Independent film starts shooting in Lincoln

Posted Feb. 05, 2012, at 6:09 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Judy Thompson and her daughter Molly like to shop on Sundays, even Super Bowl Sundays, and found a most unusual surprise on their jaunt to Marden’s on Main Street — a movie crew shooting an independent film.

It was their first brush with Hollywood, or at least as much Tinseltown as Lincoln has ever seen, and the Thompsons were most definitely not impressed.

“It’s been a pain, to be honest,” Judy Thompson said Sunday. “It’s very hard to stay quiet when they are shooting. They were always telling us to be quiet. We’re just here to shop around, spend some time out on a Sunday.”

The film crew for “Bluebird” occasionally blocked a portion of Main Street in front of Marden’s on Sunday for outdoor shooting in front of the store, which remained open. The ritual will repeat on Monday at Wing Wah, the Chinese restaurant several storefronts down the block.

The movie will shoot in East Millinocket and Millinocket for the next several weeks before wrapping, assistant producer Jake Smith said. It began taping with a shoot at Pins and Cues in downtown Millinocket on Saturday.

“It’s been great,” Smith said. “The town has been very accommodating to us. The hospitality has been more than fantastic. They have made it very easy for us.”

Anything the film has needed has been one or two people away, Smith said — a vital element to an independent film with a crew of 40-45 people, which is small by film standards.

Filmmaker Lance Edmands, a Kennebunk native, described the project as a dramatic feature centered on a small town dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy. The movie is inspired by the isolated northern Maine landscape, in which Edmands finds a stark duality.

“Bluebird” also is being developed in part by the Sundance Institute, and its makers hope to debut it at the Sundance Film Festival next year.

The film has several native and largely unknown actors in its principle roles.

Most Marden’s customers did not seem to mind part of the store being turned into a movie set, store clerk Barbara Jipson said.

“They thought they were filming a Marden’s commercial,” Jipson said.

“I think it’s great,” said Haleigh Rice, 29, of Bangor, whose father manages the store. “Any publicity for northern Maine is good.”

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