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August 21, 2017

A fantastic crew came together in Brooklyn last July to shoot Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats. They braved summer heat, big crowds, dark nights, sandy beaches, and ocean currents.

We’re thrilled that Neon is bringing the film to theaters this weekend, one year later. As we celebrate, we’re looking back at favorite moments from that summer and feeling grateful for the dedication and artistry Team Beach Rats brought to their work. Captions by producers Drew Houpt and Brad Becker-Parton take us through the collection of memories below, all of which were captured on the phones and cameras of the Beach Rats crew and stills photographers.

Tickets are on sale at the Arclight in Hollywood for showtimes starting Thursday, and at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center and Sunshine Cinema, where showtimes start Friday.


Day 1, first set-up on Beach Rats! First AC Nick Huynh checks focus marks in our pharmacy location in South Brooklyn (photo by Harrison Sheehan).


First AD Shrihari Sathe, Producer Drew Houpt, and Producer Paul Mezey plan for our night shooting the real Coney Island fireworks, while holding down a bench Eliza wanted to shoot on before crowds arrived (photo by Gabrielle Rossomagno).


Left: Prop Master Jayson Debellis loads live pigeons into the coop he built on the roof of the house we shot in. Jayson and Brad had to feed and take care of the pigeons for three weeks until we shot the scene where Frankie sets them free and they flew home. Right: Production Designer Grace Yun runs the art department from the roof the set for Frankie’s house is built. Both photos by Harrison Sheehan.


Helene Louvart, Director of Photography, checks for available light on the Emmons Avenue pier (photo by Harrison Sheehan).


Left: Producers Drew Houpt and Brad Becker-Parton pretending to get along aboard the Golden Sunshine party boat. Right: First AD Shrihari Sathe and Director Eliza Hittman prepare to shoot a scene on the handball courts in Manhattan Beach Park. Photos by Tayarisha Poe.


Left: Director of Photography Helene Louvart operates an easy rig while shooting around the bungalows on the water in South Brooklyn (photo by Paul Trujillo). Right: Producer Paul Mezey gets some work done while we wait for the tide to be perfect for the climactic scene on the beach (photo by Brad Becker-Parton).


The crew enjoys a sunset while scouting beaches in Brooklyn (photo by Alexandria Berry).

If all the summer heat is too much, this shot takes us even further back in Beach Rats history to a cold day in January 2015. Far from the beaches of South Brooklyn, Eliza had the opportunity to work on the script for Beach Rats at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Though they weren’t on set in person, we offer heartfelt thanks for the early support of Sundance staff and advisors.

Eliza Hittman with with creative advisor Zach Sklar at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. © 2015 Sundance Institute (photo by Brandon Cruz).

Click on a the gallery below for more production highlights…

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