It's autumn in New York and as the kids go back to school, they'll have to sidestep such movie paraphernalia as sound trucks, actors' dressing-room trailers, and honey wagons--the industry's quaint term for those humungous porto-potties on wheels. But New York kids are so sophisticated that movie-making around their home town is second nature to all but the tiniest preschoolers. In fact, many have probably been extras in at least one Woody Allen film--since at least seven of these, including the new "Deconstructing Harry," feature school scenes.
Two other actor-writer-director-producers are scheduled to finish shooting in mid-September. Stanley Tucci's "Ship of Fools" wraps on Sept. 15. Involved is his "Big Night" repertory company--Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott, Tony Shalhoub, and Allison Janney--plus indie film veterans Steve Buscemi, Lili Taylor, and Richard Jenkins, and Broadway and Off-Broadway lights Dana Ivey, Matt McGrath, Oliver Platt, Alfred Molina, and "Gross Indecency" 's Michael Emerson. Woody Allen has a cameo appearance. (See our related story in the Sept. 12 issue, page 5.)
John Turturro's "Illuminata" finishes up on Sept. 19. Turturro's film not only features Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, British actor Rufus Sewell, and John Cassavetes' favorite actor, Ben Gazzara, but Turturro's multi-hyphenated wife, actress Katherine Borowitz, and his son Amadeo, as well.
Features Currently Filming In the Tri-State Area
Casting directors of the following projects stress that all contact should be made only by mail. Actors should not phone or visit their offices.
Todd Solondz ("Welcome to the Dollhouse") took a page from the Woody Allen "book of titles," naming his current comedy-drama, the Untitled Todd Solondz film. Produced by the Good Machine team of James Schamus and Ted Hope ("The Ice Storm") and their sometime partner Christine Vachon ("I Shot Andy Warhol."), "Untitled" shoots Aug. 25 to Oct. 10, Principals: Ann Goulder, c/o Livingston Pictures (380 Lafayette St., #302, NYC 10003); extras: Kee Casting (511 Ave. of the Americas, Box 384, NYC 10011).
For their ethnic urban comedy Side Streets, playwright Lynn Nottage and director-husband Tony Gerber have imported an international roster of stars--Indian actor Shashi Kapoor ("The Deceivers"), Britain's Art Malik ("The Jewel in the Crown"), and Italian actress Valeria Golino ("Rain Man")--to portray the "other faces" of New York. Trinidadians, Dominicans, and Romanians also figure in the interlocking stories, exec-produced by Ismail Merchant and lensing from Aug. 18 to Sept. 28. Possible extra casting only: Ulysses Terrero (T &Casting, 88-30 182nd St., Jamaica, NY 11432).
Another husband-and-wife team, Edward Vilga and Nela Wagman, have reversed positions. At Off-Off-Broadway's Watermark Theatre, where they are guiding forces, Wagman directed and co-produced with Vilga, Susan Miller's Obie-winning "My Left Breast." Now Vilga is directing his own screenplay, Dead Broke, with Wagman co-producing. The noirish mystery, starring Hollywood's Paul Sorvino ("Nixon"), Broadway's Tony Roberts ("Victor/Victoria"), and John Glover ("Love! Valour! Compassion!) plus TV's Jill Hennessy ("Law & Order"), shoots its entire 26 days (Sept. 1-26) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Casting is already complete.
Shooting in New Jersey, from Sept. 9 to Oct. 6, is Walking to the Waterline, Matt ("Major Dad") Mulhern's comedy/drama starring Matthew Broderick ("Godzilla"), Hal Holbrook ("Eye of God"), and Elizabeth Franz ("Substance of Fire"). This ultra-low budget film is completely cast.
British stage and screen star Roger Rees (Broadway's "Indiscretions") joins Bokeem Woodbine ("Dead Presidents") for the Sept. 15-Oct. 27 Connecticut shoot of BlackMale, a new comic thriller about a blackmail plot gone awry. Principals: Adrienne Stern (149 Fifth Ave., #730, NYC 10010); no extras needed.
Susan Sarandon jumped straight from filming "Illuminata" to co-star with Julia Roberts and Jena Malone in Tri-Star's Step Mom. The moving drama of a mother's love, directed by Chris Columbus, begins shooting Sept. 22. Principals: Ellen Lewis (200 W. 57th St., NYC 10019); extras: Kee Casting (address above).
Salma Hayek's in town for two shoots: She'll film the New York days of Trimark's Frida (the biopic about Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo), and co-star opposite Vincent ("Men in Black") D'Onofrio in the new romantic comedy The Velocity of Gary (tentatively scheduled for four weeks starting Sept. 24th). Both films were pre-cast in L.A.
Stage doyenne Claire Bloom and Hal Hartley's favorite leading lady, Adrienne Shelly (whose "Sudden Manhattan," marked her own feature film debut as an actress-writer-director), team for the first time in Homegrown Pictures' Wrestling With Alligators, a female coming-of-age film co-written and directed by Laurie Weltz. The NY-NJ shoot runs from Sept. 21 to Oct. 19. No further casting is anticipated.
On Sept. 16, veteran Merchant-Ivory screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala adds the prestigious Independent Feature Project Gotham Award for Sustained Excellence in Writing to her two Oscars, her MacArthur "genius" grant, and Britain's Booker Awards. Her latest Merchant-Ivory collaboration, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, an action adventure starring Nick Nolte, directed by James Ivory, lenses in Paris and Long Island, from Sept. 29 to mid-January. No casting will be done in New York.
Wrapping in October
Returning from a five-week shoot in Rhode Island, Meet Joe Black, the Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins co-starrer, is skeded to wrap after five months, on Oct. 3. There is no further casting for this '90s remake of the 1934 Frederic March classic "Death Takes a Holiday."
Also finishing up on Oct. 3 is He Got Game, Knicks fan Spike Lee's first basketball film, reuniting the writer-director-co-producer with his "Mo' Better Blues"-"Malcolm X," star Denzel Washington. Principals: Aisha Coley (c/o Swishin' an' Dishin,' 76 S. Elliot Place, B'klyn, NY 11217); extras: Winsome Sinclair (c/o "He Got Game," same address as Swishin' an' Dishin').
Wrap date of Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco, starring Robert Sean Leonard, Chloe Sevigny, and Kate Beckinsale, has been pushed back to Oct. 18. Principals: Hopkins, Barden, Smith (19 Jay St., NYC, 10013); extras: Kristine Bulakowski and Janice Wilde (375 W. B'way, #3R, NYC 10012).
Woody Allen's Fall Project (shooting from Aug. 29 to Nov. 7) will take audiences worldwide into his favorite eatery, Elaine's. Allen's latest untitled film features a host of newcomers to his ever-growing roster of actors. Kenneth Branagh, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, and Leonardo DiCaprio appear along with Judy Davis, a regular member of Allen's rep company, and Joe Mantegna--David Mamet's favorite actor, who played Mia Farrow's love interest in "Alice." (Davis can also be seen as one of Allen's many wives, both real and literary, in "Deconstructing Harry," this December.) There's no further casting, according to SAG's September production schedule.
As always, all contact must be by mail only.
Four films are scheduled to begin shooting on Oct. 1: Little West 12th, a thriller, is being cast by Caroline Sinclair (85 W. B'way, NYC 10007).
No casting info as yet on Closure, a drama to be directed by Jesse Dabson; The Family Web, a comedy/drama penned by Timothy Burrows; or Recipe for Disaster, starring comedians Sherman Helmsley and Pat Cooper.
However, The Stand-In, starring Ruth Buzzi and David Ogden Stiers, with a start date of Oct. 15, is casting through Roz Clancy (76 Wilfred Ave., Titusville, NJ 08560).
Miramax Co-Chairs Bob and Harvey Weinstein are this year's recipients of the Gotham Lifetime Achievement Award. They'll be working again with Larry Meistrich's Shooting Gallery on Billy Bob Thorton's East End--the same team responsible for "Slingblade," Thorton's first film, for which he was also writer-director-co-producer and star. Dates and casting info TBA.
Cosby--Principals: Aisha Coley (c/o Kaufman Astoria Studios, 34-12 36th St., Astoria, NY 11106); extras: Bryon Crystal (41 Union Square W., Ste. 316, NYC 10003).
Dellaventura--Principals: Todd Thaler (130 W. 57th St., #4A, NYC 10019); extras: Grant Wilfley Casting (60 Madison Ave., #1027, NYC 10010).
Law & Order--Principals: Suzanne Ryan, Lynn Kressel (c/o Universal, 445 Park Ave., 7th fl., NYC 10022; extras: Sylvia Fay (71 Park Ave., NYC 10016).
New York Undercover--Principals: Jeff Block (85 10th Ave., NYC 10011); extras: Winsome Sinclair (same address as Jeff Block).
Soul Man--Principals: Johnson-Liff Casting (1501 B'way, Ste 1400, NYC 10036); extras: Kee Casting (address above).
Spin City--Principals: Bonnie Finnegan (c/o Video Portfolio, 12 W. 27th St., NYC 10001); extras: Grant Wilfley (address above).
ABC: All My Children: Judy Blye-Wilson (casting director), Elias Tray (associate casting director), 320 W. 66th St., NYC 10023.
One Life to Live: Julie Madison (casting director), Victoria Visgilio (associate), Sheryl Baker (assistant), 157 Columbus Ave., 2nd fl., NYC 10023.
CBS: As The World Turns: Julie Hughes, Barry Moss (casting directors), Tom Alberg (extras/under fives), 524 W. 57th St., NYC 10019. Guiding Light: Glenn Daniels (casting director), Melanie Haseltine (assistant casting director), 222 E. 44th St., NYC 10017. Accepts postcards/showcase invitations.
NBC: Another World: Jimmy Bohr (casting director), Elizabeth Wilson (extras/under fives), NBC Studios/Another World, 1268 E. 14th St., B'klyn, NY 11230.