A Rochester native’s Hollywood dreams realized
Rochester native John Whoriskey, Jr., always wanted to be involved in a Hollywood movie.
Now, as an assistant location manager for the upcoming movie “Finestkind,’’ which was filmed in New Bedford and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Foster and Jenna Ortega, he was finally able to achieve one of his goals.
Though tight-lipped about specifics of the production, Whoriskey said that being able to work near his hometown was something he “never dreamed [he’d] be able to be a part of.”
Whoriskey worked as an assistant location manager, meaning that he was responsible for reading the script and searching for good places to film different scenes.
During filming, he “makes sure that we can put out any fires,” he said, referring to things that could ruin the vision of the script.
This can include a neighbor cutting the grass or an onlooker who gets in the way of a shot.
Whoriskey grew up in Rochester with big dreams of working in the film industry.
A former student at Old Rochester Regional High School, he said that his love of film production started during childhood when he would make “stupid little movies” with his friends.
“We were having fun and wanted to show our friends these funny things we were making,” said Whoriskey. “And then we realized, ‘Oh, this is a class too, let's take the class.’”
He credits the film production classes at ORR with building his skills and instilling a love of film.
From there, Whoriskey pursued a degree in film at Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla.
Now in his early 30s, Whoriskey has worked in location management on films like “Black Mass’’ and “Ted’’ and on television shows including “Gotham’’ and “Dexter: New Blood.’’
Aside from working in film, Whoriskey also produces music. He moved to New York City, where he currently lives, to learn more about the music production business. His goal is to have his songs placed in films and television shows.
His latest project, a song titled “Haunted House,’’ which will be released on streaming platforms in September, is the culmination of almost a year of work.
In it, he explores what it was like living with an ex-girlfriend while finishing out a lease on a rented apartment.
“I put out a bunch of music and I've sort of been doing this independent, pop and R&B project for the last better part of the decade,” said Whoriskey. “I've recently gotten into doing a little bit of songwriting and trying to get some music placed into TV shows and movies, ironically enough.”
Whoriskey said he often showcases his music through a YouTube series called, “Ice Cream Sundays’’ where he reviews ice cream shops with his friends, set to the soundtrack of his original music.
Ice cream holds a special place in his life, said Whoriskey, as the son of the former owners of Country Whip in Acushnet.
“[I spent] a lot of hot long summers just scooping ice cream and just really getting to know it and learning the process of how to make the soft serve, and how to scoop, and how to make the cones, and that kind of thing,” he said.
For now, Whoriskey is finished with his work on “Finestkind’’ and is currently in Utah working on an unnamed movie.
“Finestkind’’ is currently in post-production and is slated to release on Paramount+. No release date has been announced at this time.
“It was a really special movie to work on. And I'm grateful to be a part of it,” said Whoriskey. “I'm excited to see what happens when it comes out.”