LAKEWOOD, Ohio– The filming of the horror thriller “I See You” is bringing big name talent to Northeast Ohio, including Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, and it’s being produced by a local native.
A lakefront home on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood is serving as the Harper household, home to the lead investigator in a child abduction case, his wife and their son, whose lives are thrown into disarray amid the investigation.
The area around the home, along with Chagrin Falls – where filming will also take place – create the fictional town of Edgecliff.
The film is being produced by Bainbridge Township native and Saint Ignatius graduate Matt Waldeck’s production company, Zodiac Features.
“If you can imagine a perfect town filled with perfect families, perfect lawns, and a kid goes missing, what would that do to that town?” Waldeck said.
Waldeck moved back to the area from Los Angeles to begin the company, and “I See You” is its first feature-length production.
It is being directed by Adam Randall, who directed iBoy.
Actor Jon Tenney, who was filming scenes Tuesday when FOX 8 News was given exclusive access to the set, plays the crime’s lead investigator. Hunt, who posted pictures online from a visit to the Rock Hall during a break from filming last week, plays his wife.
“In terms of the detail and the preparation, you understand why she’s a world class, Oscar Award winning talent,” Waldeck said.
The film’s budget is below $5 million, made possible in part by its location and tax credits from the State of Ohio. It has a crew of about 65 people.
Neighbors along Edgewater Drive have been offering space for dressing rooms, bathrooms and catering.
“It’s our own studio backlot here. Shooting in New York or L.A., this would be impossible,” Waldeck said.
Catering is being served in Kandace Pustulka’s driveway. She hosted a party for neighbors to watch filming of a scene on the street Friday night.
“We all have a community mentality. We’re here to help each other out, and this was a way for us to be able to help out,” she said. “I’m very excited. It’s unfortunate we have to wait a year or so before it comes out. I would love to see it sooner.”
Other local filming locations include near the Steel Mills in Cleveland and at a Geauga County farm, in addition to downtown Chagrin Falls.
Waldeck, who said Zodiac Features has three other projects in development, said continued support of local producers is critical to grow Ohio’s film industry.
“I fought to have this shot here. They wanted to shoot it in L.A., New York or London where our director’s from,” he said. “So, I think supporting local producers will lead to more work coming here.”
“I See You” is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and Waldeck said he is hoping for a wide theatrical release.