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Commercial film shoot blocks traffic

A block of Sibley street was closed this morning between Second and Third streets. Drive Thru Productions, a Minneapolis-based advertising agency, worked with a marketing agency based in Madison to produce the commercial for their client, who requested not to be named.

Drive Thru filed for and received a $150 filming permit from the city last month in preparation for today’s street closure.

Stuart Skrien, location manager for the project, said he surveyed many possible locations before deciding to film in Hastings. Proximity to Minneapolis was a major factor, he said. Ultimately though, it  came down to the aesthetic. The director of the 30-second spot really liked the historical, small town feel of Sibley street.

Drive Thru came to an agreement with the city to minimize the disruption caused by filming. Part of the agreement included filming from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. in order to avoid blocking traffic during busier hours of the day. In addition, the company was required to notify local businesses of the project. Skrien said that most of the business owners were very cooperative. He said one business owner he spoke to was excited that her storefront would be in the commercial.

Skrien noted that one obstacle they ran into today was the construction on the new Highway 61 bridge. He spoke with the construction crew ahead of time to ensure that no especially loud work would take place this morning, but some construction noise was audible in the background during filming. Skrien said that post-production work would need to be done on the audio to ensure that it sounded good.

Another obstacle Thursday morning was the traffic on Second Street in the background of the shoot. Drive Thru hired several off-duty police officers from the City of Hastings to direct and occasionally stop traffic that may have interrupted filming, such as large construction vehicles.

Filming today was for one of a series of three commercials being shot in Hastings. The other two will be filmed place at a local woodshop and private residence, both staying consistent with the historic, small town aesthetic.

Nick Studenski
Nick Studenski is a News intern at the Hastings Star Gazette. He graduated from Eagan High School in 2013, and will be attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in the fall.
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