Written by on Sep 10, 2014. Posted in On Location

Disney retrofits Massachusetts warehouse to film rescue drama The Finest Hours

Disney will film in a retrofitted warehouse space near Boston, Massachusetts, for its true-life rescue drama The Finest Hours. Set in 1952, the film will recount the tale of a dramatic Coast Guard rescue operation that was launched when oil tankers collided off Cape Cod.

The production team will use a specialised water tank built in the warehouse specifically for the shoot, reports Gatehouse Media. Chris Pine and Casey Affleck are among the main cast.

Massachusetts does in fact have a purpose-built filming facility in the form of New England Studios outside Boston. The facility offers four 18,000-square-foot sound stages with extensive office space and production support, but the lack of a water tank is likely to have been a deal-breaker for The Finest Hours, which will clearly have a lot of scenes set on the open ocean.

Boston remains Massachusetts’ most popular filming location and the state’s 25% filming incentive has helped attract features including The Fighter and American Hustle. Johnny Depp has been a recent visitor for Black Mass, a film about the life of infamous Boston gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.

Filmmakers generally prefer the control of using water tanks for ocean-set stories rather than taking their crew to sea. Some of the world’s top specialist facilities include Baja Film Studios in Mexico and Mediterranean Film Studios in Malta, both of which offer large water tanks designed as ‘infinity’ pools against an ocean backdrop.

Shooting on the open ocean is still an option for ambitious directors. Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks spent weeks filming on a real cargo ship in the Mediterranean for their modern piracy drama Captain Phillips. They then relocated to the Virginia coast to film their finale with the assistance of the US Navy.

(Image: New England Studios)


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