“Library waits 90 years for film debut
Carnegie scenes arouse curiosity”
By Patricia Van Horn
LIBRARY WAITS 90 YEARS FOR FILM DEBUT CARNEGIE SCENES AROUSE CURIOSITY
Author: PATRICIA VAN HORN, THE
Estimated printed pages: 4
Once again, the actors playing a politician's supporters climbed the steps to the music hall at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie.
And once again, they returned to their original places to wait for the next take. As they waited, they blew on their hands and shuffled their feet to shake off the morning chill.
It wasn't the ideal
workplace for someone with the flu. But Gloria Perry of
She and the others ended up
waiting again, but at least it was inside. They watched from the balcony as
workers put the finishing touches on the library auditorium's transformation
The film, whose star and
director is Tim Robbins, focuses on a fictional folksinger who runs for the
U.S. Senate in
"A documentary of the
campaign tour will give the illusion of reality," said the movie's
producer, Forrest Murray. "It's a trip across
The movie crew spent three
days at the library, building and removing the set and filming the outside
scenes and the beauty pageant. "It will be about two minutes of film
It was the 90-year-old library building's movie debut. Library director Linda Weiner is hoping it's not the last. "I hope something comes out of it, that someone wants to use it again.
"The movie (filmed here) has caused a lot of curiosity. A couple of the patrons called and wanted to know why they could not get near the library" to park.
Judy Matthews of Squirrel Hill, a free-lance location manager, was instrumental in arranging for the shoot at the library, which she called "a little gem."
She said she has been trying to get the library into the movies for several years, ever since her daughter performed in a Don Brockett fund-raiser for repairs to the building. "It's a wonderful building and I know they need the money. It's been one of the best places to work with."
Neither Ms. Matthews nor library officials would reveal the location fee.
"This is very
The library also came in
handy. In one scene, Robbins sings "Beautiful Girl" to the beauty
pageant contestants, calling out their towns: "Miss Three Mile
Island," "Miss Pocahontas" and other unusual-sounding
"Bob Roberts" is being shot in about 30 locations in
"It's largely an urban
He said the Pittsburgh Film
Office has been very accommodating. "There's a film community here that's
very real. That's one of the pluses of
On a recent production day, the extras started arriving at while Murray, Nicholls, the cinematographer and others met around 10 to discuss the next day's shoot Downtown. Weather forecasters had predicted an inch of snow, which would scrub any exterior shots since the movie is set in autumn. The alternative was to shoot inside.
While they met, the actors were putting on their makeup and wardrobe. At , the crew was ready to shoot the first scene.
For the extras, it's mostly a waiting game. Some days are 12 hours long. The pay averages from $40 to $65 a day, but it's the chance to be a star -- no matter how small the part.
"You have to have
patience and be a little crazy too," said Ms. Perry, a local singer whose
stage name is Gloria Grino. She also is an extra in ''Lorenzo's Oil,"
another film being shot in
Ms. Perry was one of the people climbing the stairs, a member of the audience for the beauty pageant and one of the reporters waiting outside -- in the rain -- for Roberts after his performance. "I held a tape recorder up," she said.
Greg Roberts of
But he enjoys it. "You get an appreciation of the work involved. It may take a good 40 minutes for one scene and it ends up as 15 seconds."
Veteran extra Rik Billock,
He even has a line in
Stephen King's "The Dark Half" directed by George Romero, to be released
in January. "I play a
As an extra, he said, "you hurry up (to get here) and wait. We may be here for 10 hours and not do a thing. But there is not anything else I've ever wanted to do."
He said in one film, he "popped up three different times as three different people."
Still, not everyone may see his face. In one movie, only his backside was shown.
"I didn't recognize it, but my girlfriend did."
By Callie Shell/The
walk through a scene in the auditorium of the Andrew Carnegie Free
Library in Carnegie
Copyright (c) 1991 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Record Number: 9103180783