“Stash” Day 4

Stash Day 4

Talk about intensity and stress.  We didn’t have the location for the first scene we were shooting on Saturday July 26th up until 10 minutes before our scheduled call time.

That’s when Executive Producer Richard Kern stepped in again to rescue our production.

Rick Kern has done this over and over again in different ways that proves he has easily earned the Executive Producer title attached to his name.


Rick’s brother John played a part in getting us permission to shoot at Frankies East Side Gourmet Italian Restaurant, 313 Main Street, Farmingdale, NY (516) 756-2753.

Owner Ara and Chef Danny completely opened their arms to let us in their restaurant and gave us pretty much carte blanche to do the “Hallway Scene” needed to  be done.  I can’t thank them enough and the Kern brothers for coming through when we REALLY needed the help.


Later after finally filming a car scene with Almog Pail as “Faith Daniels” that had eluded us the first two weekends, Bertucci’s (881 Walt Whitman Rd, Melville, NY 11747 - (631) 427-9700) supplied us with a massive amount of food for dinner; 10-12 pizzas (of mixed variety), pasta with chicken & broccoli, another delicious chicken entree, salads and their legendary  dinner rolls, all of which were devoured by our hard-working cast & crew.  I have to thank Corey Grossman, the General Manager from Melville Bertucci’s for brilliantly engineering the feast.  You made a lot of people happy with your establishment’s food and hospitality.

Again this production was blessed by people helping us out when we really needed  it.  Can’t thank everyone enough for doing so.

Jesse Ray Sheps cast as “Devin” in “Stash”


The role of the young mischievous Devin will be played by nine year old actor Jesse Ray ShepsJesse Ray has built quite a resume for a young actor. He played the role of Tony in the movie Hard Sell (currently in post-production), appeared in many television programs and commercials and is most recently playing a series regular on Nickelodeon’s hit show Zack and Quack.   Jesse Ray began his career at the age of 5 as an international model working on campaigns for  H&M, Humira Pharmaceutical and Motts Apple Sauce.  Jesse Ray has a strong creative side as well- he is currently working on creating his own animation series.   He is represented exclusively by Abrams artists.

Day/Night #3 “Stash”

They say filmmaking is a collaborative art.

Yesterday, while shooting Day #3 on Stash, this proved to be absolutely true.

In truth, without the support of numerous people, there’s no way we have even been able to film.

We needed a heavy woods location and Inwood Hill Park, in the upper Northwest corner of Manhattan, was suggested.  New York City is not a cheap place by any measure and our micro-budget doesn’t make it easy to take on extra costs of any kind.

With that in mind, Selena from the NY Film Commission was instrumental in pointing me in the direction on whom I needed to get approval to shoot at the historic New York City Park.

Daniel Mercado, the Manager of Inwood Hill Park, took my call the day before we wanted to shoot and approved the go ahead.  Without his gracious consent, it would have never happened.  I think this is especially impressive and reflective of how he runs business, when I got turned down by backup parks in Nassau & Suffolk County in Long Island, because they didn’t have enough time to accommodate my request.

Then there was the problem of feeding the cast & crew that totaled about 13 people.  I had made numerous phone calls to restaurants in the area on both Friday and Saturday, not getting any place to commit to helping us out.  Amazingly, with only an hour or two before when we needed it, I walked off the street into two first class restaurants that not only decided to help us but also gave us incredible meals.  What was even more astounding about this was how they turned around our request within 1-hour’s time.


Gus Anton, who manages The Park View, was the first to assist us.  Our DP Edwin Figueroa said he loved their food and suggested I talk to them.  The Park View gave us an assortment of meals that consisted of; hamburgers, yummy turkey BLT with avocado, tuna and grilled chicken sandwiches, all coming with fries.  Plus they provided a couple fresh made salads that the crew ate wholeheartedly, raving about the taste and fine quality of food.  Not only this but they supplied us with eating utensils and even some of their employees to help carry all the food to a cab.  I now know why Edwin & his girlfriend Tiffany love this place so much.

Mamajuna Cafe

Francis Pereira-Billini, the General Manager of Mamajuana-Café was next to help us out.  His superb restaurant supplied three massive servings of; tasty chicken with peppers & onions, white rice and delicious cheese fries.  These came hot off the stove and were so heavy; I literally couldn’t carry them out with the things I had in hand for our shoot.   A couple crew members were floored that they would be eating this quality of meal vs. what most micro-budget films provide.

For this night of shooting, we ate before the first shot was done and the crew couldn’t have gone to work happier.

I have the good people & caring establishments listed above for that.  Don’t hesitate to choose either restaurant if you want excellent meals, in very comfortable settings, when you are near upper Manhattan.