Director of Forged spills on Scranton, PA

Forged is a recently-released movie that explores the stories within deep family bonds and the quest for redemption. Directed by William Wedig, the movie was shot in Scranton, Pennsylvania in February 2009. According to Wedig, 2009 was actually the coldest winter in Scranton over the last 50 years. The cinematography in Forged nonetheless came out beautifully. The crisp and dreary shots of the naked trees sent chills down my spine when paired with the striking plot of the movie. I watched Forged in New York City just before it won Best Picture at the New York International Latino Film Festival. The New York Times just reviewed the film yesterday here. Check out this Q&A with Wedig wherein he dishes on what it was like to capture Scranton on film.

1. Who did the cinematography for your movie, Forged?

My cinematographer is a guy named Zues Morand. He does a lot of music videos and he’s super talented and really versatile. If you need somebody to shoot something, definitely look him up. Zeus Morand on shooting Forged: “The characters in Forged were all flawed and weathered. We tried to choose locations that were aged, rusted, and reflected the history they had seen.”

(That’s Morand, the cinematographer, in the green.)

2. Forged displays Scranton in a way I haven’t seen before. The footage of the landscape looked dreary, because it was winter, but simultaneously beautiful. How did you go about scouting locations for the shoot?

When we were trying to find our locations in and around Scranton, we wanted to make sure that we showed that duality between the dreary, lonely, cold nature of the place, and the beauty which exists in a place so rustic. We were originally going to make the film in Texas but it just seemed better to put it in a place that’s so cold and beautiful. It’s like the cloud that hangs over these characters because of the past never escapes them. It’s always a part of their world.

3. You shot in February 2009 and you say that was the coldest winter in Scranton in 50 years. How did your team cope with shooting outside for long hours at a time in this kind of weather?

Well shooting in those sort of locations was a challenge. I couldn’t feel my feet for about two months and we’d make fires in cans or find a nearby shelter so people could cycle in and out. Some places didn’t have heat like the Lace Mill which has been shut down since the late 80’s or so. It was gorgeous though and there was talk of converting them into studios which is a great idea. It made it hard with the snow, but when you believe in the story you’re telling, it really isn’t that hard to motivate yourself.

(That’s Wedig on the left and lead actor Perez on the right.)

4. I’m assuming that throughout the shoot, you and your team discovered a thing or two about Scranton. Have any favorite locations?

There’s a couple places in Scranton that I like. Lake Scranton is gorgeous and when I saw it I knew I had to shoot there. Russells restaurant is fantastic (and they even donated film to us), but they have amazing chicken and pasta, and the Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre is always fun to hit up and spend a few dollars and maybe make some back. We had a great time there, and even had some interesting adventures with Zeus at Hardware Bar in downtown. We loved shooting there and really the whole town helped us out.

Forged has won more than the New York International Latino Film Festival. Forged received ‘Official Selection’ at the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival, ‘Outstanding Film Award’ at the Providence Latin American Film Festival, and ‘Official Selection’ at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Starring Manny Perez, Margo Martindale, David Castro, Jaime Tirelli and Kevin Breznahan, Forged opens tomorrow in NYC at Quad Cinema (34 West 13th street NY, NY). Forged is hitting the road, as well. Forged will be showing in Los Angeles tomorrow evening, in San Diego and San Antonio August 5th, in Dallas August 12th, in Miami September 9th, in San Francisco September 16th, and Chicago dates are coming. For more information, check out the the website: In the meantime, check out the trailer below.