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Thriller Called 'Seaside' Set and Filmed on Oregon Coast - Released Soon

Published 07/31/2019 at 4:23 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Thriller Called 'Seaside' Set and Filmed on Oregon Coast - Release Soon

(Seaside, Oregon) – That stellar film and TV production scene from Portland we’ve all heard so much about has spilled over onto the Oregon coast. The town of Seaside – along with parts of Arch Cape – have starring roles in an upcoming film appropriately called “Seaside.” It stars stage and screen actress Ariana DeBose, and it’s set to officially release on August 20. Whether it’s going to wind up in theaters, streaming services like Netflix or Amazon or exactly where has not yet been determined, but producers say the pre-orders of the movie are now available at this Apple iTunes link. These just went on sale Tuesday. (Above, pictured front to back: Ariana DeBose, Sharon Washington and Jana Lee Hamblin).

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Seaside centers around a woman named Daphne who moves to the Oregon coast with her boyfriend Roger, after he inherits a beach house. Categorized as a dramatic thriller, the movie sees Daphne getting into trouble when a local woman slowly reveals that Roger isn’t all he claims to be, and her relations to Roger become dangerously apparent.

DeBose plays Daphne, and stage actor Matt Shingledecker (a veteran of Wicked and West Side Story) stars as Roger. Fans of One Life to Live may know DeBose, who got her start in fame ten years ago on So You Think You Can Dance. She’s currently playing the lead in the Broadway production of Donna Summer. She’s also a part of a new West Side Story movie that is being filmed at this moment.

Seaside was written and directed by Sam Zalutsky, who grew up in Portland and had a family home in Arch Cape – though he’s recently relocated to New York. The production company is called Arch Cape Productions, which is based out of Oregon, where producer Alyssa Roehrenbeck still hails from.

She said Zalutsky actually wrote the script about this part of the Oregon coast, and according to Jon Rahl – who was the Seaside Visitors Bureau director when it was filmed back in 2016 – the project had always been referred to as “Seaside.” It was not a script that was adapted to fit the town.

“He challenged himself to write a script he knew he had resources to film (like a beach house) on an indie budget and wanted to set it in a place he finds both dangerous and beautiful, the Oregon coast,” Roehrenbeck said. “The landscape is a huge part of the film and the opening credits are just gorgeous moving images from the area, shot by our very talented cinematographer, Philip Anderson.”

Lots of scenes were filmed in Seaside, including some places people will definitely recognize, such as Funland on Broadway. There’s plenty of Arch Cape as well, which can be seen in the photo stills from the movie. Viewers will also recognize places like Cannon Beach, Hug Point, and Manzanita once the movie comes out.

All this started in the spring of 2016, when Rahl was contacted by the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television and connected with the production crew.

From there, they used a couple of beach houses in Arch Cape as home base, filming much of the outdoor scenes there.

It’s the Seaside locales that will be a surprise, however.

“They were looking for a church to do a wedding scene, and we were kind of unsure as to who might work with us,” Rahl said. “Interestingly, there was an old Lutheran church across the street across from the swimming pool and the parks and rec department. The city of Seaside had acquired that building awhile back and it was no longer operating as a church. It was probably on the market for a couple of years once we acquired it. So this worked out really well ‘cause there wasn’t any parish that we were disrupting, or any organization, and we were still trying to decide on how to use it. They spent an entire day working on that scene.”

Rahl said one of the main characters in the story had a job at Funland, according to the script, so that made for filming there. Actual locals were used as extras inside the attraction as well.

“The convention center was used, but you’ll never be able to figure that one out from what you see,” Rahl said. “The crew were looking for a place for an interrogation scene, and the police station didn’t really work. It wasn’t big enough to get a crew and their cameras in there and stuff. There’s an old storage closet at the convention center that we had used for tables, chairs and other things, and it had a backdrop that looked like something you’d see in the colors of the walls of an old interrogation room. We proposed that idea and they wound up using that. It was a unique one.”

The police station’s actual 911 dispatch center was used, Roehrenbeck said.

“Jennifer Mekanas, who worked at Cannon Beach Surf, played the dispatcher and had lines,” she said.

Rahl noted what happened in the background of that scene was the real thing.

“We were still operating and couldn’t shut down the dispatch center,” Rahl said. “One or two dispatchers were active in that scene in the background, so we were an active dispatch center taking calls. If there was any large call that came in we would’ve halted all that filming. But we were able to film business as usual.”

When it came to good ol’ Oregon coast rain, Rahl said the crews had enough daylight to hunker down and wait for rain to stop and then go out and film.

Above: director Zalutsky.

Rahl said the cool part of the entire project was how the community became involved. Early on, Arch Cape Productions announced themselves to residents and businesses, and the community “embraced it and was excited about it.” Some businesses fed them occasionally and assisted them in other ways.

“This crew really appreciated us,” he said. “These were hardworking people from the independent film side who just wanted to get together and make a good film. They were a pleasure to work – no strong attitude one way or another. It was a fun thing to be around.”

You can also see a trailer for the movie at the iTunes link.

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