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Hamptons Life

Sep 22, 2008 11:52 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

HBO pilot shooting around town

Sep 22, 2008 11:52 AM

Bull Path Productions cameras have been rolling in Southampton and East Hampton towns off and on since September 12, filming an HBO pilot about gun-toting housewives at war over control of their exclusive suburban neighborhood.

Though the “Suburban Shootout” pilot takes place in the fictional suburb of Georgica Bay, for residents of the South Fork the scenes will look distinctively “Hamptons.”

In Southampton Town, Bull Path has blown out a storefront on Main Street in Bridgehampton and filmed a drive-by shooting on Post Crossing in Southampton Village. In East Hampton Town, the production company filmed actresses at the Amagansett Farmers Market on September 17 and a couple of days later the cameras were in Gerard Park shooting on the beach at the tip of Gerard Drive.

Cast and crew were shuttled to the beach from a nearby staging area. More than 30 people crowded the tip of the beach with lighting and other equipment. The rolling stands for the lights were fitted with large inflatable wheels so they could navigate the sand, and other measures were taken to adjust for filming in a challenging location, like a fuzzy windscreen covering the boom microphone held above the actresses heads to filter out the sound of the constant breeze.

Elsewhere, a scenic artist for Bull Path who identified herself only as Janet was searching other areas of the beach on Friday afternoon for seashells and rocks that set dressers could display around an impromptu grave site that would be set up and filmed at the beach later that day. And pink fliers stuffed in neighbors’ mailboxes alerted them that Bull Path might stay in the area until 11 p.m., though they were also scheduled to film at a house on Old Orchard Lane in East Hampton that night.

An East Hampton Town Police officer was stationed about halfway down Gerard Drive to prevent cars from heading toward the beach while the shoot was going on, allowing only residents and Bull Path vehicles to pass. Among Bull Path’s fleet were moving vans, tractor trailers and a vehicle that served as a prop in the show: a Georgica Bay Police Department hybrid Tahoe.

Back in the real world, Southampton Village recently explored purchasing hybrid Tahoes for its ambulance chief and fire chief, but officials discovered hybrids were not adequate for emergency vehicles and customizing the SUVs with emergency lights would void their warranties.

A couple of scenes were being filmed at the Gerard Park beach Friday: characters reminiscing at the beach and a flashback to when they buried an attempted rapist they had killed. A shovel to dig the grave and a golf bag with the club that killed the rapist were scattered around the beach, ready for use in the scenes. The scenes mark the origin of the rival gangs of “homicidal housewives” who fight for control of Georgica Bay, which has a name not too far removed from Wainscott’s Georgica Pond.

Judy Greer of “Arrested Development” and “Miss/Guided” plays Rebecca, the newest resident of Georgica Bay, along with her policeman husband. She finds herself caught between the two gangs, each of which would like to recruit her to its side.

The “Suburban Shootout” pilot is based on a critically-acclaimed British television series of the same name. It also stars Kelly Preston as gang leader Camilla Diamond, and Rachael Harris, a former “Daily Show” correspondent, plays one of Ms. Diamond’s accomplices. Two cast members of Comedy Central’s “Reno 911!” are also in the cast: Mary Birdsong and Kerri Kenney.

Ms. Birdsong was sitting in the driver’s seat of a black Cadillac Escalade with an automatic rifle aimed at a Post Crossing home on Tuesday morning. Ms. Preston sat behind her, and Ms. Harris sat in the passenger seat. “Ghost Town” cinematographer Fred Murphy was filming the scene as East Hampton resident Barry Sonnenfeld of “Addams Family” and “Men in Black” fame directed.

Production on “Suburban Shootout” had taken a short break over the weekend so Mr. Sonnenfeld could attend the 60th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, where he won an Emmy for directing “Pushing Daisies,” an ABC show about a man who discovers he can bring corpses back to life with his touch. After the Emmy break, Mr. Sonnenfeld and crew were back at it on Tuesday in Southampton Village, where they planned to film for a day and a half.

Some days, the production’s presence in the Hamptons is more apparent than others. When sugar glass prop-windows were blown out with compressed air in Bridgehampton, with a fiery red flash and clouds of white smoke and dust, nearby residents certainly took notice. World Pie bartender Charlie Zimmerman recalled the days before the faux-explosion when Bull Path crew members were preparing the storefront for the big scene. There were “40 guys working like ants,” he said.

On less conspicuous production days, scenes have been shot inside private residences and also at East Hampton Studios on Industrial Road in Wainscott. Like in Bridgehampton, Bull Path also shot out the windows of a house at East Hampton Studios, but only on a set.

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its been a good thing.
and we appreciate the added income
in sure everyone thanks the production and crew
By free2 (7), east hampton on Sep 23, 08 7:52 PM
Neh, sounds like crappy ploy at 'location plugging'... I don't care if they filmed this thing in hell, I still wouldn't watch it... If they walked around trying to control the place with their handbags, using them as moltov cocktails.. I might be interested...

But, definitely try the veal!
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Jun 5, 09 11:36 AM