Saturday, June 27, 2009


Great shoot last night in Newport. A shot of the crew and this is the press release we issued:

June 26, 2009

NEWPORT, R.I. –– After weeks of advance work, production begins today on BEHIND THE HEDGEROW, a feature-length documentary about Newport society that will be broadcast on PBS in 2010. A companion book will also be published.

The movie, from filmmakers G. Wayne Miller and David Bettencourt, is an exclusive inside look at the people of fortune and their descendants who have made Newport a coveted address and summer destination since the mid-1800s.

Filming at the Newport Flower Show, courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County, host of the show, is the first of several on-location shoots that will bring the filmmakers literally behind the hedgerow –– into the residences and private worlds of Newport’s leading families.

Part history and part contemporary look, BEHIND THE HEDGEROW will utilize rare footage, photographs, archives and on-camera interviews. A significant part of the film will be the story of the late Eileen Gillespie Slocum, whose family has welcomed the filmmakers into the world of their late mother, who died in 2008.

“To our knowledge, no one has ever documented these fascinating people and their city-by-the-sea in a movie,” said Miller. “We are excited to begin.”

BEHIND THE HEDGEROW will premiere at the 2010 Rhode Island International Film Festival. The movie trailer will be shown publicly for the first time in Newport on Aug. 13, 2009, at the Redwood Library, one of the many local and state institutions that is assisting Miller, Bettencourt and their crew with the film.

BEHIND THE HEDGEROW is the second title from Miller and Bettencourt’s non-profit Eagle Peak Media production company. ON THE LAKE, Eagle Peak’s first title, premiered in February to critical acclaim. PBS broadcasts in major national markets began in March and continue today. The DVD has recently been released.

Funding for the film is provided, in part, by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

Miller, a staff writer at The Providence Journal, authored the 2000 Journal series about Newport society, A Nearly Perfect Summer. Bettencourt’s first feature film was the wildly successful YOU MUST BE THIS TALL: The Story of Rocky Point Park.

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