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‘Shirley’ shoot ends on high note in Coxsackie

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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media “Shirley” filming on Reed Street, Coxsackie, on Tuesday.
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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media “Shirley” filming on Reed Street, Coxsackie, on Tuesday.
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    Bob Ciarlante’s 1936 Chevrolet pick-up on the set of “Shirley” in Coxsackie on Tuesday.
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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media “Shirley” filming on Reed Street in Coxsackie on Tuesday.
September 5, 2018 10:35 am Updated: September 5, 2018 06:30 pm


COXSACKIE — The crew for the film “Shirley” set up shop Tuesday on Reed Street to recreate the mood of postwar New England before wrapping production in Greene County.

Production of “Shirley,” a movie about author Shirley Jackson set in 1948, has been making its way through Greene, Ulster and Dutchess counties this summer.

The region was selected because it fits with the story’s late-1940s Vermont setting.

“We’ve filmed a lot in Greene County,” said Alex Sherman, an assistant to the film’s producer Allison Carter. “We love Greene County.”

Reed Street was selected for its historic atmosphere, Sherman said.

“The downtown area is beautiful,” she said. “The buildings here are older and can pass for 1948.”

The street was blocked off from 7:45 a.m. until 7 p.m., Coxsackie Police Sgt. Joseph Petrillo said.

“We had to block off the street so modern-looking cars wouldn’t park here,” Sherman said.

Instead, the film company contacted Bob Ciarlante of Saugerties to use his classic trucks.

The vehicles Ciarlante brought to the film include a 1936 Chevrolet pick-up and a 1934 coal truck that was used in his family’s ice and coal business, T. Ciarlante and Sons.

“It’s one of the originals,” Ciarlante said.

The street was also transported back in time by other means.

Set designers went to work on several businesses, decorating them with period signage and window dressings, Sherman said.

“We turned the wine shop into a fine arts store,” she said, pointing out the new signs in the windows.

The set also included a Bennington Bulletin community board.

Interior shooting will take place at the Mansion + Reed General Store, which has been transformed into an old-school grocer and butcher shop, Sherman said.

The street was relatively unoccupied aside from the film crew because most businesses are closed Tuesdays on Reed Street, Sherman said.

Petrillo and three other officers manned roadblocks, with one vehicle at each end of Reed Street.

Traffic was detoured to the Coxsackie Boat Launch, behind Reed Street, for parking, Petrillo said.

“No one was really upset about it, surprisingly,” Petrillo said.

Joseph Shop, one of the owners of the Yellow Deli, kept his doors open later than usual for the crew.

“We typically close at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays,” Shop said.

“I was worried that business would be slow because the street is shut down,” said Shop. “But people found a way to get in.”

Shop hopes the film will shed some light on his community.

“It would be nice if it brings a focus to Coxsackie,” Shop said. “It’s a lovely little town that needs exposure. It’s a hidden secret.”

Filming on “Shirley” also took place in Jefferson Heights in Catskill in August.

“This is the end of our shoot,” Sherman said when asked about future locations. “We’re wrapping up in a couple days.”

The thriller “Shirley” is partially adapted from a 2014 novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell, Sherman said.

Sherman said she did not know what the film cost to make.

The novel centers on a young couple who spend a year with Jackson and her husband at their home in Bennington, Vermont, according to Merrell’s website.

Elisabeth Moss, whose credits include the TV series “Mad Men” and “The West Wing,” and the recent films “The Seagull” and “The Square,” plays Jackson. Her co-star is Michael Stuhlbarg of the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and the Academy Award-winning “The Shape of Water,” Sherman said.

A release date for “Shirley” has not been scheduled, Sherman said.

*Editor's note: This story corrects an earlier version. The filming in Coxsackie took place at the Mansion + Reed General store, not at the intersection of the village streets.