CHIPPEWA LAKE — Chippewa Lake was a-buzz recently as film crews set up shop at the Oaks restaurant and Chippewa Lake Yacht Club to film portions of the movie “The Last Summer” using the lake, the yacht club “cottage” and the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team.
Residents were advised to give movie production crew members space while they used the waters of Chippewa and the building that houses the Yacht Club on May 23-24 while filming was in process.
The parking lot of the Oaks restaurant was filled with equipment trailers and food trucks necessary to support the 80 crew members and 40 “speaking-role” actors.
Producer Mark Johnson explained the premise of the movie, saying, “The movie is a coming of age comedy covering the time between high school and college or adulthood.”
The story takes place in Chicago (scenes of which are being filmed in Cleveland) and a small lake (Geneva in the movie).
Bill Garvey of Cleveland is the location manager in Ohio. Garvey has 25 years of movie experience behind him and knew what was needed. He said he builds from the back side, locating a parking lot to house their equipment and then finding the components of the small lake lined with cottages. He found the perfect combo of The Oaks parking area and the “quaint” yacht club cottage on the lakefront, complete with a pier. As a bonus, the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team was available for water scenes.
“The ski team is featured heavily,” Garvey said.
Johnson said, “The ski team has been tremendous and Sarah Arend (with the team) has been very helpful with her athletes.” Johnson also expressed his gratitude to the Medina County Sheriff’s Department, the Chippewa Lake Yacht Club, the Lafayette Township Fire Department and the Medina County Parks District “for their cooperation and allowing us to film here and pull it off.”
Arend said, in regard to the production people, “They were respectful to the kids, it was safety first with the action photos. It was interesting how they coordinated everything. It was a neat experience. We are family oriented and had to establish the movie was to be rated PG-13. It was a busy, but fun week.”
Starring in the Los Angeles-based movie are KJ Apa of “Riverdale” and “A Dog’s Purpose,” Maia Mitchell of “The Fosters” television show and Jacob Latimore of “Detroit.”
Upon completion of filming on June 14, the movie is set for release in 2019 by Gulfstream Pictures.
Johnson said extras are still needed for scenes to be filmed June 7 in Cleveland’s Crooked River Skateboard Park in the Flats. People ages 10 to 50 are needed as viewers. Log on to email@example.com to confirm you’ll be there, then just show up, he said.