When I sat down with Parisian filmmaker Christophe Herreros in Southport last week, he was concerned about the absence of fog since his arrival from Paris May 12. The absence of fog is usually not a big deal for visitors to the coast of Maine. But Herreros isn’t on vacation, he’s working with a production crew securing locations, filming short scenes and casting actors for “After the Mist Clears.” Filming will be ongoing in earnest May 24-30 around the region and further south.
This project was inspired by a young man Herreros met in 2016 while filming “Return to Cabot Cove,” based on the mystery TV show “Murder, She Wrote.” “After the Mist Clears,” Herreros said, is a film about choices, addiction, recovery, relationships and redemption.
“It is about a boy in Boothbay Harbor who was a drug addict, but is now clean for 5 years,” said Herreros. “I started thinking about this project then. I started writing and rewriting. The fiction part of the story is his ex-girlfriend. Casey is an actress. At some point during their relationship he had to decide to stay in this toxic relationship or save himself. There will be poetic moments, and metaphoric moments to create the ambiance. And the voice over/Jack tells the true story. I want this character to inform of Boothbay Harbor’s light and dark side; the dark is winter.”
Thirty people showed up for the auditions at the American Legion Hall in Boothbay after reading about the project in the Boothbay Register/Wiscasset Newspaper a few months ago. Herreros said Christopher Armstead at the American Legion Hall helped get it all together. Actors came from Portland, Brunswick, Wiscasset, Boothbay and Bath.
The lead character Jack is being portrayed by the local man who inspired the project. Portland actor Ally Perron is Jack’s ex-girlfriend Casey; Howard Wright is the lighthouse keeper; Christopher Armstead is the facilitator of the speaking group; northern soldiers (in Civil War garb) of the Maine Co. 3 – Joseph Donahue, Thomas Pinette and Rick Bray; Dale Lancaster is the carpenter boss; 40-45 extras; and the mist (hopefully) is the danger.
Local fishing boat captain and musician Mark Stover has been the film crew’s captain scouting out locations and doing a bit of filming. “He has been very, very nice. He was the first person to contact us,” Herreros noted.
Debrah and Tom Yale’s home dock is a location, and the Yales have loaned two of their skiffs for the project. Other locations identified in the region so far are Cook’s Landing Bar & Grill in Edgecomb (Hampstead approached the owners on behalf of Herreros), Boothbay Railway Village and hopefully an amusement park. Scenes filmed earlier were on the ocean in front of Cuckolds Light. Shooting had also been completed in the downtown area of the Harbor and outside Hannaford – sometimes in the wee hours of the morning like 4 a.m. due to the light. The Civil War uniforms are being provided by a regional re-enactment group.
“The most important thing is the story of this guy and about choices in life.. I starting thinking about this story then. I started writing and re-writing. And then again during COVID-19. The script is better now, so … thank you COVID!”
Herreros and company – Margot Besson, director of photography; Manon Pietrzak, assistant director; Makoto Matsuo, who worked on the former project, this time as gaffer; Julia Martin, sound engineer; and producers Elsa Klughertz, Igor Courtecuisse and Clemence Crepin Neel – are staying in Southport. They will be in the region through June 3.