Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Update on "Losing Jerry"


From left, Mark Constance, Tracey Becker and Mitch Ganem are working on a film
about Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia’s death and how the Seacoast responded.
Courtesy photo

Back in December of "Oh-Five," this blog featured an article from Seacoast Online about the making of a movie called "Losing Jerry." Here's a new article from the same source:

Remembering Jerry Garcia
By Karen Dandurant
kdandurant@seacoastonline.com

RYE -- Get out your autograph book, because the Seacoast will be the location for a movie about those who love Jerry Garcia.

"Losing Jerry" is based, in part, on a true story. When Garcia died on Aug. 9, 1995, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and his band, Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman and Ratdog, were playing at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Thousands of Seacoast "Deadheads" flocked to the Casino for a candlelight vigil.

The film will be co-produced by Mark Constance and Tracey Becker. Mitch Ganem is the writer/director. The production company is Terrapin Station Films.

"The movie is about three friends whose love of the Grateful Dead brings them together," said Constance. "The characters are a compilation of Mitch's friends, because he's a big Deadhead. The movie culminates on the night Jerry died."

Constance said the film will bring millions into the local economy: About 40 percent of the film's budget will be spent here.

"We need cars, hotels, supplies, groceries and lumber," he said. "We'll eat at restaurants and bars, go to movie theaters and use caterers. We'll be here four months with people from all over the country and world. If they are not from here, they are not flying back and forth every day. They'll be here."

Matt Newton, film specialist for the New Hampshire Film and Television Office, worked to facilitate production and bring the film into the state. His office supports film makers in the state.

Newton said his office does not have the final budget numbers yet, but he said the film is one of the larger the state has seen in a long time.

The film will be shot on the Seacoast and in Manchester. Constance said he and his crew are tying up details and hope to begin "very soon."

"We are casting now," he said. "We're waiting for a couple of pieces to fall one way or the other before rolling out a major announcement. We're based out of the Seacoast now, but it's a spread-out process. I'm here. Tracey is in L.A., and Mitch is in New York."

They are looking for a studio banner -- a major studio to lend its name to the film. The Grateful Dead Corp. licensed 25 songs to the studio for a soundtrack, and the stars will be known.

"I want people to look and say, Whoa, he's in the movie," he said. "Local people can be extras. We'll be releasing to major theaters.

"My goal is to bring more and more filmmaking to New Hampshire. I love driving to work instead of hopping on a plane."

THE PRODUCERS

Tracey Becker, co-producer of "Losing Jerry," is a former stage actress. She was a producer on the movie "Finding Neverland."

Writer and director Mitch Ganem is from Wolfeboro and now lives in New York. This is his first foray into film as a director.

Co-producer Mark Constance grew up on the Seacoast, moved to L.A. in 1989 and returned in 2001. He did a film in New Hampshire called "The Sensation of Sight."

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