Begin the Beguine is billed as a romantic drama above love, class and the ghosts that lurk behind all families. It will be filmed in Blue Mountain Lake, where director Ari Gold has spent summers with his family since 1966. Gold is a four-time Sundance Film Festival alum and student Oscar winner. He hopes to include as many local people and landmarks in his new film as possible.
“The Adirondacks was really the genesis of the idea,” said Gold, who added that he and writing partner and wrote the script with Blue Mountain Lake specifically in mind. “One of the sub-scenes of the movie is the battle between those who want motor crafts on the lakes and those who want quiet on the lakes. It’s something that I remember my real grandmother being sort of obsessed with, so that sort of plays into the plot of the movie.” The movie contains a woman from an older generation who hates the noise on the lake and is in conflict with young people who want to move fast.
The title of the film is a reference to a Cole Porter song from the 1930’s. “The story of the movie is about a young guy and his best friend go to try to find a rare recording of ‘Begin the Beguine’ which is hidden in the family’s Adirondack camp. That’s how the story starts,” said Gold. The protagonists hunt for this record throughout the movie. “The song captures the kind of sense of longing for love and passion, and the movie is about that as well, so the song’s a perfect fit.
This will be the first time Gold is shooting a film in the Adirondacks, but he says that he’s always thought it would be great to do so. He said, “This story has been cooking in my brain for almost 10 years now, and finally last year I decided to go there with my writing partner and say, ‘let’s take this out of the hypothetical and make it into a story.’ I’m really happy with the script and excited that we’ve got a production coming up there finally.”
According to Gold, some actors have already been cast, but the film will also draw on local talent. “There are a lot of parts that we’re looking to cast locally. We’re also interested in people who want to intern on a film set or learn about filmmaking or we made need carpenters, we may need painters, we may need various people,” said Gold. “We’re excited to meet anyone who wants to be involved in film.”
Gold says that this low-budget production only costs 1% of what it costs to film an average Hollywood movie. The advantage of this is that there won’t be a huge, isolated production crew. Though the cast isn’t huge, there are party scenes as well as scenes in the Town Hall, on the beach and at the boat rental place. This means that there are opportunities for people to be in the background and also to have speaking parts.
“We invite people to say hello, and to say what they’re interested in doing, and we’ll see if there’s a place for them whether it’s for one day, or for the full shoot,” said Gold. No acting experience is necessary. The production crew will be arriving at Blue Mountain Lake for the full-time prep on July 20 and then staying through the end of August. Local residents are excited to have the movie filmed in their community. Auditions will be held tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Adirondack Lake Center for the Arts for local and summer residents in the area.