For actor Greg Finley, an unsuccessful audition led to the realization of a longtime dream.

A couple years ago, the Scarborough native tried out for the part of the villain in a thriller called “Dark Harbor,” filmed on a Maine island with a cast featuring Joel McHale, from the NBC sitcom “Community.” Finley did not get the role but still managed to have a very productive conversation with the film’s producer, Kennebunk native Edwin Stevens.

Finley, who has appeared on TV and in films for more than a decade, told Stevens about his idea for a drama he wanted to film around Portland. Impressed with the script Finley had begun writing a dozen years earlier and happy to have a chance to make a film in his home state, Stevens signed on to the project.

The two filmmakers will begin shooting “Summer Someday” on Sunday at the Portland Boxing Club. The film focuses on a lobsterman and former boxer, played by Finley, dealing with his past, crime and corruption.

Other filming locations will include the Portland Observatory on Munjoy Hill, the Portland waterfront, a Portland-based lobster boat called Wild Irish Rose and Old Orchard Beach. Filming is likely to last until Feb. 7, Finley said.

Edwin Stevens, a producer and cinematographer who grew up in Kennebunk, will be back in Maine Sunday to begin filming the crime thriller “Summer Someday.” Photo courtesy of Edwin Stevens

For Finley, making his own film in his home state has been a dream he’s been working toward for most of his career. He began writing the script for what would become “Summer Someday” in 2006, a couple years after he left Maine for Hollywood as a 19-year-old.

He’s acted steadily on TV since then, with featured roles in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which ran for five years on the ABC Family Channel, and “The Flash” on the CW Network. He’s had guest roles on the NBC shows “Law & Order” and “Chicago PD,” as well as ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” among others. He recently finished work on three films, including the starring role as playground basketball legend Jackie Ryan in “Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story” with David Arquette.

While working in TV and on other people’s films, he never gave up on making his own film in Portland.

“I’ve just always wanted to make this movie, and make it here,” said Finley, 35. “I’ve told everyone involved with this film from Los Angeles they won’t believe how gorgeous it is here.”

Finley didn’t have to convince Stevens of the visual appeal of Greater Portland. Stevens, 34, grew up in Kennebunk and went to Cheverus High School in Portland. He’s already made a movie in Maine, “Dark Harbor,” a thriller filmed on Isleboro in 2018 and released in September.

Stevens worked in Hollywood for years, as a cinematographer, editor and producer, and has his own production company, APS Films. His work includes “The Defiant Ones,” a documentary about rapper Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine for HBO. He’s now based in Arizona.

Finley, who splits his time between Hollywood and Maine, never gave any thought to acting while growing up in Scarborough. His goals were to play college basketball and run a restaurant. But during his first year of college at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, he developed a large abscess in his throat and had to have emergency surgery. Bedridden for months, he lost 60 pounds and also watched a lot of movies. He decided then he wanted to be an actor. When he got well enough to travel, he headed for Los Angeles.

That’s where, more than a decade later, he met Stevens, who was involved with casting “Dark Harbor.” Finley “wasn’t right” for the villain role, Stevens said, but the two bonded over their Maine roots. Stevens was interested in Finley’s idea for “Summer Someday” (originally titled “Danny Boy”), so Finley sent Stevens a screenplay to read. Stevens and his frequent collaborator, writer and director Joe Raffa, got together with Finley to update and make some changes to the story and began making plans to film in Greater Portland. Both Finley and Stevens describe the film as “low budget.” Stevens said that all the films his company makes have budgets of “less than half a million” dollars.

“Greg and I just instantly bonded, and I was excited at the idea of making another movie in Maine,” said Stevens. “Mainers are easier to work with than in California. Everyone in Maine wants to help out.”

Actor and Scarborough native Greg Finley, seen with Eliza Coupe in the upcoming film “The Estate,” will begin filming the crime thriller “Summer Someday” in Portland on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Greg Finley

Though filming in Maine has expenses related to travel and lodging, getting locations is much less costly. In California, where filming is frequent, the prices charged for using locations can be very high, Stevens said.

He said the filmmakers hope the film will play festivals and then become more widely available, either via streaming or some pay-per-view service.

The other lead actors in the film are from Los Angeles, Finley said, though some local actors and extras will be cast. Besides the first day of filming, at Portland Boxing Club, Finley said he did not know yet when filming would happen at certain locations, but that information will be available on Instagram at @Summer_Someday.

Karen Carberry Warhola, director of the Maine film office, said productions like “Dark Harbor” and “Summer Someday,” while not major Hollywood films, help the state’s economy and help to promote the idea of Maine as a filming destination.

“Productions of this nature significantly impact Maine’s economy as they often hire Maine crew, and they are sourcing goods and services locally while in production,” Warhola said. “It’s a win-win for the state and for the filmmakers who can hire skilled local workers and have the resources we offer to enable them to succeed.”


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