Get ready to laugh it up — comedian Amy Poehler is coming to town.
Poehler recently announced she will make her feature directorial debut with “Wine Country,” a comedy about longtime friends who go to Napa Valley for the weekend to celebrate a 50th birthday.
And while Hollywood could surely come up with some lookalike scenery, Poehler and a crew of several hundred plan to film some of the movie in Napa Valley — including two days in Calistoga.
That’s according to Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning.
Canning said he’s met with a production team representing Netflix twice so far.
“They will be filming up and down Napa Valley but also on Lincoln Avenue” in his town, said Canning.
During a recent production team visit, staffers talked to some of the businesses located on Lincoln Avenue about possibly filming in or around those merchants.
They are still refining which shops they could include in the filming, said Canning. “I don’t know who they’ve talked to yet,” but those merchants would include businesses on Lincoln Avenue between Washington Street and Fair Way” on both sides of the street.
The director and set designers of the film liked the look of the Calistoga Welcome Center so they are recreating one in a Los Angeles studio to look just like the real thing, said Charlene Peters, public relations and marketing director.
They purchased about $400 worth of products from the Welcome Center, such things as cutting boards, wine yokes, books such as “Judgment of Paris” by George M. Taber and “Papa and I Have Purple Feet,” a children’s book by Phil Notarange with illustrations by Alison Z. Pitts. Peters also sent them visitor guides, historical maps, Napa Valley guide books, and other Calistoga- and Napa Valley- related items found in the center.
According to reports, they started filming Thursday in the recreated Welcome Center in Los Angeles.
Tina Fey will be performing in the film, but is not expected to come to Calistoga.
A location director will attend the April Chamber of Commerce mixer to talk to local businesses about the filming and plans such as night filming, when businesses will be asked to leave on lights. Businesses will reimbursed for any impediment the filming has on them, for things such as if the crew uses a business’s parking lot.
There will be two days of shooting in Calistoga, but those dates will not be known until after the actual filming has taken place, planners said.
“They will have upwards of 200 people as part of the crew,” Canning said. “I guess it takes a lot to pull it off.”
The crew is mostly staying in Napa, according to Canning.
“They don’t want a crush of people coming to see their lead cast,” Canning said.
Though the crew will not be staying in Calistoga, Peters said they will be patronizing the businesses in town.
The production crew has also discussed logistics with the city, said Canning.
That includes traffic control, police, some public works and parks and recreation. The parks and recreation department issues filming event permits. Public works would be involved for aesthetic reasons – say if a city garbage can or bench needed to be moved.
The city will be reimbursed for any expenses occurred, said Canning. He doesn’t yet know what those costs would be.
“We just had the preliminary meeting. Now it’s coming down to details,” he said.
Apparently, the crew had been quietly visiting Calistoga since January to get a sense of the town and locations.
“Then they officially engaged us last month,” said Canning. “They said they were interested in doing a movie (but) gave us very little details at first.”
Canning said he found out the project was an Amy Poehler movie about three weeks ago. “I’m a huge fan so it was very exciting,” he said. “All the locals are abuzz.”
According to Netflix, the film will be produced by Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions with Poehler serving as producer. Carla Hacken (“Hell or High Water,” “The Book of Henry,” “Brad’s Status”) will produce via her Paper Pictures label and Morgan Sackett (“Parks and Recreation,” “Veep,” “Popstar”) will produce through Dunshire Productions.
The movie will be written by Emily Spivey (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Saturday Night Live”) and Liz Cackowski (“The Last Man on Earth,” “Saturday Night Live”).
In addition to Poehler, the cast includes Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph, Emily Spivey and it features Fey.
Principal photography will begin toward the end of March in Los Angeles, said a news release.