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The Suburbanite
  • Brewster makes the big screen in 'Unstoppable'

  • The movie, “Unstoppable,” hits theaters Friday. Part of the film was shot in the Brewster area. Residents there are excited.

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  • A community of 2,400 residents — rich in railroad history — is ready for its major motion picture debut.
    “Unstoppable,” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, hits theaters Friday. The film, based on a true story, is about an un-manned runaway train carrying toxic chemicals through Ohio.
    Part of the movie was filmed in the Brewster area.
    “We take a lot of pride in our community, and they could’ve chosen any larger community, but we were chosen,” said Council-woman Sherri Bischel. “It’s awesome.”
    Twentieth Century Fox filmed the movie almost a year ago in several eastern and southeastern Ohio locations, including Brewster and Steubenville. Scenes also were shot in Pennsylvania.
    EXTRA EXCITEMENT
    According to the Ohio Department of Development, the movie company earned an Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit — worth up to $3.8 million — by employing hundreds of Ohioans as extras and production crew.
    Brothers Jeremy, Brian and Kevin Smith were extras. They live in the Harmon area of Sugar Creek Township.
    “I never really did anything like that before,” said 25-year-old Brian Smith. “It was quite overwhelming. I had never seen so much equipment and people running around. It was like a big ant hill.”
    The film crew —including actors Washington and Pine — filmed scenes in the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway yard in Brewster and at locations on Baymere Avenue SW and in Harmon, officials said.
    Kris King, clerk-treasurer for Brewster, said the actors were in town for two weeks but the production crew stayed a month. They rented an apartment and dined at local restaurants.
    Smith said they met some of those crew members surveying the area for possible movie scenes, and were invited to be extras.
    They worked two days. The filming took place in August and September 2009.
    He and his brothers played railroad workers during a scene where Pine approaches Washington at a table in the rail yard, Smith said. In the scene, the extras, including three brothers, are walking back and forth, getting ready for that day’s work.
    Smith said he saw Washington or Pine but did not meet them. He listened as the actors chit-chatted about football with others during breaks.
    ‘SURREAL’ EXPERIENCE
    Bus driver James Weir, 40, of Canton, also was an extra. He said he was filmed in a locker room and in scene where actor Ethan Suplee runs after the train.
    In the latter scene, Weir and two other extras were in a John Deere utility vehicle. The whole experience was “surreal,” he said.
    “Nothing like this comes to Canton, unless it’s the Hall of Fame,” Weir said. He’s trying to organize a group of extras to watch the movie Friday.
    Page 2 of 2 - Smith said he plans to see the movie.
    “Everybody is going, it sounds like it,” said King, also the Smiths’ aunt. “I have a teenage son and he wants to go (to see the movie).”
    King said the village was founded in 1910, as a result of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway company.
    It’s rich railroad history is on display at the WANDLE House at 45 S. Wabash Ave. An acronym for the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, it was built in 1916 by railroaders. Once the Brewster Railroad YMCA, it is now a train museum and restaurant.
    Village officials hope the film attracts some notoriety and more tourism. The museum would be prime for train fans.
    “The museum is full of nothing but train history,” Bischel said.