Lights, camera, action. Hollywood is likely coming to Reading this fall.
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Administration Mary DeLai confirmed to Patch that crew members of a movie starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel are planning on filming over several days at Parker Middle School in mid-September or early October.
DeLai said the district has been negotiating over the last several months with the production team on a contract that could be worth about $40-$50,000 for around three days of filming.
Filming would include one day of exterior shots and another few days inside the auditorium, according to DeLai. Shooting would likely take place while students are in class.
The production team told the school district that there would be about 500 extras needed to fill the auditorium. A certain percentage of those extras need to be Screen Actors Guild members, but others would be obtained through an open casting call. It’s possible Reading residents could be asked to be a part of the scene.
DeLai said there are still many logistics that need to be worked out, since filming would involve the Reading Police Department, Fire Department, and Department of Public Works.
“We’ll be meeting to hash out logistical details to make sure everyone can endorse this project and sign onto it,” said DeLai.
According to DeLai, the town is also looking to hold a meeting with the Parker Middle School community and neighbors of the school. The district is aiming for the week of September 9 for that meeting, which will allow residents to learn details of the shoot and ask questions.
If the movie scenes are shot in Reading as anticipated, DeLai said there is a chance that some Parker Middle School students will have the chance to meet with crew members to turn the experience into a learning opportunity.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for the entire Reading community,” said DeLai.