2001-06-16 / Front Page

Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Pictured: Technical crew and actors on the set of "The Chain Game".

By Gary G. Toms

It’s not very often that you have two different television/film companies in Far Rockaway, on the same day, shooting scenes, but that is exactly what happened last Thursday, June 7, and many area residents were in awe.

The first film crew was filming off the boardwalk on Beach 32 Street, and they were the production team from the new NBC series "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." The show will be premiering in the Fall, and it is closely linked to the original, and highly acclaimed, "Law and Order" series.

One of the lead production assistants, Mr. William Durant, gave the inside scoop on what the show’s storyline was going to be. "We’re here to shoot a scene where the police find a dead body on the boardwalk, and that is where the investigation begins", states Durant.

He indicated that they would be in Far Rockaway into the early morning hours. "This is a very long shoot. It starts here at the beach. We’re setting up now, and once that’s done we’ll shoot from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Then we move on to St. Johns Episcopal Hospital. We’ll be there from 3 to 10 p.m. From there, we will head to St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church to complete the filming of this particular episode. We probably won’t leave the church until one in the morning at the latest", he said.

In posing the question of why they chose Far Rockaway to shoot this episode, he responded by saying, "This is a great location, and it’s really a good place to come and shoot. I’m surprised that more companies have not considered shooting here, but I suspect that once the word gets out that we did some filming here, that may change in a hurry."

Meanwhile, over on Beach 59 Street a commercial was being filmed for the SAP Company, which specializes in computer software. "The Chain Game" features championship street-basketball players slamming the rims on a court just off the boardwalk. The angle of the spot is this: You have to have game to be in the computer software game.

The people on the set, from the technical crew to the actors were all very accommodating and friendly. The production manager, Dorothy Williams, was kind enough to provide a few details about the shoot.

"This is an excellent place for a shoot. I might even go for a dip when we’re done", she said. "We have some key people working on this project. The guys are some of the most talented street players in the country, and we are working with one of the best directors in the business today, John Bentham, who is famous for his work with the "Steadycam". So far, this has been an absolute blast. Everyone has been extremely cooperative in making us feel welcomed. Thank you Far Rockaway!"

In addition to doing commercials Williams has also worked closely with Regis Philbin on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", as a production manager. She has worked on numerous music videos, featuring such artists as Jadakiss, Eve and Mary J. Blige.

She is presently working as a freelance production manager, and ultimately, she would like to become involved with filming documentaries, public service announcements and short films.

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