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Behind the scenes of the upcoming thriller ‘Exit 0’

Federico Castelluccio (The Sopranos), who plays a detective,  filming on the porch of the Doctor’s Inn | Photo courtey of E.B. Hughes

Exit 0, an upcoming suspense thriller starring Gabe Fazio and Augie Duke, recently filmed at the Doctor’s Inn B&B in Cape May Court House and various locations around Cape May. We caught up with writer, director, producer E.B. Hughes and got the scoop on the film, what role Cape May played in the production, and when you can see it.

Why did you select Cape May for the film’s location?

I am an Ocean City resident. The storyline of this film, EXIT 0, revolves around a couple who come down from New York and stay at an old Victorian Inn, one that the male character used to visit as a child, and one that carries dark secrets from his past—that become more prevalent as the story unfolds.

So, Cape May was a logical choice for me. I have always loved Cape May—have frequented the town throughout the years—and can’t remember many, if any, films being shot there. It’s a beautiful town, and one that should be exploited more. The historic nature, the beauty of the old homes add flavor, and the town is meant to be photographed.

Cast and crew at the Doctors Inn | Photo courtesy of E.B. Hughes

You filmed at the Doctor’s Inn in Cape May Court House. What made you select that B&B?

I had reached out to several B&Bs in Cape May, some had shown interest, but none were willing to readily commit. I was literally sitting at a red light one day, and glanced over to my left and saw the Doctor’s Inn. I was intrigued and knocked on the door. The owner wasn’t there, but I called and spoke to her, arranged a meeting, and I told her my plans. She was surprisingly interested, and part of the deal was to lodge some of the cast and crew at the Inn, and also use it as the primary location. It worked out perfectly.

What places in Cape May will we be able to recognize?

Though the name of the town is never mentioned in the film—it’s really a no-name small shore town—viewers will definitely be able to recognize parts of Washington Street Mall. Some side streets will be recognizable. Parts of Beach Avenue were used for driving sequences. I shot the detective scenes at the Cape May Police station. Chief Marino and his staff were incredibly kind and supportive of the project. We also shot two nights at the restaurant Elaine’s Cape May. Everyone was just incredibly helpful.

Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects) on set at the Doctor’s Inn | Photo courtesy of E.B. Hughes

What was the biggest challenge you faced shooting in Cape May during the off season?

Though off season was part of the storyline, the unpredictable winter weather [was our biggest challenge]. Some of the days were quite cold. One day we were shooting exterior shots, and there were some snow flurries. That was not in the script, but it certainly didn’t shut down production. The week before we started filming, we had a bad snow storm, so all in all we got pretty lucky with the weather overall.

You’ve got 25 screenplays to your name. Did you write this one?

Yes, I wrote the screenplay during the late winter early spring months of 2017.

What are your favorite genres to produce/direct, and what are your favorites as a moviegoer?

I’m drawn to character-driven dramas, many films from the early 70s- like Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens, Night Moves, The Conversation—heavy-handed dramas. The storyline surrounding EXIT 0 is multi-layered—but also a mixed genre film. I wouldn’t classify it completely as a psychological thriller, but also a drama—very character-driven, but with elements of horror, mystery mixed with a psychological thriller.

You just wrapped filming, so this might be premature, but is there a target release date? How can we see the film?

It’s tough to say. The editing process can sometimes be a lengthy one. But I’m aiming for sometime in the fall for festivals, and also target distribution companies. I’d like to do a local screening, but also a private screening in New York—because most of the cast & crew are from that area.

At the moment there is a Facebook page for EXIT 0. I will keep everyone updated as to the progress we are making.

Note: Only a handful of movies have filmed in Cape May, the earliest being comedy shorts in 1913.