Belmont’s Hammond Road To Be A TV Backdrop … In China

Photo: From a distance, Wanderer in production in Belmont.

Belmont’s Hammond Road is a mix of century-old wooden single and two-family houses with cement front walks and side driveways. The road that rolls downhill from Palfrey to Gilbert is about as typical as one can come to an established suburban New England neighborhood.

So, you’d think the crew and cast filming a television series on this Boston-area location would likely star someone who’d remind you of Casey Affleck, with a thick Boston accent and four smart-mouth kids who cause the hero grief in weekly half-hour installments. 

But you won’t be able to see the finished product using the front stoop and inside of 95 Hammond as a backdrop unless you pick up transmissions from Chinese television.

According to the letter slipped under the door neighbors received last week from a representative of EnMaze Pictures, a production of “Wanderer,” a Chinese television series, would be filming over two days in Belmont. The show would be aired later this year. 

The crew will finish up filming on Hammond Monday, Feb. 27, working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in and outside the 95-year-old house after have spent last Thursday at the location.

“[T]here are apparently big acting stars in it. Check it out!” wrote one Belmontonian reader.

(Belmont has been backdrops in movies and television, the most recent being a photograph of the town’s police station used to represent a station in upstate New York in the sitcom “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” Films include “The Cardinal” and the original “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen playing at the Belmont Country Club.

A couple of visits to the site by the Belmontonian – Belmont Police kept everyone back 30 yards from the film, not do much to protect the actors but to prevent people from tripping over wires laid up and down the street – was what you would expect from a film production:

  1. The time consuming set up of each shot,
  2. A few seconds of filming,
  3. A director yelling “cut.”
  4. Then repeating steps 1,2 and 3 for the remainder of the day.

As the production staff moves things around, the leading actor – sweating in a winter coat on a 72 degree February day – appeared to either be in character as a pensive serious “wanderer” or just darn uncomfortable. 

A message to EnMaze’s location manager was unanswered to there was no opportunity to discover why Belmont was selected and what exactly is the “Wanderer” is all about. But there is a bit more about the film company. 

EnMaze Pictures is an independent film production and distribution company located in the heart of Queens, NYC that “aim to offer high-quality films to audience in both USA and China.” 

Founded in 2012 by a CUNY-grad, EnMaze also produces and distributes films – mostly short films – helmed and written by Chinese and Chinese-Americans. Recently, EnMaze hosted a movie tour promoting works by US-educated Chinese film directors in North America and China.

Read more about EnMaze here.

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