By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer
Goosebumps, the film based on R.L. Stine’s popular children’s horror fiction novels , wrapped up shooting in Madison a couple weeks ago. As a “thank you” to Madison for allowing scenes from the movie to be filmed downtown, Sony will arrange a special big-screen premiere of the movie in Madison next year, either right before the movie is released in theaters or at the release date. “Goosebumps was very appreciative to our community for helping make this production a success, and I think the end result will be well worth any ‘hiccups’ we experienced along the way,” said Ellen Ianelli, director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau for the chamber of commerce.
“We are still working on the details, but we are planning on making this a real red-carpet grand event for the community,” added Ianelli. “For everybody who put up with the camera crews and the cast here for six weeks, this will be for them.” The date and location will not be determined or announced until sometime in May of 2015. According to Ianelli, Sony Pictures has strict regulations on where the film can be show to ensure that the movie is viewed in the best quality possible.
Maida Morgan, location manager for Goosebumps, was especially grateful to Madison after filming wrapped. “I am constantly impressed with the professionalism these individuals bring to their jobs and the care they have for the city and those who live and work here on a daily basis,” wrote Morgan. “I realize that so much of what we needed fell outside the daily operations of the city and often impacted the normal functions of the town.
I so appreciate the kindness of the city leaders and businesses in going along with the adventure of those situations and allowing us the broad and often inconvenient parameters necessary to make the move,” said Morgan. “Madison is such a special place—a utopia that one would expect to shin outsiders in order to protect it.
Instead, it epitomizes that old-fashioned southern grace of welcoming visitors, helping out at every turn, and wishing a fond farewell with an initiation to return,” added Morgan.
Ianelli is hopeful that the entire Goosebumps project will be a worthwhile endeavor for Madison and Morgan County. “Although we can never guarantee a perfectly smooth operation when filmmakers come to town, the city worked really hard to put the interests of the community at the forefront of every decision that was made,” said Ianelli. “This film (and others) does create a nice economic injection into our community – they worked hard to source many of their purchases from local businesses, not to mention, we sold 1,980 hotel room nights during their time here – rooms we would have not filled had they not chosen Madison as their location.” “It was something really special for our community,” said Ianelli.