As temps floated comfortably to the mid to upper 60s on Monday, visitors to Boston’s picturesque Public Garden might have been surprised to find crews filming Mark Wahlberg’s latest motion picture, Ted.
An unidentified crew member said lights, rigging, and extras reported for work at 5AM that morning to start setting up for the scene, which was shot at the corner of the pond nearest the “Make Way for the Ducklings” statue. While police and park rangers kept an eye on the crowd and made sure passersby did not interfere with filming, many of the people strolling through that side of the park were actually paid extras. Dog walkers, children playing by a tree, young men dribbling a basket ball, an accordion player, a guitar player, and people reclining on a blanket are not necessarily unusual sights in the park, but watching them walk back and forth, repeating their same path for an hour helped make clear that these park pedestrians were actually paid performers. There was even a man pushing a baby carriage with a plastic doll wrapped in a blanket strapped in the front of it.
Production assistants stationed on the bridge and along the perimeter of the shooting area helped call out directions for the performers. A few unlucky PAs were even stationed in the pond itself, wearing high water waders to hold reflectors and tent poles that overhung the water, or using nets to corral errant ducks and birds brought in specifically to add to the “natural” scenery of the park. The film, which stars Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Giovanni Ribisi, began filming in March in Norwood, and recently shot scenes in Swampscott, and in the South End. Voice-over star and Connecticut native Seth MacFarlane also costars.
The crew continued filming until about noon, wrapping that scene and picking up their equipment before moving on to the next location, also in Back Bay. They continued filming until wrapping around 8PM that night. Parking was restricted along the Boylston Street side of the Public Garden and in front of the Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street specifically for film vehicles. The Emmanuel Church was used for catering and as a holding area for extras. On Tuesday, the crew moved on to an unspecified high-rise in the Back Bay for more shooting.
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