By Sue Botos
The Cleveland area may have resembled Hollywood last weekend as crews were in town filming portions of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Draft Day”. The city of Rocky River also got into the act.
Residents may have wondered about the large white trucks lining Detroit Road near Wooster Road last Friday, with names like “Movie Movers” printed on the side.
A trip across the Detroit Road bridge and into the parking lot of the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Metroparks revealed a virtual city of trucks and vans, as the Rocky River Marine Patrol plied the waters in front of the 11 River condominiums.
While it may have looked like a massive campout, the trucks, trailers and RVs were in town to support the cast and crew of the upcoming movie “Draft Day,” which was filming scenes in an 11 River unit.
The production, which had filmed in Shaker Heights the previous day, stars Kevin Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns. According to information provided by the production companies, Summit Entertainment and Oddlot Entertainment, Costner’s character Sonny Weaver tries to save the team when he trades for the No. 1 draft pick, deciding “what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection.”
The film, set for release in 2014, also stars Jennifer Garner, Dennis Leary and Ellen Burstyn. According to a staff member, in addition to the Shaker Heights and Rocky River locations, scenes were also shot at Burke Lakefront Airport and at FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns.
Filming began in New York in April to capture scenes during the actual 2013 NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall.
The production was kept under wraps in a closed set, but Mayor Pam Bobst said she briefly had the opportunity to meet Costner and Garner.
Andrew Brickman, developer of 11 River, said that he was excited and flattered that the condominium development was selected as a movie set. “When the two writers, Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph, wrote the opening scene, they envisioned it being in a modern town home that’s sleek, with a lot of glass and a dramatic view,” Brickman said, adding that about 50 different locations were considered.
Brickman said that residents were never inconvenienced at any time during filming. “The production people were very gracious. The residents were very appreciative of how courteous the crew was,” he said, adding that the owner of the unit where scenes were being shot was invited to watch along with his family.
He added that while his business partner Justin Campbell had the chance to meet some of the stars, he met producer and director Ivan Reitman.
Although there is no guarantee that the 11 River scene won’t end up on the cutting room floor, Brickman said this was still great recognition for the city and his company, Abode Living. He also credited Ivan Schwartz, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, for being instrumental in bringing production companies to the area.
“Ivan Schwartz has done a phenomenal job of convincing Gov. Kasich about the importance of tax credit to attract film production to Ohio,” he stated.