A fictional account of the life of the famous horror novelist, Shirley Jackson, ‘Shirley’ presents the titular character as a reclusive writer who has fallen into a bout of depression. To get her out of bed and to the typewriter, her husband, Stanley, seeks help from a couple who have recently moved into town. Fred Nemser works for Stanley and is invited to stay at his house for a week before finding a place somewhere else for himself and his wife, Rose. The only thing that Stanley wants from them is to clean around the house and keep an eye on his wife. Of course, Fred is too busy with work to do this, so the responsibility falls on Rose.
Rose finds it difficult to understand Shirley, whose moods take a swift turn. Sometimes she is helpful and even considerate, and other times, she is too impossible to be around. With time, Rose forges a strong friendship with her. However, there is a reason why Shirley wants her in the house. The film plays upon the uncertain nature of their relationship and the surroundings make it all the more mysterious; the effect is amplified by the erratic movement of the camera. To get this thrilling tone for the story, getting the right locations was extremely important. If you want to know where the movie was filmed, here’s the answer.
Shirley Filming Location
The story of ‘Shirley’ is set in Vermont with Bennington College coming into focus. Initially, the filmmakers had thought about using it as the location for the film, however, the better tax credit in the State of New York lured them away. They scouted several locations and eventually found the ones perfect for the story in Jefferson Heights and Poughkeepsie.
Hudson Valley, New York
‘Shirley’ uses several locations all over the Hudson Valley to create a thrilling atmosphere for its story. At the beginning of the film, Fred and Rose arrive at Bennington College where they meet Stanley and Shirley. The college remains in the picture throughout the film. All the scenes concerning it were filmed at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. Several scenes were shot in Josselyn House and the Residential Operations Center.
Filming on campus today is the film, Shirley, a biopic about author Shirley Jackson, starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg! https://t.co/Wbpu5ODoCb
— Vassar College (@Vassar) August 22, 2018
Most of the film takes place in the house where Shirley and Stanley live. It becomes a playground for them where Fred and Rose are manipulated to serve their needs. These scenes were filmed at the Captain Joseph Allen House at 210 Jefferson Heights in Catskills. The crew was also spotted in and around Wildwing Park.
The Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown also features in the movie. Additional scenes have been filmed in Ulster, Delaware, and Greene Counties. Some of the scenes feature the Delaware and Ulster Railroad in Arkville. Sam’s Point in Cragsmoor and the Reed General Store in Coxsackie have also been used as filming locations. The Mohican Trading Post in Leeds can also be spotted in the movie.
Apart from the real-life locations, the crew also relied on the made-up sets to give a better look to the story. The shooting of these scenes took place at the Woodstock Film Studios.
Read More: Is Shirley a True Story?