EXCELSIOR, Minn. (FOX 9) - It’s lights, camera, action in downtown Excelsior, Minnesota as a little touch of Hollywood comes to Minnesota.
“I saw on Facebook or something they were filming here and as I was driving down Main Street I saw them and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is a dream come true,’" said Mary McGovern, an extra in the movie.
A film crew is shooting scenes for the movie Lapham Rising, starring Frank Langella as a writer named Harry who has a talking dog and is upset over a billionaire building a mansion that blocks the view from his island home. The production company, Winter State Entertainment, is based in Owatonna and they chose to film in Minnesota because it’s cheaper than New York where the film is set.
“It's the choice of taking our crew and traveling somewhere or doing it here,” said Mark Smith, the film's executive producer. “The crew has worked together a while. It's very cost effective to use them and there are many cost benefits to shooting in Minnesota."
So, Excelsior is a stand in for the Hamptons, while Lake Minnetonka doubles as a bay in the Atlantic Ocean. Filmmakers say the real stars are the natural beauty of Minnesota and the hospitality of the people who live here.
“I took photos and sent them to people back home and asked, ‘Is this Minnesota or the Hamptons?’ and they didn't know, so that's when I really knew," said Charlie Kessler, the film's director.
McGovern was ready for her close up after stumbling across the production. She's proud to be a part of a little movie magic in her hometown.
"It’s never too late, right?” said McGovern. “Many, many crowd scenes. Everyone needs an old lady in their crowd scene."
The crew has a few more days of shooting in Excelsior and three weeks in Owatonna. Producers say the movie will probably premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and then be released in theaters.