A stuntperson leaping from high atop one of Cryder Point’s apartment buildings was just one highlight of a film shoot this week for the new CBS drama “BrainDead.”
Filming began in Whitestone on Monday, April 25. Large sections of the neighborhood’s parking had been blocked off with orange cones for a few days. “No parking” signs dotted the area all the way down Powells Cove Boulevard to 154th Street and over to 10th Avenue and up 160th and 162nd Streets.
The breadth of area was largely due to the first scene shot in the morning on 160th Street off of Powells Cove. The scene called for two cars to collide, and talk about an accident waiting to happen — or should I say, waiting for an accident to happen. Filming, I learned, is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and between setting up for a shot, takes and re-takes, things can drag on and on.
It wasn’t until about 2 p.m. that the crew descended on Cryder Point to shoot the dramatic scene of a woman leaping off a balcony. [Spoiler alert: She jumps because her brain has been taken over by alien bugs and she’s losing her mind; rather than be captured, she decides to end it all. Hey, even we couldn’t make this stuff up.]
Some Cryder Point residents came down to the courtyard to see it happen, while others watched the action from their balconies. One of the biggest challenges was finding a good spot to take some pictures. Fortunately there were folks who had some terrific sight lines from their balconies and took many of the pictures you see here. Kudos go to Sheila Vaughan and Maxine Schiller for some great shots.
Finally, it was the big moment. The stuntwoman burst out of the balcony door, hopped onto a small table, jumped over the railing and executed a lovely swan dive onto the center of an inflated airbag. All of the spectators immediately clapped and cheered.
It turned out, however, that the applause was not appreciated by either the cast or crew. The noise ruined the take, so they had to do the whole thing all over again.
Later that evening, they filmed a bloody corpse scene that had been originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday. Hours after the shoot, the area still looked much like a crime scene. There were a couple of cop cars, the coroner’s van and yellow “Do Not Cross” tape tied to a tree. There were actors and members of the production crew. A “body” under a rather clean white sheet was also nearby.
By Wednesday, the production company “loaded out” so everything could return to normal, and they were gone by 4 p.m. The crew thanked Cryder Point residents for their time and patience. As a gesture of goodwill, they dispatched an ice cream truck on Wednesday night, providing cool treats to everyone for free.