Hollywood Comes to Camp Fuller
Camp Fuller makes it's Hollywood debut
You never know who is going to call the Camp Fuller office. In the spring of 2021, a message was left on the camp answering machine by Grace Gregory who was calling from Los Angeles. Grace was the producer of the movie Over/Under and was inquiring about using camp as a filming location for her upcoming film. According to Rachael, Grace was looking for a camp location in New England and learned about Fuller through an on-line search. As we all remember, 2021 was during the height of Covid and Fuller was operating at a bare minimum.
After gathering all the facts, the idea went up the chain to the Greater Providence Y for consideration. While this was happening, a location scout contacted Rachael and set up a time to visit camp to determine if it would be the right venue for the film. As it turned out, the scout showed up on the designated date and time which also happened to be the foggiest day at Fuller in recent memory. Limited visibility did not deter Aran, the scout who sent the photos off to LA for approval. Grace quickly got back to Rachael and expressed her immediate embrace of Camp Fuller.
The next step was another site visit by Sophia Silver and Sianni Rosenstock who were the writers of the screenplay. Accompanied by Grace, they came to camp for a full walk-through and asked if there was a basketball court on the grounds. Once they saw the well-used asphalt court with the old backboards and some of the cabins on the Hill, they began to develop ideas on possible scenes to shoot in that area. Moving on and continuing to ask lots of questions, they asked to see one of the bathrooms. After a brief look at the Boathouse, they were escorted to the Sherman Palace. Instant approval on that as well!
More walking around and conversations about the logistics of filming with a full crew for several days finally made its way back to the Y which eventually garnered a “green light” for the project. Neighbors living on Camp Fuller Road were contacted and eventually signed off on the project as well.
Rachael was also asked to recruit “extras” for the film who all had to be kids. Much to everyone’s surprise and relief, Family Camp was in session and there was a built-in cast from those who were already attending camp at the time. Campers, along with kids who lived on the road as well as children from the South County YMCA were all recruited for the flick. Permission was given for all the recruits to be in the film and it was now a matter of a few days before filming would begin.
The first day of filming was the second of August. Before they knew it, large trucks with filming and sound equipment were rolling through the camp gates! Mandatory Covid screening took place under the Library Tree each day. Hair and make-up were set up in the Mess Hall, costumes were staged in the Program Office, and the upper Ad was used for the film office HQ. Film equipment, walkie-talkies, computers and printers soon filled the conference area and offices. Wow, this started to sink in…this was a real movie taking place right here at Camp Fuller. Rachael and other staff members were also cast as extras and engaged in a wide range of traditional camp activities which included Capture the Flag, tag and general fun on the soccer field. Despite the extreme heat, the kids had a ball waiting to be called for their parts. The Fuller counselors did their parts to keep the kids attention and have them ready at all times.
The next day of filming was threatened by a huge storm so it was decided to move indoors to the Sherman Palace for that scene. After the day’s filming, Rachael took the producers out for a sail. August eighth was the last day of filming which captured some more hoops, card playing, and a scene taken on Senior Beach.
This movie is about two girls attending summer camp and the bonding which took place during their time together. What better place for a movie like that than Camp Fuller?
The film premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival to a sold-out theater and was then selected for another showing at the Provincetown Film Festival. It was shown internationally at the Deauville Film Festival in France.
A review in the Hollywood Reporter was quite favorable and included references to New England and summers spent there by the two main characters, Stella and Violet who met in 2002. The two girls were friends while they were at Camp Wampum (Camp Fuller). Many of the camp scenes were filmed at Fuller and depicted their growing friendship while at camp.
Writers Sophia Silver and Sianni Rosenstock were present during much of the filming and worked closely with Rachael and the staff to make this event happen in a short time. Overall, the use of Camp Fuller for this movie proved that it was the right place to film.
“Filming at Camp Fuller was a dream. The look and feel of summer in New England was a crucial element of the story of Over/Under, as it’s where our two main characters spend their time together, and where we track the evolution of their friendship. We needed the location for our summer camp to capture that magic feeling, and when we first scouted Camp Fuller it seemed too good to be true. The cherry on the top was having the privilege of using real Camp Fuller counselors and campers as background actors in the film! It brought SO much authenticity to this fictional world we were creating. – Grace Gregory, Producer
Keep an eye out for the release of Over/Under. You will be sure to recognize some of the scenes filmed at Camp Fuller!
Now you know what happened at Camp Fuller during the Summer of 2021.