Clinton County courtroom chosen as a film setting

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]

WILMINGTON — Film makers plan on coming to town, drawn here by Clinton County’s historical courthouse which would be used for some scenes.

Specifically, it is the common pleas courtroom that would be the focal point of the filming done here, according to Meredith Crowley, the location manager for the film.

Crowley met with county commissioners Monday and received their blessings for the project. As location manager, she said she couldn’t at this point divulge specifics about the film. The commissioners agenda listed her appointment, giving Crowley’s name and underneath saying “Amazon films”.

The main concern expressed by commissioners was that scene production not permanently impact the 102-year-old building’s “historical integrity,” in the words of Clinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty.

Crowley assured them that respecting the courthouse’s historical integrity would be the filmmakers’ goal, too.

“Our goal is when we’ve left, you can’t tell we’ve been here,” she said.

“We would basically come to you with a list of very specific requests, and we would talk very specifically about that. Like: Could we put a nail hole on this wall, or could we augment this thing. And we would definitely work under whatever restrictions and guidelines we had,” Crowley told commissioners.

Then she added, “We know this is a historical building — that’s why we’re here.”

One story detail that did come out in the public meeting is that the courtroom scene apparently dates back to the 1890s.

Cincinnati is planned as the film’s base of operations, with a good amount of filming in Cincinnati, and then the remainder within a certain radius outside Cincinnati, she said.

Clinton County would receive a fee for use of the courthouse, and film producers would hold a certificate of insurance.

The film crew numbers about 60 to 70 people.

In addition to the courtroom, there also may be filming in a stairwell outside the courtroom and potentially an exterior scene near a side door “if that is something that would be allowed,” said Crowley.

There’s also interest in the nearby Veterans Service Commission building — the former jail — specifically, a jail cell on the second floor.

At this juncture, they’re looking at two days of filming, one day of prep beforehand, and one day of putting everything back to the way it was before, she said.

On filming days, there would be a lot of equipment on-site and a lot of vehicles for that equipment, she said.

The exterior scene is a winter scene.

Most likely, the filming in Wilmington will occur during November, according to Crowley.

Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said it’s exciting news and it will be “great to have our courthouse highlighted in a movie.”

The location manager said she doesn’t anticipate asking for a street to be shut down.

Crowley told the News Journal after the commissioners appointment that while she can’t reveal specifics about the film at this point, she anticipates that as the filming here gets closer, it will become public knowledge.

On the IMDb website, Crowley has 27 credits in the area of location management. During 2016-2019, she was location scout for 46 episodes of the TV series “Elementary”.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]