News 23.01.20

1940s BOSTON FOUND IN REGIONAL VICTORIA



The Victorian towns of Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong are doubling for historic Boston in feature film Road to Boston, due to the striking similarity of the regional towns’ period streetscapes to the US city in the 1940s.

Road to Boston tells the story of 1947 Boston Marathon winner Suh Yun-bok, the first Korean to win an international sporting event following his nation’s independence from Japan in 1945.

The first Korean feature to film in Victoria, Road to Boston has spent three weeks filming the climactic marathon scenes in the three towns, all of which are located between an hour and two hours’ drive of the major city of Melbourne.

On set in Ballarat in mid-January, 150 local extras stepped in as marathon runners and bystanders, joining the cast and over 130 crew to film scenes on the city’s main street, which was dressed with US-style rosettes, bunting and polished vintage cars.

To bring this inspiring true story to life, the filmmakers were looking for period streetscapes that could stand-in for Boston in the 1940s, as the American city itself is now very built up. While scouting regional Victoria last year, they were instantly impressed by the well-maintained period architecture in the three towns and knew they had found the key locations they needed.

Victoria has long been known to have the most accessible locations in Australia – with beaches, deserts, mountains, forests, wineries and small towns within an easy drive of Melbourne’s city centre – and cities with the flexibility to double for almost any city in the world.

Road to Boston is making the most of the locations across Victoria that can be adapted to another place and time,” said Film Victoria Head of Marketing & Screen Production Attraction Kirsten Badcock.

“The local communities in these regional cities have welcomed the cast and crew with open arms and are so proud that their hometowns will be seen on the big screen – even though they’re doubling for another city!”

Kirsten Badcock, Film Victoria Head of Marketing & Screen Production Attraction

In total, the production employs over 800 regional Victorians on the film, with cast and crew from Victoria and Korea working side by side.

Producer John Hipwell worked closely with key stakeholders including local councils and VicRoads to facilitate the road closures.

The filmmakers also scouted the heritage-rich streetscape of Nelson Place in the metropolitan suburb of Williamstown.

Starring popular South Korean actor Ha Jung-woo, Road to Boston is the latest feature from director Je-Kyu Kang, the first director to hit over 10 million ticket sales in Korea. His 2005 film Tae Guk Gi took over $70m at the international box office.

Film Victoria assisted Road to Boston with location and production services, and supported the film through its Regional Location Assistance Fund and Production Incentive Attraction Fund.

For more information on Victoria’s filming locations and production and incentives programs contact:

Joe Brinkmann
Manager, Production Attraction & Support
[email protected]
www.film.vic.gov.au