What do The Matrix and The Berkshires Have in Common?

Shocking. Why would anyone link Hollywood with the quiet Berkshire countryside..home to great estates, beautiful vistas, classical music, museums, live theater, notable restaurants, dance?

How about this: (and admittedly, I had trouble singling The Matrix out for the headline)

Movies filmed in the Berkshires:

Alice’s Restaurant, starring Arlo Guthrie, filmed in Great Barrington, Housatonic

Pretty Poison, starring Anthony Perkins filmed in North Adams & Great Barringtonalices_restaurant

Cider House Rules starring Tobey Mcquire filmed in Lenox

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Elizabeth Taylor, filmed in Northhampton

A Change of Seasons, starring Shirley MacLaine, filmed in Williamstown

Lethal Innocence, starring David Strathairn, filmed in Lee

Before and After, starring Meryl Streep, filmed in multiple Berkshire towns

Into My Heart, starring Rob Morrow, filmed in the Berkhires

Wilbur Falls, starring Danny Aiello, filmed in Lenox

Dinner and a Movie, starring Marianne Hagan, filmed in the Berkshiresmatrix

The Human Stain, starring Anthony Hopkins, filmed in the Berkshires

Movies Worked On By Berkshire Residents:
(Directors/Actors/Visual Effects Craftsmen)

Bladerunner – VFX by Local FX pro Doug Trumbull
Brainstorm – directed by Doug Trumbull
2001Silent Running – directed by Doug Trumbull, effects by Doug Trumbull
Close Encounters of the3rd Kind – effects by D. Trumbull
2001 Space Odessy – effects by Doug Trumbull
The Matrix – effects done at Mass Illussion (in Lenoxdale)
Starship Trooper – effects done at Mass Illusion
What Dreams May Come – effects done at Mass Illusion
Stargate – effects by Keiser Walczak & Bob O’Haver
Judge Dredd – special effects done at Mass Illusion
Amazing Adventures of Spiderman- effects by Kleiser Walczaklord_of_the_rings
Clear and Present Danger – effects by Kleiser Walczak
Honey I Blew Up the Kids effects by Kleiser Walczak
X-Men – effects by Kleiser Walczak
X-Men: The Last Stand – effects by Kleiser Walczak
Fantastic Four – effects by Kleiser Walczak
Disney’s Dinosoar – Production Manager Bob O’Haver
Judge Dredd – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Die Hard: With A Vengeance – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Eraser – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Event Horizon – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
She Hate Me (spike lee)- Director of Animation Ben Hillman, VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Last of the Dogmen – VFX Producer Bob O’Haver
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – effects by John Nugent (Pitts. Co. Sandbox)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – effects by John Nugent
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – effects by John Nugent
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – effects by John Nugent
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – effects by John Nugentlion
Jumper – effects by John Nugent
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – effects by John Nugent
Night at the Museum – effects by John Nugent
The Celestine Prophecy – effects by John Nugent

Ghost Dad – cameraman Eugene Mamut
Predator – camouflage co-developer Eugene Mamut
Predator2 – camouflage effects superviser Eugene Mamut

Dead of Winter – directed by Arthur Penn
The Missouri Breaks – directed by Arthur Penn
Night Moves – directed by Arthur Penn
Bonnie and Clyde – directed by Arthur Penn
Flesh and Blood – directed by Arthur Penn
The Miracle Worker – directed by Arthur Penn
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – starring Karen Allenkaren_allen
Raiders of the Lost Ark – starring Karen Allen
The Perfect Storm – starring Karen Allen
Starman – starring Karen Allen
Animal House – starring Karen Allen
The Uninvited – starring Elizabeth Banks & David Strathairn
W – starring Elizabeth Banks
Zack and Miri Make A Porno – starring Elizabeth Banks
elizabeth_banksThe 40 Year Old Virgin – starring Elizabeth Banks
Seabiscuit – featuring Elizabeth Banks
Catch Me If You Can – featuring Elizabeth Banks
Spider-Man 2 – featuring Elizabeth Banks
Spider-Man – featuring Elizabeth Banks



SO…..now that you are wowed, what is this about? In the same way you would certainly seed a fertile field, the Berkshire Film and Media Commission has been formed to encourage more movie-making in the Berkshires.

Diane Pearlman is Executive Director, and her name appears in the list above – meaning she is an “insider,” not someone hired to knock on the doors of strangers. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers incentives to film here….why do you think every film by Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck is filmed in Boston? So Diane is asking, “why not the Berkshires?”

galaAnd judging from the turnout at the Commission’s 2010 Gala last November, plenty of people are on board with her. The evening, held at a Masonic Temple, featured special effects icon Doug Trumbull pasting live shots of attendees into black-and-white footage of Casablanca. Each was given a chance to don a costume and make-up…and shoot a scene for insertion into the film. How many parties have come up with that idea?

So if you are a filmmaker or producer (television or film) ….considering a location shoot, click to the BFMC website.

But if you are someone like me…..looking to be affiliated with a good cause….that also offers a chance to rub shoulders with interesting and creative people, get on the BFMC e-mail list. See you at the next party!

Karen Allen Photo: Bess Hochstein for Rural Intelligence.