GREAT BARRINGTON -- For New York City filmmaker Anna Kerrigan, the location for her first feature-length film presented itself to her before the story.
Kerrigan's film, "Five Days Gone" was screened on Sunday morning at the Triplex Cinema before a nearly full house. It was sponsored by the Berkshire International Film Festival REEL Friends Society. A brunch followed at Allium Restaurant.
Kerrigan, originally from Los Angeles, moved to New York nine years ago to enhance her directing career. She also visited the Berkshires often, and became friendly with Catharine Deely, whose family owns historic Ingleside manor in Stockbridge.
Kerrigan visited Deely at Ingleside several times, "and I fell in love with it. I kept thinking, ‘I've got to think of a story that would fit this and make a movie!'"
She did. "Five Days Gone" is the story of two half-sisters who were strangers to each other until their 20s. They get together for an extended weekend at the family estate in the Berkshires and have to cope with various issues as things go awry.
The family estate is Ingleside and Kerrigan also includes several other Berkshire locations in the film, including the Dreamaway Lodge in Becket and the Elm Street Market in Great Barrington.
The movie was shot for $60,000 in the Berkshires and New York City over a span of about a month in 2010. Kerrigan got a nice return on her investment: The photography is crisp and the soundtrack, by a New York City band, Citay, fits in well.
"I started writing it in 2008," said Kerrigan, "and I wrote the script with Cathy's home in mind."
Deely said she enjoyed watching her friend make the movie.
"I was more like a fly on the wall," she said. "I knew nothing about film when the work started. And I was told by other people in the film business not to let Anna shoot there, mostly because there is a certain amount of wear and tear involved. But I had absolute confidence in her."
Deely had seen the film previously, and said she was impressed by the photography.
"It was very interesting to see the house through another person's eyes," she said.
The other familiar thing in the film was Stockbridge Police Chief Richard B. Wilcox, who appears in two scenes.
"Initially, my involvement was merely connecting Anna with local resources," said Wilcox. "But there was a part for a policeman, and I was given it.
"I didn't realize the amount of work involved," he said. "Not so much on my part, but just the long days and the number of takes. And you have to sort of be ‘on' throughout the day, because you never know when they're going to need you."
Wilcox, in fact, generated a smattering of applause when he first appeared in the film, sitting in a chair (and reading the Berkshire Eagle).
Kerrigan said she has other irons in the fire, including another feature-length film.
To see "Five Days Gone", go to www.seedandspark.com.
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