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College students to shoot film locally

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – A fishing pier, a golf course, marshes and other areas in Cape May County will be featured in a short film being shot later this month.

Middle Township High School graduate Jonathan Hirsch is leading the project with fellow Rowan University students and some area residents.

“It’s a very exciting time,” the 21-year-old said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. He is the film’s producer.

A crew of about 20 people will shoot some footage at Shell Bay Avenue pier in Middle Township on Monday, March 18. Rain date is the next day.

He called the Shell Bay Avenue pier a “clear, open area.” Part of the road will be shut down for about six hours. The film will not be shot near homes, Hirsch said.

Also featured in the film will be Laguna Oaks Golf Course of Middle Township, Lund's Fisheries of Cape May and Matador Oceanfront Resort of North Wildwood.

Hirsch is hoping that people will recognize the locations in the film.

About half the film will be shot in Cape May County and the rest will be at Rowan University in Glassboro, Gloucester County.

Hirsch said the storyline revolves around some guys who failed to do a certain job and they must flee area. The film will not show what happened, but Hirsch explains the job involved a “drug deal or something.”

He called the short film a cross between “Fargo” and “Reservoir Dogs.” “Fargo” is a 1996 movie about a used car salesman who hires two men to take his wife hostage, and “Reservoir Dogs,” released in 1992, is about six criminals who do not know each other hired for a diamond robbery by a mob boss.

Hirsch said it’s been his dream to shoot a film in Cape May County. He tried to do it in the past, but it never worked out because he and his friends were too busy.

So he floated the idea to the Cinema Workshop, Rowan University's student filmmaking club, where he is treasurer.

Most of the film’s crew is from outside of Cape May County, he said.

“It is kind of a new thing for everyone,” Hirsch said.

He said he hopes the film will be good enough for film festivals in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, and it could be shown locally, such as at film festivals in Wildwood and Cape May.

“We aren’t shooting for the stars just yet,” Hirsch said.

The trailer could be completed in late April to early May and the film could be finished in the middle of summer to early September. Editing would be time consuming, he said.

The film, which has not been named yet, is expected to run between 15 and 20 minutes, Hirsch said. The music for the film will also be original, being produced by a Rowan University student.

The production budget is about $3,500, according to Hirsch.

He called the film ambitious, hoping that the project will lead to larger films for the Cinema Workshop.

Hirsch, a senior at Rowan University, aspires for a career in film or TV where he can work on budgets. He said he would someday like to be a producer.

Most of his classes involve finance but he is enrolled in two film courses this semester, he said. He has been part of the filming club for four years.

Hirsch said he is the topic finance student at the college; he has a 4.0 grade point average.

On Monday, Middle Township Committee approved closing down a portion of Shell Bay Avenue for the filming as long as documentation, like insurance, is provided for the project.

For more information or to donate food to the film project, call Hirsch at 675-1779.

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