If you’ve spotted Josh Hutcherson or Courtney Love frequenting various Hamilton businesses, you’re not just seeing stars; they’re the real deal.
Filming for the James Franco film “The Long Home” is now in full swing in several locations around southwest Ohio, and a star-studded cast is staying in Butler County, contributing to the local economy, during the duration of the several-week shoot.
“The first few days of shooting have been just outstanding,” said Hamilton native Jay Davis, a producer for Rabbit Bandini, Franco’s production company that is making the film. “There have been a ton of extras who have volunteered their time. It’s great to have people helping out around town.”
The feature-length film is adapted from the William Gay novel by the same name, and directed and produced by Franco, who is also starring in the film alongside “The Hunger Games” actor Josh Hutcherson, Davis confirmed.
Also cast are Courtney Love, former frontwoman of the 1990s garage band Hole, along with the Hollywood and television actors Ashton Kutcher, Josh Hartnett, Tim Blake Nelson, Don Johnson, Giancarlo Esposito and Scott Haze.
Monday was the third day of shooting, Davis said, and after taking a day off Tuesday, there are 15 more days of shooting over the next two and a half weeks. The first two weeks of shooting take place at an old farmhouse “about 15 minutes outside of Hamilton,” he said.
Other shooting locations for the 1940s period piece include Eaton in Preble County, and around North Second Street of Hamilton’s Historic German Village. Two days of filming will also occur just outside of Hamilton’s city limits in more rural woods and river areas, Davis said.
“The majority of the shooting will be in Hamilton, which is great,” he said.
“The Long Home” is one of two James Franco films being shot simultaneously in the Greater Cincinnati area. “Goat” is being co-produced by Rabbit Bandini — which is run by Franco and Hamilton High School graduates Vince Jolivette and Davis— and Cincinnati production company Killer Films. The Greater Cincinnati Film Commission and Film Hamilton are also involved in the films.
“The Long Home” has been offered up to $288,355 in Ohio Film Tax Credits, according to Katie Sabatino, spokeswoman for Tourism Ohio. The actual amount received in the final tax credit certificate may vary depending on the audit of their expenses. “Goat” has been offered up to $570,573 in Ohio film tax incentives.