The film is being produced by the Canada-based Blisspoint Entertainment , Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Golden Ratio Films in Singapore. Many of the scenes portray Willie’s home with the typical communications devises of the time such as TVs, radios, telephones, and movie projectors. The film company’s props department had acquired many of these items from other sources with the presumption that they would work.
When it came time to shoot the scenes, some props did not work. A frantic search was started to find replacements and the production crew was directed to the museum. The museum had an early 1960s Magnavox TV running on the display floor. The decision was made on the spot to send it down to the set. Problems developed in getting the TV to accept video which had been recorded onto a laptop computer so volunteers from the museum went over to the set in West Hartford to work out the problems. Then a 16 mm projector that the film crew acquired for the production malfunctioned and another trip was made up to the museum for a projector. A third trip was made when they found that they needed a portable TV from that era. The museum has loaned items for other productions before, such as The American Experience production of the anniversary of Orson Wells’ “War of The Worlds” , and two episodes of the show “Mysteries At The Museum.
The museum has over 4000 square feet of items on display, ranging from the 1800s in the pre-electronic era up through a chronology to personal computers of the 1980s. It has just opened two new displays, one containing a piano with a radio and turntable built in from 1939 and two player pianos one of which is a baby grand. The other new display is Transmitter Alley, a display of old commercial radio and TV transmitting equipment. The collection includes transmitters from WTIC, WPOP, WRCH-FM and Channel 30 WVIT.
The museum is open to the public Thursday and Friday 10 am to 3 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1 to 4 pm. For further information go to the web site vrcmct.org or call 860-683-2903.