Disney filmmakers eye Chase Farm Park

Disney filmmakers eye Chase Farm Park

A Disney production company is looking to build a 1600s village as part of a film set at Chase Farm Park in Lincoln. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – A Disney film set could be coming to Chase Farm Park.

If all goes as planned, a portion of the park would be transformed into a Colonial-era settlement this fall.

While the name of the movie hasn’t been officially announced, multiple sources have reported that filmmakers are researching locations throughout the state to shoot the sequel to the 1993 cult-classic “Hocus Pocus,” starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

On Monday, Alex Berard, a location manager with the Disney company Fairy Dust Productions, appeared before the Town Council to share their proposal for Chase Farm Park.

Berard said they’d be looking to create a 1600s village in the park this fall. “Think: Plymouth Plantation,” he said. While it’s still early in the planning process, Berard said the set development would be “pretty involved.”

He anticipates about eight, 1600s-era building facades, but no complete buildings.

“We’re looking at close to three weeks of installation, building and setting up our village,” he said. The production designers are still working out the set drawings.

“We just like the backdrop of Chase Farm,” he said. “It has that old New England farm look.”

They’re looking to set up in the field off the front parking lot, and said security would be posted on the site until the structures were completely cleared out.

Town Solicitor Tony DeSisto said he’d like to see a proposed location agreement from the company before moving forward. Berard said he’d be happy to produce the paperwork, noting that they’ve issued one to the state to use the Cranston Street Armory in Providence.

All told, Berard said they’d be in the park for about a month. The actual filming would take place over two days, or two nights; and they’re looking to shoot in October.

During construction, there would be about 20 people on site. During filming days, however, Berard said there could be close to 200 people.

A good portion of the filming is planned for the nighttime and early morning hours, he said.

The council asked about noise levels, and whether there would be any pyrotechnics. (Spoiler alert: Berard said there’s a scene planned where one of the buildings is set on fire.)

“That’s another thing. We have to get our special effects people involved with the fire department to schedule a controlled burn of one of the buildings,” he said. “... But no explosions.”

He said the company would likely discuss a location fee to be paid out to the town for hosting them.

With a number of unanswered questions remaining, the council agreed to explore the proposal further and to come back together with Disney representatives next month.

Comments

I hope this gets approved and the council explores an option for Lincoln residents to visit the site from a spectator area so that we can say we were there when it happened!

We also want to ensure that Chace farm is as pristine as it was after they leave.

I love Chase Farm. I love it the way it is. If this goes through, it will never be the same. There is a contingent of Hocus Pocus fans around the world who will want to see this site. I adore my quiet, beautiful sanctuary the way it is.