CBS Seeks to Shoot Marathon Bombing Film at Scene of Watertown Shootout

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The aftermath at Laurel Street at Dexter Avenue after the Watertown Police faced the Boston Marathon Bombers.

The aftermath at Laurel Street at Dexter Avenue after the Watertown Police faced the Boston Marathon Bombers.

The aftermath at Laurel Street at Dexter Avenue after the Watertown Police faced the Boston Marathon Bombers.

A film production company wants to come to Watertown to recreate the Watertown Shootout when police encountered the Boston Marathon Bombers at the intersection of Dexter Avenue and Laurel Street. 

In early, February, CBS Films contacted some residents in the area of the Watertown Shootout to discuss the production of the film, named “Patriots Day.” The movie will star Boston-native Mark Wahlberg and will be directed by Peter Berg, who also directed “Lone Survivor.”

According to the flyer sent to residents on Laurel Street, the movie “tells the story of the days following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and the extraordinary men and women involved in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

On Feb. 12, representatives from CBS met with immediate neighbors to the area of the shootout, and the area where they seek to film.

The movie seeks to recreate the events of April 19, 2013, and the flyer said, “Please note that we are filming overnight and it will require simulated gunshots (noise) until approximately midnight each night.”

The proposed schedule is:

Preparation – Monday, April 25 to Friday, April 29th (7 a.m.-5 p.m.) on Laurel Street only. During this time, crews will work with most houses on the street to “set dress” their yards and possible windows as well.

Filming – Monday, May 2 to Friday, May 6 (4 p.m.-6 a.m.), on Laurel Street and the Dexter Avenue. Filming will be loud, and no gunshots will be heard past midnight.

Wrap – Monday, May 9 to Wednesday, May 11 (7 a.m.-5 p.m.), crews will put each property back to way they found it.

East End Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis reached out to Town Manager Michael Driscoll and other town officials about some of her concerns.


“Certainly, Watertown has been the backdrop of numerous productions filmed on location; “Patriots Day” is of a sensitive nature. I will defer to the majority of the residents in the Laurel St. area to make the final decision,” Kounelis said. “We must also be respectful of the residents who do not want to partake in the interactions, if the decision is to move forward.”

She added that she wants to make sure all proper permits are in place for filming in town and that all costs be covered by the film production company. Kounelis also wants to make sure vehicular and pedestrian circulation is not blocked by equipment, vehicles and production crew.

Along with the information about “Patriots Day,” the flyer included a link to a survey for residents to fill out. See the flyer below.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 3.08.44 PM

32 thoughts on “CBS Seeks to Shoot Marathon Bombing Film at Scene of Watertown Shootout

  1. It’s all about the entire street until it comes to agreement to the filming which is called “online feedback,” and to financial compensation which gets offered house by house, family by family. I would certainly hope Laurel St. and Dexter Ave. residents will see the request for individual online approval of the proposal as highly problematic and get together well in advance to decide if they even want the filming to take place. And if so, to research and decide the figure they will accept before each family is asked to privately sign off on a very small amount of money in exchange for major physical and emotional disruption.

  2. Have they given any thought to the children in the neighborhood. There is school that week and I know my son will most likely have a tough time sleeping with gunshots down the street until midnight… Is there any recourse for those of us in the nearby neighborhoods?

  3. Seems like a terribly dumb idea to me. As a mental health provider, I have a major concern about the impact of this. Reexperiencing gunshots in the night has the potential to reawaken anxiety and re-traumatize some people, particularly children. Isn’t this what soundstages and film lots are for?

  4. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over this.. Just thinking about having to relive these events brings tears to my eyes.. Of course they are only concerned about those who live on the street because it is their lives which will be the most impacted.. I just wonder.. #toosoon?

  5. I’m disgusted with this movie. I’m a Watertown resident and I hope the residents on laurel st and Dexter ave say no! I live not even 1/2 mile from these streets and the night of the shootings is something I will never forget, it was a war zone. Shame on Wahlburger and everyone else who takes part in this tasteless movie. All proceeds from this dumb movie should go to the victims. Watertown Strong !

    • Man up dude…wtf…they are trying to make a movie that is going to have significant historical value and will most definitely hit history books in the future…I understand it is difficult but not one single Watertown was injured or murdered over this…I understand it’s not easy but no one was hurt or died…there wasn’t even one victim…I could understand if there was a hostage or a death…but none of that occurred…and again may it be difficult yes but not something that u can’t get over…this has much historical significance so it makes for a good story as millions will be educated…get over it Sally…h should take pride in the fact that Watertown first responders and its residents handled it so courageously and should be a way of showing how STRONG they are…not weak like u r implicating dude…

  6. This story should be told to the world, our leaders need to be reminded of the viciousness of this attack. Let’s have some courage and let’s also honor Watertown’s brave first responders.

    • Courage takes different forms. I vote for the courage to protect those who are vulnerable, which is what our police were trying to do that day.

      Some adults may be just fine with this. Some adults may not, and many children may not. The teachers at the Hosmer talked about how the shootouts and lockdown affected our kids, and how much some children were suffering. Our neighborhood includes veterans, and children of people who’ve been deployed who lived with the worry every day about the safety of their loved ones. The neighborhood also includes immigrants from war zones. For some of those folks, hearing guns and bombs can again could do real harm.

      This story will be told, and can be told without re-enacting it in the middle of the night in our neighborhood, waking people up (again) to the sounds of gunshots and explosions and screeching tires!

  7. is it really this way to honor the first responders by shooting in the middle of the night when actually can be avoided? or some kind of another action with real long lasting benefits for the community and the children in special could be developed……..

  8. For all in that area, you should email or mail your concerns to your city councilors, state representatives, Watertown Police and Fire Chiefs, and to CBS directly. The ideal solution to all this angst would be to host a few meetings at varying times for those responsible to answer and allay any concerns the filming will cause. As citizens of Watertown, you have the responsibility for your voice to be heard – let them all hear whether you can bear this recreation or if they should put you up elsewhere during filming. Most film houses (if not all) pay those inconvenienced by making movies – seek out your rights from all angles. And my heartfelt condolences to all those who have suffered. I’m not too far from you and struggled as well.

  9. Umm … is it important that they film the scene at that exact spot? They really can’t find a suburban intersection anywhere else that would do? For the scene where the bombs actually explode, are they going to do that right on Boylston St again by the finish line, and have fake blood and fake legs flying around again?

    Maybe have some of the amputee victims as extras there and cover them in blood too? Just so it’s an “accurate portrayal.” I’m sorry but that was just stupid. Unnecessary, and classless. And worst of all heartless.

    Of course if it it doesn’t bother any of the residents, then my opinion is moot. I feel the filmmakers probably just felt there was no harm in asking, and it would be a selling point. But I don’t see how it would benefit any of the residents, only the filmmakers.

    I would think a film crew coming into my neighborhood to shoot a film would be cool, especially if Mark Wahlberg were on set. But as a former resident of Watertown have enough respect for them to know that most would think not for this film, and not for this subject. Those involved with bringing those two terrorists to justice will be just as honored by shooting the scene in a different location.


  10. This is absolutely absurd. “Filming will be loud.” But no gunshots after midnight. Thanks! We live one street over — about 400 feet from the scene of the shootout as the crow flies. Surely they realize that sound travels, right? The gunshots and grenade blasts that evening terrorized more than just the people on Laurel and Dexter streets. What about Quimby, Melendy, Hazel, Putnam and Howe?

    Folks around here go to bed early. It’s a sleepy neighborhood. Incredibly arrogant of them to impose on all of the people around here and feel that merely talking to the people directly affected is nearly enough.

    No regard to kids and their school schedules, let alone adults who go to work early.

    Who in local government is getting their palms greased to allow them to do this?

  11. This seems like an insensitive request by filmmakers to return to a neighborhood STILL dealing with the shock of the events of April 2013. As a resident of Center St ( parallel to Franklin), that night, and subsequent day, still haunt my family every day. I cannot see a rescue vehicle speeding down our street without my heart racing a bit … helicopters hovering in the region elicit feelings of panic and images of unfolding emergencies… Celebratory Blue Angels fly-bys, of Fenway Park for a Red Sox game, or along the Charles River to honor the Fourth of July on the Esplanade, are no longer the thrilling experiences they once were… the sounds are frightening. I suppose I’m feeling a bit of PTSD… and I think there are many more people in this neighborhood who feel the same- and probably many who feel much worse than I.

  12. I live in the area and honestly don’t understand the outrage–particularly where only one night of the three involves bullet noises. Day two is filming without the bullet noises and on day three, they clean-up/break down the sets and leave.

    The producers’ letter stated that they will meet with each of the families and honor whatever requests each of the individual families make, in addition to compensation them monetarily. For example, if a family chooses not to be there for those three days, I am *quite* certain the production company would provide top-notch off-site accommodations (think Fairmont Copley, etc.) that are still local enough to not inconvenience those who have to drive to work. They might even offer *car* service from the hotel for those who have to work.

    When I watch a movie that’s based on real life events, I *want* to see the actual places, not some movie set replica.

    I think that residents should at least talk to the producers to see what their options are before deciding yea or nay. At this rate, they won’t even *make* it to the meeting/talking stage if everyone shoots the idea down right out of the gate.

    • The article is from 2016. The movie came out a couple of years ago and they did not film in the area where the shooting happened.

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