Respectfully submitted by interns A & M.
After venturing through the backwoods of Essex and attempts to contact to local authorities and film press, it was decided that our first foray into investigative photojournalism wasn’t going as planned.Â Overeager interns dispatched from the Andover offices of Northshore Magazine to cover the production of a major motion picture being filmed locally. We arrived at the end of a long dirt road by Chebacco Lake fully armed: bright eyes, bushy tails, overconfidence and an intimidatingly large and official-looking Nikon.
When we approached closer to the set we were greeted by a towering lineman of a security guard blocking our access. We began explaining that we are interns at a local publication called “Northshore Magazine” and that this was our first photojournalism venture to capture only the best and most prestigious local happenings. The guard listened intently to our press ramblings and was able to get us in touch with one of the studio publicists. He explained, she listened. She explained, he listened. Our hopes rose. He snapped the phone shut and politely asked us to leave the set and speak with the appropriate individuals before returning.
Not yet defeated, we spoke with our heroic editor at Northshore, discussing ways to obtain access to the set. In the interim, we retreated to a nearby package store manned by a very usefully gossipy high school girl who explained the fundamentals of sneaking through the underbrush of the blackest Chebacco woods and the spectacular photo opportunities this venture would allow, should we choose to accept it. We weighed our options. I gazed sadly at my suede boots. We set off into the great unknown.Â We didn’t get far before our college educations kicked-in and we realized any pictures we did manage to get, assuming we should ever actually emerge from the wilderness, would not only be unusable in the magazine, but probably land us in considerable trouble. We hiked back to the road, and the drawing board.
Back on Essex street it occurred to us that as we waited for word regarding our admission to the set, it would probably be informative to our story to capture some local color, to contrast the sleepy little fishing village of Essex with the big money and big names the production had brought upon it.Â We loaded our equipment into the car and set off for the small puddle of ramshackle seafood stands and antique shops that passes for Essex’s downtown.
We began discussing viable prospects to gain a bit more background of how the production of the film was being assembled, and what better than the local police. The authorities are most definitely involved in everything and in such a small village would be bursting with captivating stories from the set. Our confidence was restored. Our editor would be proud of us, perhaps allow us to keep our unpaid jobs through the end of these difficult economic times.Â Not so fast. The Essex police were decidedly uninterested in us or our efforts at journalistic integrity and within half an hour we were sitting glumly on the hood of my car in the parking lot behind the Fortune Palace II with the car doors open listening to Springsteen and contemplating our own seemingly limitless ineptitude.Â I truly apologize if I have set up this story in such a manner as to suggest a sudden, miraculous burst of good fortune, that our day’s travails somehow lead us to some ironic encounter with a casting director in the aforementioned parking lot, bursting with enthusiasm to help us in our efforts and perhaps offer us spots as extras along with exclusive access to his cast of chatty movie stars.Â No such luck. By 4:00 we acknowledged our lack of success in the venture and retreated, fortunate enough to work under an extremely generous editor who took pity on us and allowed us this story, something to show for our efforts besides my irredeemably filthy boots.