HANSON — A multi-use building at 1000 Main St., which houses offices, retail, manufacturing and warehouse businesses — as well as the Express offices — was also being used as a movie set Sunday, Aug. 21.
Filming at the Hanson was for a scene in, “Altar Rock,” an indie-film project described in media reports as a thriller inspired by the Boston Marathon bombing, but executive producer Kristin Kuhns Alexandre said this week that is not the case.
“The Boston event is not connected to ‘Altar Rock’ at all, except that there are brothers in the story,” Alexandre said Sunday. “I wanted to do a story about a young man torn between love of family and love of a young woman and America.”
The fictional story is said to revolve around Nantucket teenager Tillie Gardner, who is mourning her parents’ deaths in an airplane crash when she meets a young Albanian cab driver named Niko. She later learns Niko and his troubled older brother may have been involved in her parents’ plane crash, and are planning to blow up a beach full of people on the Fourth of July.
Amazon.com has indicated that Alexandre, of Delray Beach, Fla., planned to release the story as a novel after the film is completed, but she said there is no book planned right now. She is also a novelist (“Gem City Gypsy”) and author of how-to books (“Find a Great Guy: Now and Forever”).
“We’ll see,” she said. “Screenwriting is a whole different world of story arcs and scenes, and that’s why I worked closely with a veteran screenwriter — my writing partner A. Wayne Carter.”
Beach scenes for the movie were recently filmed in Duxbury.
“It worked out really well, because Altar Rock on Nantucket is, honestly, not as beautiful as Bay Farm [Beach in Duxbury],” Alexandre’s daughter Cynthia said Friday that the Duxbury beach has an “absolutely gorgeous overview of the beautiful Duxbury oceanfront.”
Cynthia Alexandre is working as an assistant to director of photography Vern Nobles on the project. She said when filming wrapped there they moved to the Hanson location.
“Our locations department found an easily accessible space to build a movie set in at a great budget while taking into consideration how far base camp can be from the actual set, as well as town rules and regulations,” Cynthia Alexandre said.
Duxbury, Plymouth and surrounding South Shore communities were scouted for film locations, Kristin Alexandre said, noting that obtaining permits during summer months was challenging.
“We shot a very important beach scene in Duxbury, important body shots in Plymouth Harbor and other important shots all over the area,” she said.
Building owners at 1000 Main St., as well as Hanson town officials were pleased to have the cinematic attention.
“We’re really exited about the opportunity to have a movie filmed in our building,” said building co-owner Kelly Ryan Holmes. “But not just for us, it’s also exciting for the town of Hanson … to promote the town.”
She said location scouts loved the space being used in the building — a loft-style office area and adjacent warehouse space — and how it looks in relation to other nearby buildings. The area is being meant to represent a warehouse area of Brooklyn she said producers told her.
Town Administrator Michael McCue said he’d like to see more projects film in town, even if this week’s footage should end up on the cutting room floor.
“Hanson as a setting for this upcoming movie, whether identified in the script or not, is a fun and boastful thing for the town,” McCue said. “I have in other communities spoken to the Massachusetts State Film Office about the availability for similar projects and will look to do the same in Hanson as appropriate.”
A Hanson firefighter on set to ensure safety while the film crew had the fire alarm system turned off during filming, said the scenes shot Sunday morning were rather exciting.
“They were ‘fighting’ and then ‘shot’ someone,” he said of the morning scenes.
Tenants of the commercial building had been group-texted Friday by the building owners about the scenes so no one would be alarmed if they heard shots fired.
Moody Independent is a film company headquartered in Boston and has produced many small and medium-sized movies, Alexandre said.
Andrzej Bartkowiak, cinematographer on “Speed” and director on “Romeo Must Die,” is directing “Altar Rock.” Bartkowiak’s cinematography credits include “The Verdict,” “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Terms of Endearment.” He also directed “Exit Wounds” and was the director of photography on “Grey Lady,” starring Eric Dane and Natalie Zea, which was also filmed on Nantucket and partially financed by Alexandre, according to Variety.