Film crew at work in the Berkshires

A film crew is in Berkshire County this week using the historic Shaker village, among other locations, as a backdrop to a new independent film. New England Public Radio’s Jeremy Goodwin has the story.

The original residents of Hancock Shaker Village, established in 1790 in Hancock Massachusetts, likely never envisioned this scene, even as they were known for embracing the technology of their day.

In the narrow, creaky hallway outside a dining room, a film crew shoots a scene occurring near the climax of “The Secret Village.” an independent film with a budget of under two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Set in contemporary times but inspired by the Salem witchcraft trials, it’s about an investigator who discovers an isolated community of people cut off from the rest of the world. Producer Sridhar Ranganath says the film was a good match for this setting. 

“It fits perfect to this location because there’s so much culture. It’s an ancient culture that’s still alive here in these buildings, the furniture and the architecture.” 

The crew is shooting for twelve days on locations throughout southern Berkshire County, including a popular scenic overlook in Lenox, the woods of October Mountain State Forest and a cemetery in Stockbridge. The Berkshire Film and Media Commission is looking to attract more producers to the region. A new film by “Up in the Air” director Jason Reitman will be shot in Western Massachusetts next month.

For New England Public Radio, I’m Jeremy Goodwin.