DANVERS — It will be Halloween in July, at least on one street in Danvers.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has green-lighted an Adam Sandler comedy for Netflix Productions called “Hubie Halloween” to film at two homes on Ledgewood Drive this summer.
The board granted special permits for temporary movie/TV production at both 18 and 20 Ledgewood Drive, adjacent homes that sit in the neighborhood of St. John’s Prep.
Under the town’s new zoning rules, film crews can shoot for a maximum of 14 days, according to decisions filed with the town after a public hearing June 3 on the request.
Special Town Meeting in December 2017 passed zoning changes that allow movie productions at private residences. The request from Netflix Productions is the first test of that new bylaw.
Filming at commercial or nonprofit sites in town do not require a special permit.
As part of the permitting process, producers provided the town with a synopsis of “Hubie Halloween:”
“Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts (and its legendary Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something really is going bump in the night, and it’s up to Hubie to save Halloween,” states the synopsis.
Various news reports say Sandler will star in the lead role of Hubie.
The zoning board imposed several conditions on producers, including that “municipal water and sewer use shall not be overloaded by the temporary use;” the street should not be “overloaded;” the value of other buildings should not “depreciated;” and the filming “will not adversely affect the neighborhood.”
“There will not be undue nuisance to vehicles or pedestrians and adequate and proper facilities will be provided to ensure the proper operation of the proposed temporary use,” the board conditioned.
It’s not known exactly when filming might take place, according to minutes of the public hearing.
Charlie Harrington, who is identified as the location manger in the meeting minutes, said the plan is to shoot for five days in mid-July, and two nights toward the end of July in the backyards of the two homes.
Exterior shots will include small kids riding bikes and trick or treating on the street, given it’s a movie about Halloween.
Police details would be placed at each end of the street, but residents who live in the neighborhood would be allowed to come and go as they please. Filming will also take place inside the two homes. Flyers will go out to the neighborhood with contact numbers during filming, and everyone in the area will be asked to decorate their homes for Halloween, the producers told the board.
Harrington said residents in the neighborhood, other than the two homes where filming would take place, would be paid to have lights and decorations in their yards.
Harrington told the board filming would go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but he did not want to release specific dates “to keep the curiosity factor down,” according to the minutes.
Delphine Skillins of 13 Ledgewood Drive had concerns about noise overnight, traffic and people coming to gawk at Sandler and other stars. She was worried about the fact that she does not use air conditioning and her windows will be open at night, and she was concerned about bright lights shining into her windows.
Harrington tried to allay her concerns, saying neighbors will be getting flyers with contact numbers, and they can try to redirect the light or hang black curtains to block the lights. They would also offer to put her up in a hotel if she could not sleep.
In the end, the zoning board’s vote was unanimous for the special permits.
The production is holding an open casting call at the Marblehead Community Center on Saturday, June 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Would-be movie stars can drop in at anytime during those hours. With the theme being Halloween, people are free to come in costume.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.