MIDDLETOWN — A recent film produced by Cromwell native David Gere features scenes shot in Middletown, Cromwell and Glastonbury.
The film, “Alarmed”, is the story of a couple whose son is held hostage at their home after criminals break in while the couple is away on a weekend trip. The wife, who is an executive at a high-powered tech company, follows a series of instructions from the trespassers, eventually coming to understand that she needs to murder her boss.
It’s one of the first original films to be shown on the streaming platform Tubi, according to film producer David Gere.
Gere said he has produced about a dozen films in Connecticut. His company, Shadow/Vale Productions, which he co-leads with producer and actress Chelsea Vale, is based in Cromwell. He said that Vale led the on-the-ground production for “Alarmed.”
“We shoot in Connecticut because it’s very advantageous in terms of the look and aesthetic,” said Gere. “There’s obviously a lot we can aim for, strive for, from suburbia to city.”
The house featured in the film is located in Glastonbury, and Gere said that one of the more dramatic scenes takes place in a parking garage located off Main Street in Middletown. Other scenes were shot in Middletown’s Free Space Co-op, and at Pierson Park and Cafe Fiore in Cromwell.
Gere said that the film tax credit, which has been under debate in the legislature, was a key component in his being able to shoot films in Connecticut. Currently, the state offers a 30 percent tax credit for production expenses for films that cost $1 million or more to produce.
Legislators have contrasting views on how to address this credit — some have proposed increasing it while others want to phase it out entirely. Gere said that the elimination of the credit would impact his ability to film in the state.
“It would be devastating. The majority of our productions are hinged on the fact that the finance entity, whether it’s a studio or a private financier, or a network … is coming here because they can count on tax credit dollars to immediately come back to them,” said Gere.
Gere said his productions have a positive benefit for the surrounding towns – they stay in local hotels, have their food catered locally and purchase at local businesses. He said that many people in the crew are local, and that the productions offer opportunities for young people at the local universities who are trying to get into the film industry.
“There’s always interns and film students in our productions. We’ve launched hundreds of careers here in Connecticut for young people that are getting into filmmaking,” said Gere.
Gere said he was grateful to Mayor Ben Florsheim of Middletown and the late mayor of Cromwell, Allan Spotts, for their help in securing the filming locations.
“Alarmed” stars Pooch Hall, Brittany Baker and Chris Whitcomb. It was written and directed by Matthew Kohnen. Film was packaged by MarVista Entertainment in conjunction with Shadow/Vale Productions.