The major parts were cast, and now we were set for a rehearsal on Nov. 18, 1998. However, the days were getting so blustery, there was no time to waste; we had to get started with the exteriors right away. Two mid-Manhattan park scenes were consequently scheduled on November 15th — two days before the first rehearsal session for the actors!

Fortunately, Elissa and Vic are good to the extent that I wasn't too worried about the portrayal of their characters, even though this was their first time out of the gate. They took to their roles naturally...and I was so pleased with the both of them. This was a good beginning! Not everything went perfectly, of course — which is what one expects in movie-making — one of our crew members did not show up. This made a difference, as the crew was extremely skeletal that first day.

Funny how a transformation takes place with some people when seen through a camera’s lens. I was absolutely startled with Elissa — her face registered real magic. I told her, in a colorful way, that the camera was getting excited. She was puzzled by my comment, and then I explained that the camera loved her. It was a fun, breezy moment....unlike the kind of breezes surrounding us — it was getting pretty cold!

Epilogue: Both scenes were completed in four hours, a precursor to the usual fast pace of the production...after the actors departed, the shooting continued with pick-up shots of squirrels and pigeons — many of whom were a bit too Prima Donna-ish for comfort.


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