It was Halloween in July on Tuesday as film crews making the new Adam Sandler/Happy Madison/Netflix Productions film called “Hubie Halloween” shot scenes around a typical Danvers neighborhood.
On a sweltering afternoon, pumpkins dotted yards. There were inflatable decorations, cob webs on bushes, skeletons posing on lawns, artificial fall leaves on the grass and ghosts flapping in the breeze from the eaves. There were also plenty of work trucks, too. Several crew members worked on equipment in a side yard, and a large orange lift with large lights was parked nearby.
A detail officer made sure only those who belonged entered the neighborhood turned movie set.
“Hubie Halloween” has officially turned Danvers into a hub of movie activity.
December 2017 changes to the town’s zoning rules and a couple of special permits for two homes allowed filmmakers to convert a quiet residential neighborhood on Ledgewood Drive into what is supposed to be Salem during Halloween.
The neighborhood has become the Salem neighborhood of Hubie Dubois, played by Sandler, who a synopsis of the movie’s plot says is figure of mockery who winds up saving Halloween.
Yesterday was Day 2 for filming, and a couple of neighbors and a dog walker had nothing but rave reviews for the production, which had Sandler and co-star Steve Buscemi shooting a scene outside, according to a couple whose Rockland Road home sits on the outskirts of the filming location.
Sandler fan Shelley Barbieri of Danvers was out waking her Siberian Husky, Buddy, when she happened by. Barbieri said she was able to go down the street a couple of days ago to see all the decorations, however, she has yet to catch a glimpse of Sandler. She did get a picture next to what is the main home in the film with Buddy.
“I’m waiting, I’m waiting,” she said of wanting to see filming. “They won’t let me down there right now, which I understand.”
She was amazed at the changes the production has made to the neighborhood, including painting from white to blue the house that sits next to Hubie’s house. Barbieri said crews even installed a porch on the house that serves as his home.
“Amazing,” she said. “This is like the best thing I have ever seen.”
‘It’s pretty exciting,” said Rockland Road resident Ann Behen, whose house on the outskirts of the location also has been decorated for Halloween. “I haven’t heard anybody being negative,” she said about the impact. “It’s fun, it kind of adds excitement to the grind of everyday. I don’t really have any problems with it,” said Behen who caught a glimpse of Sandler.
“It was interesting,” Behen said. “We got to watch some filming. They filmed in front of the house and then they filmed down the street.” Behen said the experience was awesome for the kids in the neighborhood.
“They are just loving it,” she said.
“Happy Madison loves filming in Boston and has shot nine films here,” said Dan Martin, an assistant location manager. “We are filming all over Danvers and Salem, and filmmakers thought that this location looked like the perfect suburban neighborhood. Everyone in the area has been great and seem to be excited that we are filming here.”
“They have been nothing but gracious, all of them,” said Rockland Road residents Bill and Pat Toye, who were out for a stroll and got to see Sandler and Buscemi film a scene together.
Bill Toye said if the crew even parks a car in front of their house, they will ask if it’s OK to do so.
“Watching the goings on has been fun, too,” Toye said. “You just have no idea what goes into making a movie, and the number of people that it takes.”
Bill Toye said crews let them sit on the lawn across the street and watch the filming. But you won’t be seeing the Toyes on Netflix, however.
“They made sure we weren’t,” Bill Toye said of being captured on film, “because they kept moving us.”
“They said: ‘We are going to put the camera on here, so why don’t you go over there,” Pat Toye said.
Marblehead will also play a starring role in “Hubie Halloween.” Marblehead also served as a prime location in another Sandler comedy, “Grown Ups 2,” which came out in 2013.
Town Administrator Jason Silva provided a memo to town department heads about the potential impact from filming, and noted in an email the production plans to head to Washington Street downtown July 15 through 17, and that crews have also asked for an additional day on Washington Street to film at the Muffin Shop on Aug. 12.
“They also have added two days at Crosby’s which isn’t expected to have any impact on Washington Street traffic,” Silva said in an email, in which he said a movie representative would be in the area to talk with merchants to update them on the schedule.
In June, Marblehead selectmen approved a number of parking restrictions around town related to the filming, Silva’s memo said, including on a stretch of Washington Street downtown next week.
Filming is also scheduled to take place on Pleasant Street, between Smith Street and Mohawk Road, later this month, and in Crosby’s parking lot and on Pilgrim Road in August.
Netflix has also asked to use the Old Town House for administrative spaces and a waiting area for actors and extras, and the Gerry School for filming this month and next.
“The use of these buildings, in particular the Gerry School, will require involvement from various departments,” Silva said in his memo. Netflix also plans to decorate Washington Street with holiday lights, which selectmen approved with coordination of town departments.