It's Showtime, folks!
Hollywood came to Block Island last week when the Showtime cable network arrived to film its upcoming series, “The Affair.”
It was a colorful, chaotic scene down by the statue of Rebecca on Friday, June 6, as cameramen, lighting technicians and directors collaborated to capture the quintessential boy-meet-girl scene between leads Dominic West (“300,” “The Wire,” “Chicago”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Lone Ranger,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Locke”).
Much of the cast and crew were camped out on the hill in front of the Harbor Church, soaking up the sun. Hired extras and curious tourists alike found their way into the shot as they biked and walked down Water Street, taking in the bulky camera and lighting equipment, costumes and general fanfare that accompanied the large-scale production. There was even a fully stocked snack cart for the actors.
Crews had previously filmed at the Mohegan Bluffs on June 4 and on the ferry on a rainy June 5, and planned to shoot at various locations on Friday as well.
The focus of the show, which is slated to premiere as a lead-in to the popular “Homeland” in October, is just as its name suggests.
Showtime’s website reads: “At once deeply observed and intriguingly elusive, “The Affair” explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship. Noah [West] is a New York City schoolteacher and novelist who is happily married, but resents his dependence on his wealthy father-in-law. Alison [Wilson] is a young waitress trying to piece her life and marriage back together in the wake of a tragedy.”
Though the bulk of the film is set in Montauk, Long Island, and filmed in New York, the pair meets up on Block Island in order to continue their relationship.
Sarah Treem, the writer and producer behind the series, grew up in Connecticut, but routinely visited Block Island as a child.
“I always thought it was magical,” Treem said of the island.
Treem, who has also worked on the HBO drama “In Treatment” and the acclaimed Netflix original series “House of Cards,” seemed optimistic about the show’s future. Treem noted that she expected the crew to return to Block Island in seasons to come. The drama is told from both Noah and Alison’s perspectives, meaning that there are two distinct storylines, allowing for plenty of episodic material.
Right now, though, she and the rest of the cast are focusing on the pilot season. Treem said the crew had worked on the first three episodes and that shooting would continue until September.
Showtime signed a film agreement and paid a fee to the town in order to utilize its dock in Old Harbor. Agreements were also made between the company and other filming locations, such as the Historical Society and the Southeast Light.
“The crew works hard to maintain a good relationship [with the island],” Assistant Director Rob Lopez said.
Check out the "Featured Video" section on this site to see June 6 footage of Showtime filming "The Affair."