Boardwalk Movie II: Backstory

The Boca Cape Films crew – me, partner Tony Deutch, his son Anthony, and the estimable Raymond Becker – are just putting the finishing touches on the documentary Boardwalk II, Back to Wildwood, and the Good Lord willing and the tide don’t rise, we should have it totally wrapped in the next couple weeks.

The first Boardwalk movie, Boardwalk, Greetings From Wildwood By-the-Sea, was a big hit, airing on Public Television and at the Cape May Film Festival. We hope this one is at least as good, but that’s up to the viewers.

My partners in the first movie were Joe Van Blunk and Gus Rosanio, calling ourselves Longshore Films, and we shot 90% of that movie in a single week, blessed by great weather and the adrenaline of movie-making. Truthfully, it was the hardest week I spent since basic training, but the results were worth it, thanks in great part to the editing of Joe and Gus and Doug Leirer, who also shot the film, along with Jerry Sheretta.

This sequel we shot all last summer and into the fall and winter, and it was a hell of a lot more fun. The proof of that is that we had the cops after us three different times, so we must have been doing something right.

The first run-in was when we were shooting the very first scene over top of the facade of Old Time Photos by the Ferris Wheel. I was all dressed up in a pirate outfit and was starting to climb a ladder to get up to the pirate scene over the Old Time store. The ladder was about a foot onto the property of my man Leo, who has the tee shirt joint next door, and he came running out screaming that we were ruining his business and that he’d called the cops.  He and Tony Deutsch got into a pretty good shouting match when two shavetail cops showed up.

Two things happened to calm Leo down: first, we moved the ladder off his property, and, second, Boom Man Mike, our sound guy, took Leo aside and told him that Tony sometimes settled arguments by body-slamming his opponent. Tony is built like a bear, and Leo calmed down quick. The cops left and we shot the scene and Leo is now a pal. So it goes, as Kurt Vonegut said.

The other two cop beefs involved getting a horse on the Boardwalk (the first time since Sally Starr rode on the Boards). It involved Cindy, the cowgirl from Okey Doke Ranch, which had a short-lived horseback presence on the beach last year. We were bound and determined to get Cindy to ride her horse, the mighty Zeus, up to me on the Boardwalk and do a short stand-up interview. The first take was great – we thought. Then we saw the shadow of the boom mike across my back like a big stain. Oops.

We re-shot the scene later in the week and – shazam! – up jumped three young cops moaning about permits and insurance and what-all. Dang, that only made us even more determined, and we got our pal Dave Bannon from the City of Wildwood to get us a permit and we finally got it right. I loved whipping that permit on those pesky police, who of course showed up again.

Another funny scene was when Mayor Ernie Troiano and I were doing a stand-up in front of the cool Wildwoods sign and right in the middle of the interview, this tourist lady walked up behind Ernie and tapped him on the shoulder to see if he’d take a picture of her and her family in front of the sign. It was a priceless scene and we left it in the movie.

So movie-making – at least on our level – isn’t all story boards and lights-action-camera.

If you want your every own copy of Boardwalk II, give me a call at 609-465-9968, and I’ll get one out to you as soon as they’re ready.

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