A Few Photos and Videos from the Tender Bar Shoot in my neighborhood earlier this month with Ben Affleck and George Clooney

There are the people in my neighborhood

One of the interesting things about having part of a movie shot in your neighborhood is the number of people who turn up, both your neighbors who you end up talking to and people from around the area. While I went outside a couple of times my wife spent most of the day outside getting up very early and taking photos and videos with the camera I usually use for interviews (which have been few and far between due to work and COVID although I had a pair of Catholic ones this week, more on that tomorrow). She pretty much shot a bunch of one minute clips and a fair amount of photos till she came home tired around 2 and crashed. The biggest take away I got from them was that despite the better pay a lot of acting, at least in movies which aren’t on the same deadline as a weekly TV show, is that like any other job there is a fair amount of tedious repetition.

Because she took so many shots I’m only uploading a few plus three videos. Be aware that the date on the Camera was set wrong. While the shoot had been scheduled for the 7th it was actually done on the 8th.

There are plenty more but I think this gives the gist of what is going on with the police controlling the crowd and traffic and the guys in charge letting people know when to be quiet etc.

I figured the Diner would have done pretty well with these folks but alas for Ed because there were three different days when the shooting might have taken place his regulars stayed away those days and he only got a quick burst of business when they called lunch the day of the shooting which didn’t make up for it.

Anyways here are the three videos here is one with a shot of their car pulling out

My wife shot a lot of those, didn’t upload the others since they were pretty much the same. DaWife says they did it about five times. Each time they pull out, when Clooney calls cut Affleck backs up and they get ready to do it again.

Here is another shot of Clooney joking with the kid and Affleck before another shot. This would be just visible from my front yard.

And finally here is a 3rd shot of him directing the kid before another shot and then the shot itself. The antique cars were parked in the neighborhood for about a week before the shoot but then again I’m old enough that to me they don’t seem like antiques they’re just the cars I remember from the 70’s. In fact my 1st two cars were a 67 Barracuda and a 75 Buick LeSabre both convertables.

My chief interest in all of these is how the work is actually done as I’m not experienced in it. Granted it’s not work in the sense that my dad worked or that I or my sons or my wife do but it’s work and it takes them away from their homes for long periods of time. Granted it would have been cool to get Clooney to sign the season 1 of ER that I bought my wife 20+ years ago and my son had hoped to get a Batman comic signed by both as they each (Clooney meh, Affleck actually very good) played the role but there was none of that.

And frankly in an age of cancel culture where people are looking to bring down folks for saying or doing the wrong thing the last thing you really want to do is mix with a bunch of strangers with cameras any one of whom might hold a grudge and be looking to get their 15 min of fame by giving you grief. That realization precludes Jimmy Stewart’s old advice to Raquel Welch about fans and autographs these days and must be a pain in the neck, particularly if someone happens to be affable by nature who previously enjoyed meeting the fans.

At least the pay is good.

As I said there are a lot more pictures and a lot more video but they seem too repetitive to upload to youtube and given how close to the vest things have been around here I can’t justify the extra bandwidth charges to put them all up. Feel free to hit DaTipJar to offset those costs.

The Octave of Romano’s Market begins today

Yesterday I had a day with DaWife. We saw a movie (Last Full Measure, not bad at all) and ate at a two table hole in the wall Chinese place (Kiki’s Kitchen a mom pop and kid place in Fitchburg very good) and ended up at Market Basket to pick up some cheese to go with the ground beef I had bought at Romano’s to make a Mexican chips and cheese mix.

That one bag of cheese turned into $70+ in groceries but more importantly we ran into her sister who gave us the news that Roman’s Market would be closing permanently on Feb 15th after 100 years and 8 generations of Romano’s working there.

All the grandchild in the world and No Amount of his sons working weekends could replace Mike’s 80 hours a week and even if you hired two experienced meat cutters at a minimum of $25 an hour each, that $100K a year and that certainly beyond the owners draw.

Moreover thanks to the minimum wage hikes in Massachusetts and the onerous regulations both state and city the cost to bring the place up to code for a new owner who would not be grandfathered in as every regulation woke regulation was applied would be prohibitive.

Thing came to a head this week since the 4000 pounds of brisket that would have to be cut and corned in the barrels in the cooler would have to be ordered at once to have it ready for St. Patrick’s day. Their supplier offered to corn the beef themselves but the extra cost which would have to be passed down to the customers again would have been prohibitive and frankly might not taste the same as if they did it themselves.

So this week the orders will be big and the hours put in heavy as they inform customers that this is the last chance to order meat bundles that would go in freezers. I suspect from Tuesday through Saturday the place will look like the day before Christmas, with no more Christmas roasts being ordered, or the day before Thanksgiving with no more Fresh Turkeys coming in, or the week of St. Patrick’s with nary a bit of corned beef to be found or July 3rd as everyone gets their freshly made sausage, marinated tips and fresh ground hamburg for the very last time.

I’m a heavy guy and I love a piece of meat, or stuffed pork chops or stuffed chicken breasts but for 28 years since I moved into the neighborhood I’ve not cooked more than a few pounds of meat in my body that hasn’t come from Romano’s.

I’m going to miss Mike, but I’m going to miss Romano’s more. I guess that’s a tad greedy.

Here’s a glimpse of what Fitchburg will be missing.