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Lights, Camera, Action in Stony Creek

The little seaside haven of Branford became a film set for a Woodbridge-based plastics company.

Throughout yesterday morning, patrons of the watched as Engine 7 squashed a plastic carrying case beneath its tire. As if that wasn’t enough, the fire truck took another pass, rolling over the case filled with raw eggs. After that, it was on to the Stony Creek Quarry, where this very destructible case, was blown to smithereens.

“I think the egg part was the most entertaining for me,” said Stony Creek native Emma Barnes, who watched the action from the Market deck. Her friend, also a Stony Creek native, said she was a little scared. “I though the box was going to break so I went inside. I thought I was going to be impaled by plastic shards,” said Carleen McLaughlin.

This wasn’t a typical day for Creekers; it was a film set for a commercial and the street was teaming with crews moving sound and video equipment from place to place, working to make every shot perfect.

John Womer, President of the Woodbridge-based Plastic Forming Company, is about to debut his company’s new weatherproof plastic carrying case, EnviroGuard. The cases, which are used for storing electronic equipment and weapons, said Womer, are the more affordable version of similar cases. In varying sizes, the cases will cost $40-$100­–about 50 percent less than the competition. But reducing consumer cost is not all Womer is aiming to do when it comes to competing with his industry counterparts.

The YouTube commercial being shot by Massachusetts-based Squash House Entertainment is a parody on case companies who claim their products are indestructible. If it seems like funny marketing, well it is.

“We thought it would be fun,” said Womer, “to spoof the ‘torture test’ that other companies use.”

Womer’s Vice President, Gary Amatrudo of North Branford chose the filming location of Stony Creek, partially because of the scenic area and partially because the nearby quarry was the ideal spot for blowing things up.

After finishing their shoot in front of the Market, the film crew headed to Stony Creek Quarry where Phil Gauvin of the Hamden-based Pyro-FX Entertainment Group, was getting some explosives ready for shooting.

On site, Branford’s Fire Marshall Shaun Heffernan and a representative from the Connecticut State Fire Marshall’s Office, made sure the detonation went off without a hitch.

The day’s explosives, about 1.3 G black powder base, was pretty low-grade, said Gauvin. Gauvin is an expert in his field and has done the Fourth of July fireworks displays for East Haven, Madison and New Haven. He’s also the guy behind the fireworks at Mohegan Sun and lays claim to doing pyrotechnic work for KISS, the Rolling Stones and ACDC.

Several actors, who were re-touched throughout the day by make-up artist Keri-Anne Shea, worked scene after scene in hopes to get the perfect take­–no one seemed to mind the repeat explosions. A nerdy scientist, clad in white lab coat and black, Coke-bottle glasses, manned an over-sized prop detonator and had no problem following a three, two, one countdown.

You can check out the behind the scenes footage we shot and look for the final video set to debut on YouTube and the plastics company's website sometime in July.

Branford Fire and Police services were paid by the Plastic Forming Company.

Mark Steele May 26, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Nice job on the article Nicole. I loved visiting your town and hope we didn't make to much of a mess with crushing eggs and blowing things up.
Robert Herbst May 27, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Branford is a wonderful place. Everyone we met was open, friendly, and helpful. The shoot was a success, and we all had fun! Thanks to all of you in Branford! Bob Herbst Squash House
Nicole Ball May 27, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Thanks guys for letting me hang around and take pix. It was a fun day and hopefully our Stony Creekers enjoyed the action. Cheers!

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