Some local businesses are getting a chance to be part of the movie business by providing props for Derek Cianfrance’s movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.”
Local antique stores, vintage shops and collectible boutiques have been recruited by the movie’s prop managers to be on the lookout for items that could be used to design their sets. Some items may even be held by the actors in key scenes.
Aunt Katie’s Attic in Scotia contains a hodgepodge of vintage wares, from household furnishings to decorative pieces, so it’s no wonder prop managers visited Kate Halasz’s shop.
Halasz said she was told the movie will span several decades, from the 1970s to today, and that prop managers are looking for a variety of pieces, including wooden canes and a cigar box.
Both the prop manager who designs the sets and the scout who finds props the actors will hold have contacted Halasz. Some items have been sold to the production, while others she’s rented out, like her own drink cooler from the 1980s.
“I found it in our basement, but I want that back,” she said. “I’m not really looking to make money, I’m just happy to help.”
Filming is set to begin next week, but several stars of the film have already been spotted in the area. Bradley Cooper, set to portray a police officer, spent several days shadowing the Schenectady Police Department and Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney.
Meanwhile, fellow actor Ryan Gosling was mobbed by fans after he was recognized while having a drink at the Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge last week. Gosling will portray a professional motorcycle rider who turns to a life of robbing banks to support his newborn son.
The movie also stars Eva Mendes, who will play the mother of Gosling’s son, along with Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn and veteran actor Ray Liotta.
Halasz is pretty sure Gosling will be the one using the cooler during an outdoor scene, like at a picnic. She asked the production team if they could get Gosling to sign the cooler before they return it to her.
“Don’t think I’m weird, I’m not a teen, so I’m not going gaga over the actors. I just think it’s all very exciting,” she said.
Halasz doesn’t have other items needed, like a 1970s style “bachelor couch,” so she has been posting messages on the store’s Facebook page. Customers, family members and friends have been helping supply the items she doesn’t have.
A friend provided Halasz with an area road map that the prop managers were seeking.
“He went into the back of his trunk and pulled one out of his car. It has a huge picture of The Egg on it and fountains. They loved that,” she said.
Other shops like Vintage Art and It’s About Time on Jay Street have been contacted, as well. Edith Alois, owner of Vintage Art, said prop managers came looking for furniture.
“They need to create a set for a wealthy home and a set for a poorer home, where the main character lives,” she said.
Alois was told the movie has a small budget, so most of the props will be bought from local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. Anything they can’t find after that will be bought at local secondhand shops.
“I’m willing to work a deal so some of the stuff they get from me can be rented. I know they are looking to get stuff cheap,” she said.
Alois has yet to provide any props to the movie because each piece needs to be looked over in person before they accept it. The vintage shop owner said she has a buffet table that might be nice to use in the wealthier-looking home.
John Flowers, owner of It’s About Time, said he too has some pieces in storage that might be used, like that 1970s style couch, but he’s waiting on approval.
“Most of my stuff are antiques, so they don’t really fit into the time period they are looking for,” he said. Anything over 100 years old is considered antique by the United States Customs Office.
Filming may be finished faster than many expected, according to Halasz. She was told the props that were rented from her shop would be needed for only two weeks, so those who want to sneak a peek of a celebrity may want to start their search soon.
“I’m just excited that our area will have this little economic boost,” she said. “It’s going to light a fire under Schenectady.”