Shooting began Tuesday morning on the movie “Dry Run” in the Highland Park neighborhood at Park Avenue near Edgewood Avenue, and actor Mark Ruffalo could be seen in the yard of a nearby home.
Film crews and a large amount of equipment were arrayed on the porches of area homes and Park Avenue itself with things like children’s bicycles and other items needed for the shoot available to a crew consisting of dozens of members.
The snow-covered yards in the area otherwise looked peaceful, but crew members occupied various nearby properties.
City police and other crews were standing by and blocking off nearby roadways to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Occasional calls of “action!” and “rolling!” could be heard by several crew members along the street relaying the message.
The scale of the production — several dozen crew members, several 18-wheeler trucks parked on Main Street, and smaller trucks filled with equipment on other nearby streets — made it easy to see how Hollywood productions can quickly consume millions of dollars in filming costs.
Hamilton police blocked off streets around Park Avenue, and other city crews were on hand to help.
During a break in the action, one crew member from the Columbus area said he has worked on films in several Ohio cities, including Cincinnati and Cleveland, and loves to see his name as it rolls at the end of films in theaters.
Someday, when he has grandchildren, they will be able to point to movies and know he helped make them, he said.
The film, which also stars Anne Hathaway, is set in the 1990s and is based on the actual story of attorney Robert Bilott, played by Ruffalo, who filed an environmental lawsuit against chemical company DuPont, exposing decades of chemical pollution.
Directing the film is Todd Haynes, whose “Carol” earned six Academy Award nominations and was filmed in Butler County and Cincinnati.
It’s the start of a celebratory year for the Highland Park neighborhood, where the filming is happening. On May 4, the community will celebrate the 100th anniversary of when the neighborhood was laid out. The neighborhood is something of a hidden gem, residents say: Often, when somebody is planning to sell a home, they don’t have to put it on the market because friends of neighborhoods are willing to snap it up before that.