Movie Being Shot in City
Oakland Tribune (November 22, 2002)
camera, action and more action for unnamed alley: Maybe it's
time it got a name. The alley of choice for filming in downtown
Oakland is a hidden, brick-lined space on Harrison Street, between
12th and 13th streets.
romantic comedy "Swing," starring Jacqueline Bisset,
Jonathan Winters and Nell Carter is the latest to inhabit the
alley, in the wee hours of the night this week.
independent film, directed by Martin Guigui and produced and
written by Mary Keil, tells the story of love and swing dance,
set in the 1940s and present day.
location manager read the script and thought the alley would
be perfect for "Swing," Keil said.
city residents have enlisted as extras, according to Oakland
Film Office coordinator Ami Zins.
The alley seems to lend itself to moviemaking. Two previous
features were shot there: "Cherish," directed by Finn
Taylor, and the documentary "Ralph Ellison -- An American
Journey," directed by Avon Kirkland, about the life of
Ralph Ellison, author of "Invisible Man." Both films
were entered in the Sundance Film Festival, Zins said.
starred Jason Priestley, Robin Tunney and Tim Blake Nelson.
businesswoman Judy Chu is the reported owner ofthe popular alley,
which is enclosed by florists, medical offices and apartments.
Other filmmakers, however, are clamoring to call it their own.
considered a private (unnamed) alleyway, but various location
managers consider it their own find," said Zins.
also chose the historic downtown deli, Ratto's, for a weekend
of filming on Nov. 16 and 17, and days before converted the
alley into a swanky entrance for the film's "Jimbo's"
nightclub. The former Altenheim Senior Center on MacArthur Boulevard
will be taken over for the next week for filming.
Oakland Film Office estimates $42,000 will flow into city coffers
for each day of filming, whether it's a feature, documentary
or a photography set.
2002, six features were made in the city and 89 other film projects
registered through the film office.
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