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WIN WIN

Jersey Burbs The Production
Although Tom McCarthy set WIN WIN very specifically in the New Jersey suburbs, the film ultimately shot a short distance away, in New York. They shot much of the film on a quiet street in Rockville Center, Long Island, which stood in for the Flaherty family's middle-class neighborhood.

McCarthy reunited with much of the same artistic crew he collaborated with on his first two films, including cinematographer Oliver Bokelberg and production designer John Paino, who together contrasted a quaint suburban ambiance with Mike Flaherty's financial angst and Kyle's agro wrestling skills.

Adding to the local feel, McCarthy asked the town's residents to join in as extras and bit players. "The neighborhood we shot in was incredibly hospitable,” says the director. "One day, an old woman was watching us shoot and she looked like someone who would be Mike's client, so I asked her if she wanted to be in the movie as Betty. We gave her one line and she just nailed it. We really wanted the feeling that wherever Mike goes, walking down the street or going to get donuts, he's always running into his clients, and we were able to capture that.”

Finding the Flaherty family home was another challenge. "We were looking for just the right place that had enough room to accommodate shooting but that wasn't palatial, that was something Mike could afford -- if just barely -- and it went right down to the wire,” recalls Mary Jane Skalski. "After looking at 100 houses, we were literally at the last moment when we found the perfect one that instantly became home to the Flahertys.”

In every aspect of the production, from the locations to the everyday costumes designed by Melissa Toth to an original song from The National and even in the naturalistic comic performances, McCarthy aimed at an atmosphere so true to everyday life, the audience is put right inside the Flaherty family's dilemma over how to fix one wrong move that changed everything, yet might ultimately bring them closer.

"We never wanted to be outrageous or sensationalize, even in the details, the lives of these people,” McCarthy sums up. "At its core, the story of WIN WIN is about basic, ordinary stuff – it's about taking care of your own and knowing when something's right and when it's not. If we all did that a little more often, we might find ourselves in a lot less trouble . . .”

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