Rafferty was allowed to watch some of the shooting at her restaurant and recalls the film crew went around unplugging appliances that could interfere with the audio recording, such as a refrigerator that might make noise when cycling on and off.
In “27 Down,’’ a mystery thriller co-written by Depew, a Boston police detective gets embroiled in a tense investigation. On his way to his new job in a fictional town in Maine, the character stops at a gas station. With the cameras running, real life suddenly got in the way of the film.
”We were shooting a scene where the main character interrupts a young man trying to rob the store, when North Andover police showed up with their guns drawn,” Depew said. “They thought it was an actual robbery taking place. Police came in and ordered the two actors to the floor.”
In a scene filmed at Raff’s, two characters are at the counter having lunch. In another scene there, two characters are having a conversation at a table.
”I waited through the whole movie to see my cafe,” Rafferty said.
Depew was also looking for a place to film a scene where a detective is having a phone conversation with the mother of a young man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
”We used Chief John Romero’s office at the Lawrence Police station to film,” Depew said of that scene.
In his second film, “CO2,’’ a suspense adventure, a mysterious deadly vapor suffocates a small American coal town. Depew’s movie was based on various actual events, including the Lake Nyos, Cameroon, CO2 disaster in 1986. In that incident, 1,700 people died in their sleep from a cloud of CO2 gas resulting from a natural eruption of the gas.
”Our story takes place in a small community in a valley, and Raff’s was one of the places where we shot a flashback scene between characters,” Depew said. “In the flashback scene, filmed at the counter, the lead woman is talking to her boss over lunch and he’s basically a slime ball and is telling her to use her relationship with a young scientist to get him to give the go-ahead to start digging for oil.”