For kids of the 1990s, few things were cooler than the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
Fast forward 20 years and now the ninja turtles are the talk of the Adirondacks. Hollywood director Michael Bay, who's known for big summer blockbusters like "Transformers," has a crew filming action scenes for his remake of the 1990s cult classics at a closed ski hill in Tupper Lake.
"A lot of huge trucks... things to make scenes like for a crushed car-- that type of thing," Fred Richardson said.
Neighbors, like Fred Richardson, say work has been going for almost a month. And since shooting started this week, security has been tight. We couldn't get past the guard to see what was happening, but WCAX News was able to obtain exclusive photos from the set that show some of the stunt cars and what may be our first glimpse at one of the turtles.
But the people of Tupper Lake aren't just excited for the bright lights of Hollywood; they're excited for the big budget that comes with it.
"It's good for the economy and the town. We need it this time of year," Richardson said.
The film is said to be spending about $6.5 million shooting scenes here, and spending $500,000 locally for things like food and hotel rooms.
"They've been in for breakfast and lunch quite a bit actually," said Amber Beaudette of the Swiss Kitchen.
At the Swiss Kitchen, Ninja Turtles are the lunchtime conversation at every table. People here say the film has hired locals for things like construction and volunteers from the fire department were called to the set to monitor the pyrotechnics-- all good things for a town that residents say is hurting.
"It's making us a lot busier," Beaudette said. "And plus-- the talk of the town-- it brings more people out to see what's going on."
While many of the local businesses say it's great for them that the Hollywood film has come to town, one job that isn't needed in Tupper Lake right now is a paparazzi-- the film's big stars, like Meghan Fox, aren't here. In fact, it's mostly just stunt men and the technical crew.
But that wasn't the case the last time Hollywood came to town. Paul Giamatti was spotted filming in town last year for a new movie called "About Christmas." And the year before that a teen slasher film shot on the lake.
With three Hollywood films in three years, Tupper Lake's mayor sees an opportunity.
"If we start to become the movie center for special effects and certain films, I think it would be great," said Mayor Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake.
For the village known as "The Crossroads," he's hoping Park and Cliff become the Adirondacks' version of Hollywood and Vine.
Filmmakers are using James Cameron's technology from "Avatar" to create the Ninja Turtles. The rest of the scenes are being shot in New York City. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters next summer.
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