Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 5, 2009

Facebook movie, no Justin Timberlake, at Phillips

Fake snow covers campus for Harvard initiation scene

Just call Andover, Hollywood East - again.

This time, Phillips Academy was on the receiving end of a telephone call from a Hollywood movie-location scout.

The scout asked to simulate a winter scene in Harvard Yard at the very Ivy-Leagueish-looking academy. The cameras rolled and fake snow set the scene for about three hours Monday night, Oct. 26.

Harvard University forbids commercial movie filming there. So, the new movie about Facebook and its founder, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, came a bit farther north for this shoot.

The movie, "The Social Network," stars Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg and Justin Timberlake as Facebook cofounder Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who became Facebook's founding president. Andrew Garfield will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who fell out with Zuckerberg as the social network grew and grew and grew.

"It was a scene about some initiation ceremony they had (at an exlusive Harvard club)," said Steve Porter of Phillips Academy communications office. "We got the call in early September asking if they could come."

The lawn in front of Paresky Commons was transformed into Harvard Yard, he said. This scene involved Garfield.

Contrary to rumor, Porter reported on the school's Web site that Justin Timberlake was not on campus for the filming. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, famous for his writing of TV show "West Wing," did make an appearance.

It's not the first time Phillips has been tapped for a movie. Porter said about 18 months ago, crews from "The Invention of Lying," starring Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner, filmed a scene at Andover Inn, which is owned by Phillips. Andover Inn is currently closed for renovations. That movie also filmed scenes on Regency Ridge.

"The Social Network" focuses on the evolution of Facebook, the social network created in 2004 on the Harvard campus and how overnight success and wealth changes the lives of the classmates who created it.

's Web site.

Wheelock College and Boston University are also standing in for some Harvard scenes while the shop, Posh, in Boston's South End, was turned into the fake Harvard bookstore called the "Crimson Emporium." Movie production began in Boston last month and will soon move to Los Angeles.

Columbia Pictures director David Fincher is behind the camera and Kevin Spacey is executive producer.

The movie is scheduled to be released in October 2010.

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