Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Morning in Brooklyn

Here in the city, beauty, adventure and surprise encounters are around every corner.

An early morning walk in Prospect Park leaves me breathless, not from the physical exertion, but from the quiet stillness, a rare thing to experience amidst the people, the traffic and the various other city noises.

Leaving the park, I wind my way through the streets as I head home.  The block before my house is littered with vans, semi-trucks, cargo trucks, police cars, barricades and orange and yellow cones.  A man stands near a cart, smoking, and smiles broadly when I make eye contact.  Lowell shares that this is a movie set and that he's one of the hundreds of people behind the scenes.

A generator operator whose worked in the movie industry for thirteen years, Lowell is a big fan of Alaska.  His first question about Alaska is asking if pot has been legalized.  This big guy is easy to talk to and our conversation flows easily as we discuss Alaska life and then all things Brooklyn.  Lowell is Brooklyn born and raised and he kindly agrees to talk with me more, once the set is finished next week.  We wave goodby and I walk on.

What was to be a brief noodling about  the non-barricaded areas of the set turns in to seven hours of me talking with grips, production assistants, the director, security and the movie's still photographer, as well as the many spectators who weave in and out of the area throughout the day.  

I'm pleasantly surprised to find most of the workers to be very outgoing and easy to engage with. Brian, a grip operator, buys me a coffee as a welcome to his borough and, like Lowell, he agrees to chat with me, post-movie production, as does Asia, a production assistant who is lively, friendly and tells me that the work is not as glamorous as many think.  Their openness encourages me and when I finally leave the set as the sun dips down on the horizon, six individuals have enthusiastically agreed to share with me their stories of how they came to work in the movie industry.  

The movie being filmed is called Animal Rescue, and is about a Boston bartender who rescues a puppy from a garbage can and then becomes the target of the dog's mentally unstable former owner, and stars Tom Hardy (Mad Max), Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos).

My love for Brooklyn grows stronger every day that I'm here, and every time that I step outside my "comfort" zone and meet the outgoing, friendly and amazing New Yorkers who call this city home.

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