(Director Jeff Lipsky directs Drea DeMatteo on Main Street)
The movie crews rolled into town early this morning, and Main Street from Washington to College was shut down to accommodate the shooting of Once More With Feeling, directed by Jeff Lipsky.
(Mayor Sebastian Giuliano on set)
The crews, mostly from New York City, all t-shirts and tattoos, set up for two hours before cameras rolled for the first time. The initial shot involved shooting from the corner of Main and Washington, on the North of Main, from a dolly. This was not something town officials anticipated, and the mayor was not completely happy that the result was a Route 66 traffic jam which was stopped all the way West to Middlefield. Beachgoes honked their horns in frustration over the delay for shooting. Even after the first scene was shot, traffic, on a perfect beach day, was slow for hours.
(Councilman Ron Klattenberg speaks with producer Paul Jarret)
The first scene involved the character played by Drea DeMatteo being stopped by a policeman for a traffic violation, and then roaring off in her car in anger. It was shot from several angles before the cast and crew broke for lunch and a company move down the block for the shooting of a second scene, involving a tour bus.
While there was a lot of excitement having four grip trucks, a generator truck, lights, camera equipment, crew and actors on the street, most observers found that watching a film being made is like watching paint dry, only slower, and with more assistants.
It was definitely an unusual occurrence for Main Street, and Middletown officials. The lack of organization, the extreme traffic tie-up, and the informal communication between the movie makers and the police, were indications that the set wasn't swimming with experience. The traffic issues could have been solved with simple detours through other neighborhoods. The film company needed a strong line producer to make sure town officials new what to expect. At one point I found myself informing the crew that the camera car (the tow truck used to tow a moving car and crew) had arrived and was causing a major traffic problem on Washington Street.
Shooting was expected to be completed by 4 p.m. at which time Main Street will be reopened once again for traffic.
A report from Channel 8 will appear on the 6 p.m. news.