July 03--COLONIE -- Midmorning on Sunday, in a large room full of desks and computers, a man yelled at a colleague, then warned, "Paper sure won't put itself to bed."
He said it again. And again. Each time, more than a dozen people standing around him, all out of view of a movie camera on a motorized dolly that was tracking the actor, made minute adjustments to their individual tasks.
The scene, one of two filmed in the Times Union newsroom on Sunday, came on one of the final days of shooting for the independent film "Seven Years, Three Days." Principal photography on the film continued Tuesday at Union College in Schenectady and is due to finish Wednesday downstate, wrapping up six weeks of work at nine locations from New York City to Albany, including six in the Capital Region.
Described as "The Big Chill" for the social-media generation, the movie examines the friendships in a group of seven college buddies reuniting seven years after graduation for a three-day weekend in the wake of the suicide attempt of one of them. It marks the directorial debut of Jesse Zwick, who also scripted the film and is a writer on the NBC series "Parenthood." Zwick, 27, is the son of the director Edward Zwick, who has made big-budget Hollywood movies including "Legends of the Fall," "The Last Samurai" and "Blood Diamond."
"It's a really timely script," said Adam Saunders, who is producing "Seven Years, Three Days" and is CEO of the film company Footprint Features. "I'd never before read anything that addressed the problems, the social issues raised by contemporary technology -- feeling disconnected even though you're connected via Facebook and Twitter."
Saunders projected the film, with a budget he pegged at less than $3 million, would be finished by winter in time for the festival circuit and, potentially, release next summer.
The cast features offspring of other Hollywood notables including Jason Ritter (son of the late actor John and a "Parenthood" cast member) and Max Minghella (son of "English Patient" director Anthony Minghella).
One of the characters works at a hedge fund, another at a newspaper. The hedge fund scene was filmed at the Albany office of the PR firm Eric Mower & Associates, the latter at the Times Union. The classmates' reunion was shot at Union College, and a farmhouse scene at a home in the Catskills town of Durham.
"They're friends dealing with things that are very specific to this moment in time, whether it's the (technology) or the ramifications of friends living all across the country -- what that creates in friendships and how lonely it can be," said Saunders. "It's a beautiful, beautiful celebration of friendship."
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