County Fare: Come get an inside look at moviemaking


A noted art director and production designer for Hollywood and independent films will share anecdotes and offer an insider’s look at moviemaking this Sunday in Stockbridge.

Town resident Carl Sprague is on deck for the Stockbridge Library’s Sunday Speaker series at 4 p.m., but unlike other events in the monthly series, his talk and slide presentation will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 29 Main St.

Sprague’s 20-year career in feature films has included close connections with major directors -- Wes Anderson, Bruce Beresford, Maggie Greenwald, Campbell Scott and David Mamet. Earlier, following film and theater studies at Harvard University and NYU, Sprague worked with Berkshire-based special-effects guru Doug Trumbull.

For Anderson, Sprague contributed concept illustrations and production work for "Grand Budapest Hotel," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Royal Tenenbaums."

His presentation on Sunday will include stories about his collaborations with film directors, Sprague told County Fare. "Anderson is a real visionary with very original ideas ... of any director I’ve worked with, he comes to a project with the strongest visual concepts," Sprague said. "He starts with a graphic perspective that he’s made his own."

"I’ve gotten an enormous amount of credit and reflected glory off the fantastic publicity campaign for ‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ " Sprague said. "But it’s really all him. He conjures things up in a way that’s quite remarkable."

Sprague also plans to discuss his continuing efforts to raise funding for a film based on Edith Wharton’s "Summer." He termed it "her most visual and romantic story. People say it takes 10 years to get a feature film off the ground, so I’m halfway there. It’s heartbreaking at times, fun along the way. It takes just one person to say yes, so far I’ve heard a lot of noes and maybes."

Are you a Tanglewood picnicker? If so, you and your spread could be featured in a new book by Great Barrington author Gina Hyams titled "The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires."

Scheduled for publication in the summer of 2015, the gift book will celebrate the tradition of lavish picnics held on the lawn during concerts at Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer campus in Lenox.

Hyams is seeking photos of Tanglewood picnics, favorite picnic recipes, outdoor dining tips, and related picnic ephemera (such as invitations and menus) from all eras of the festival’s eight-decade history.

Submissions of multiple images are welcome. She is particularly interested to hear from people who have made a beloved tradition of picnicking on the lawn.

Please submit high-resolution images and caption information, including date, occasion, names of people in the image, types of foods pictured, the name of the photographer, and estate to credit as necessary. Include your name, address, and phone number. Please also answer this question: What do you love about Tanglewood picnics?

The deadline to submit images is Sept. 30. Submissions will be considered for both print publication and posting on the project’s blog at Email submissions to

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli says the Chair of Honor tour will make its way through the 4th Berkshire District beginning with the Lenox Town Hall this Friday at 11 a.m.

With the support of The Rolling Thunder, an organization united in the cause to bring full accountability for the Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action, the POW/MIA Chair of Honor Program is intended to bring daily reminders of the POW/MIA issue to cities and towns across the nation.

The POW/MIA chairs remain perpetually empty to remind people that even though soldiers are not here, there is still a space for them.

Pignatelli intends to have the Chair of Honor visit every Town Hall in his district.

"Memorial Day is a special time for me and my family and this is a small way to honor each and every one of our veterans," Pignatelli said.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.


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