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.
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.