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CROWN POINT | The city's lively square is usually the go-to place to be on a Saturday night, but all the action was happening just east near City Hall where local residents gathered to watch actors, movie extras and their own police chief film a scene for "The Things We've Seen."

The movie is being directed by Crown Point High School graduate Tre Manchester, 22.

"It's been an awesome shoot so far," Manchester said. "The city has been awesome in cooperation with production overall and we're looking forward to knocking out our big scene here."

As a film crew prepared a scene by installing a sign that read "Prattle Co. Waterworks" on the civil defense building on East Street across from City Hall, residents like Mike Thill watched closely.

"I'm a big movie buff," Thill said. "When something like this comes to town it means you don't have to go to Chicago and fight traffic and crowds. You have it right in your own backyard."

Thill said Manchester knows the value of the look of the town.

"I think Hollywood is going to see a lot more of this in the Northwest because its something not readily available anymore without having to build a giant set."

Police Chief Pete Land was getting ready to film the scene in which he plays a deputy sheriff. Mayor David Uran was watching nearby.

"It's nice to be able to use our community in something that's hopefully going to be a movie that's going to be seen," Uran said. "You put your community in the lights and to have it in the credits to show you're part of something is nice."

One of the stars in the film is Jordon Hodges, who is originally from Goshen and who wrote and starred in "Sand Castles," a critically acclaimed film that just wrapped the festival circuit and is scheduled for a spring 2016 release.

Hodges was scheduled to film late into the night.

"We're in a woods and some stuff is going down," he said of his scenes.

Hodges, who flew in from Los Angeles the previous night, said "The Things We've Seen" is Indiana-based so he recognizes the fabric of it.

"These characters from the film — I think I'm very much cut from the same cloth."

One of the film's producers, John Metzler, is from Hammond.

"We're excited how this is all coming together," he said.

Manchester plans to complete the film in time to enter it into film festivals early next year in hope of getting a distributor for national release.

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.