Winona Ryder seen in Carroll filming her latest movie, 'Boys'

October 16, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Winona was in Westminster on Friday.

The clues were all there for the many male fans yearning for a glimpse of Winona Ryder.

"BOYS" printed on a large orange sign marked the spot on Route 140. Dressing rooms with starred doors were loaded on a tractor-trailer near the state police barracks. Cameras, production gear and thick black cables covered the parking lot.

For weeks, it had been rumored that Ms. Ryder would be filming scenes from her newest movie -- "Boys" -- in Carroll County. Exact time and location were a secret as dark as the star's ebony tresses.

"It doesn't matter, if it's a big town or a small town, the crowds come," said Guy Adan, publicist for the film, which he called a romantic comedy with a dark side.

"Sometimes, we forget how fascinating filming can be. For us, it's another day in the work week."

Behind the police barracks and out of sight of any curious motorists, Ms. Ryder and her co-star, Lukas Haas, were working on an action scene from "Boys."

For nearly three hours the actors rehearsed, played and replayed the same scene in which they raced from the back door of the barracks to a gray station wagon, marked with the red insignia of "The Sherwood School for Boys."

The pair had to jog in place to get the right moves for the short run to the car. Over and over, they pushed young Charlie Hofheimer across the seat, stared briefly but deeply into each other's eyes and sped off, or at least revved the engine.

"I can't discuss the scene without giving away too much," said Mr. Adan.

It took 75 crew members about six hours to film what probably will be one minute in the movie, scheduled for spring release.

"You are lucky if you get one minute of film for a day of shooting," said Mr. Adan. "This one is moving today. It's a good shoot. Often, it's hurry up and wait."

Between takes, people rushed up to dab a little makeup on Ms. Ryder, brush a hair into place or adjust a collar.

"Everything has to look the same," said Mr. Adan. "We have to make sure everything matches in each scene."

Weather was not a factor, so the clouds that blocked out the morning sun did nothing to deter shooting.

As she waited for her cue, Ms. Ryder wore a heavy black coat to ward off the October chill. A thin beige coat, her wardrobe for the scene, hung in a garment bag from a nearby tree, where Bob, a black Labrador retriever and the film mascot, was leashed.

"There is always a dog on the scene," said Mr. Adan.

Other than wardrobe watch, Bob had no part to play. Horses were the only animal act in "Boys."

Angela Hall, who played a state trooper, finished her brief scene and asked a crew member to shoot her picture with the stars. The trio took a minute to huddle together like longtime friends and smile for the camera.

"We spend a couple of months with people on a film set," said Mr. Adan. "We become like a temporary family to each other."

No news cameras were allowed on the set.

Only the sounds of Route 140 traffic could be heard between shouts of "Rolling" and "Cut." Even the camera for still shots was boxed to mute its faint clicking.

"On stage, you can hear every little step," said the publicist.

Actors and crew took turns in the black canvas chairs. No names were printed across the chair backs.

Lt. Greg Shipley, state police public relations officer and "a veteran of several films and television shows," served as a technical adviser. The story called for authentic uniforms and police cars.

"You gave us the smashed car, too, didn't you," said Mr. Adan.

"Did you smash one of our cars?" asked the lieutenant.

Lieutenant Shipley brought film scouts to the Westminster barracks last month.

"They liked the look of the place," he said. "We try to accommodate films, especially when the movie is filmed primarily in Maryland. It brings revenue and recognition to the state."

Mr. Adan said the production crew selected the barracks for its location, accessibility and cooperation from the staff.

"Aesthetic appeal, the director's taste, the camera's point of view and logistics all play into the decision," he said.

"Cooperation is so important, too. You would be surprised how many places aren't interested."

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