It was a short tweet but it caused a sensation on social media.
“My apartment is currently being haunted by the ghost of a dead child and he’s trying to kill me,” wrote New York-based BuzzFeed writer and illustrator Adam Ellis on Aug. 17, 2017.
He updated the ghost story on a regular basis and amassed one million followers. Film offers soon came Ellis’ way and the resulting movie, “Dear David,” has wrapped up filming after shooting in the area.
The film, a joint production between BuzzFeed Studios and Lionsgate Films, filmed recently at the YES TV studio on North Service Road in Burlington. It spent a week there and then was expected to move to Hamilton.
Ellis, who has moved on from BuzzFeed, insists the story is true. It has been called the first Twitter urban legend.
The movie, expected to be released this fall, stars English actor Augustus Prew (“About a Boy” 2002, “Charlie St. Cloud” 2010) as Ellis and Justin Long (“Dodgeball” 2004, “Live Free or Die Hard” 2007) as the head of BuzzFeed. It also features Andrea Bang from “Kim’s Convenience.”
It was written by author Mike Van Waes, whose book “Peeves” came out in 2018, and was helmed by Scottish director John McPhail (“Anna and the Apocalypse” 2017).
“Dear David is a terrifyingly creepy and sensational story that will translate perfectly to the big screen,” Lauren Bixby, vice-president of Lionsgate said in a release.
Richard Alan Reid, head of BuzzFeed Studios, said Ellis’ story built a passionate global fan base that has been waiting for the film adaptation.
“We can’t wait to bring this highly anticipated, harrowing tale to the big screen,” he added.
The production office did not return a call seeking further comment.
This is the third joint project for BuzzFeed and Lionsgate, including “My Fake Boyfriend” which filmed in Hamilton and Burlington last summer. That film, starring Dylan Sprouse (“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”) and Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”) is set to be released in Pride Month in June. Their first project was “1UP” starring Ruby Rose (“Batwoman”).
The CHCH studio was also the scene of filming last month. “The Sins of Our Parents” filmed there in early December.
No public information about what it was about or who is in it has been provided by Toronto-based Champlain Media. It did not respond to requests for information.
Its director. Bill Corcoran. appears to have a thing for making movies in Hamilton. According to the Internet Movie Database, his last five movies were all made in the city. This included the romance “Love Upstream,” another romance called “Designed with Love,” the thriller “Revenge Delivered,” the thriller “The Danger Next Door” and the romance holiday film “Christmas in Trinket Town.”
“The Danger Next Door,” which has a plot like 1971’s “Straw Dogs,” was originally called “Terror in the City” and filmed in Dundas last summer.
The movies will likely all appear on the CTV Drama Channel.
Happy Birthday Florence Lawrence.
Uploaded by: Day, Jeff
Jan. 2 marked the 135th birthday of the Hamilton native who is regarded as America’s first movie star.
She was the daughter of a carriage builder and a vaudeville actress and hit the stage at the age of three. Her family moved to the U.S. in 1898 when her father died and she appeared in her first film about 1906. In 1910, she became the first U.S. silent film star to be named in a movie advertisement and get a screen credit. She was mobbed by a crowd in St. Louis and had her clothes torn.
Lawrence appeared in 300 films and worked with D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford. She was injured in an on-set fire in 1915 and ended her days as a bit player for MGM. She died by suicide on Dec. 28, 1938.
Her Hollywood grave was unmarked until 1991 when actor Roddy McDowall paid for a headstone that said “The First Movie Star.”