Dream on Studios
A while back, we locals started hearing about the Major Motion Picture Studio that was going to be built in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Plymouth Rock Studios was variously the brain child and the love child of David Kirkpatrick, former head of Paramount Studios, and yet another one of those famous-people-having-to-do-with-the-world-of-entertainment-that-I've-never-heard of.
Plymouth Rock Studios was gong to be a very ambitious undertaking, based on:
...a $650 million plan to build 14 sound stages and a virtual entertainment city in the woods of Plymouth, making Massachusetts the production center for countless movies and TV shows.
Needless to say, the locals all got big old stars in their eyes on this one. PRS was not only going to mean jobs, it was going to mean glam jobs. For who among us has not, for at least one brief shining moment, harbored the fantasy that they were going to be a star.
Of course, putting away our childish things, most of us realized that a) we weren't going to be a star; b) being a star is often accompanied by all sorts of terrible invasions of the privacy snatchers and other rotten things that could make day to day life miserable. (Truly, who wants to see a picture of themselves using a pooper-scooper in the pages of US Magazine. Movie stars: they're just like us.)
Still, I wouldn't mind writing a novel that got optioned. And having it up for an Academy Award. (What to wear, what to wear. Would I have to get contact lenses for the occasion? Does anyone other than Martin Scorsese wear glasses to the Oscars?)
And if Matt Damon stopped me on the street and asked me to play his older fling, or, more likely, his mother-in-law, in a new movie, I might say 'yes.' He is, after all, a nice local boy.
Not to mention that it's kinda-sorta fun when a movie's being made in the 'hood.
Why, Tom Cruise, Katie, and Suri, plus Cameron Diaz, were apparently trick or treating on Beacon Hill a few weeks ago. I, personally, did not observe them in the crowds, which I was happy to escape for a nice quiet dinner. (Nor did I see John Kerry giving out candy, although there was quite a gathering outside of his mansion hoping for a glimpse. Wonder what he gave out. Packets of Heinz ketchup?)
Anyway, the Plymouth Rock Studios idea has - at least for the time being - run aground, and Plymouth will not be turning into Hollywood East anytime soon.
The funding is gone, baby, gone, Kirkpatrick's group having parted company with the Prosperity International LLC of Florida:
...which had approved a $550 million construction loan to the studio developers, has falsely claimed credit for projects it has not been associated with. It is run out of a rented house near Disney World by a man who has been through bankruptcy himself.
The Magic Kingdom weeps.
The Kirkpatrick group has raised $11M and spent $15M.
You do the math.
They're under the waters of Plymouth Harbor as surely as is the hull of the replica of the Mayflower.
Kirkpatrick himself has had his own money woes, having gone through a recent personal bankruptcy, and been:
... reduced to making small-time videos - “Merry Christmas Babies’’ sold 23 copies - and relying on a loan from his mother in Worcester to make ends meet, court records show.
Mother. In. Worcester.
Does the story get any better?
Well, yes it does, and it include a nasty-gram from Anne Rice, the writer who formerly specialized in vampire-related novels, who was doing a project for a religiously-oriented entertainment group that Kirkpatrick had gotten involved in that was going to provide something called 'Spiritainment.' (The group was promised backing by an ex-con named Bobbitt. You cannot make these things up.)
Enough. You can read the entire convoluted story in The Globe. (Source of the quoted material above.)
I actually do hope that Plymouth Rock Studios gets funded and, better yet, actually takes off - even though the entire project reeks of 'Hey, kids, the economy's broken. Let's put on a show!'
I'm behind having a little Tinseltown come our way. (Hooray for Hollywood! Hooray for Plymouth!)
And, having broken my head trying to follow the ins and outs of this one, I'm even willing to offer David Kirkpatrick a suggestion.
Forget Anne Rice. I think that he might want to start out with remakes of The Music Man, The Sting, and Elmer Gantry.