People Mag preview. Stepping out onto the terrace, we caught sight of two immense white cinematographers' panels (only one visible in the image) mounted horizontally above one of the neighbors' backyards.
While we slept, Ben Affleck invaded our backyard. Sweet Tiny Pea and Baby Cakes -- our felint (feline intelligence) agents -- had realized something was up and tried to warn us a full day before we managed to connect the dots. There had been a sound of muffled human voices coming from the general direction of the houses on the hill just north of us in the land retained by the 12-foot-high wall behind our house. Human voices from up there are not uncommon, but this time the cats were really spooked, cowering inside the little house and hurrying back inside the big house -- their bodies low to the ground -- at the earliest opportunity. They were spooked again today, and when we looked up to see what it could possibly be all about, we noticed two immense white cinematographers' panels (above photo) mounted horizontally above one of the neighbors' backyards.
Our camera's eye caught Casey Affleck's chair . . . he's the director's bro, who stars in the film. Just to the right of the house whose backyard is featured in the film was our own little homestead (right of beverage-filled HUV, inset).
With Tuck we headed out, camera in hand, on a reconnaisance mission and soon found an army of trucks filled with movie-making equipment and technicians parked along Suffolk Street (that's the one parallel to Marginal, just up the hill). We got close enough to the center of action to get a couple of interesting shots (above) and had a brief conversation with a most pleasant person sitting in one of the directors' chairs within the outdoor room created by the sheltering shade street trees -- mostly Littleleaf Lindens and Norway maples and London planes -- whose moment had come. This person, whose name we wished we'd asked, told us the filming would take place pretty much entirely in authentic Boston sites, with a few scenes shot in studio constructions in nearby Medford, home of Goomp's and Mummy's alma mater, Tufts. Filming would continue through August, with the premiere early next year. We talked with some adorable young locals who were hoping to get a glimpse of the star. Said one, "I wish Affleck had stayed married to JLo." We decided to retreat and perhaps later regroup after another member of the Affleck entourage suggested we remove ourselves farther down the street to "avoid possible injury."
Update: If it weren't in our own backyard, we wouldn't give a hoot, but this just in via Jen-Garner.net:
Affleck was driven to the hospital by his concerned wife, Jennifer Garner, at around 2:30 p.m. He was released about two hours later. A spokesman for the actor-turned director said Affleck was “recuperating at home.”
Affleck has been in Cambridge for about a month working on his big-budget directorial debut, and the stress may be getting to him. The new husband and dad, whose acting career has been on the skids, badly needs a hit with this movie to propel his career in a new direction.
It's an old story. We devour them and spit out the shells and then go on to the next younger, prettier face. A national bulimia syndrome?