Spike Lee Does His Thing At South Jamaica Diner – QNS.com

Spike Lee Does His Thing At South Jamaica Diner

Cast and crew for the upcoming Spike Lee film "Summer of Sam" caused a scene around Carmichael’s diner in Jamaica on Wednesday (Aug. 5) by stopping traffic and attracting fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the acclaimed film director.
"We are here today to support our brother, because God gave Spike Lee his talent to make positive films," said Marie Slaughter, who along with three friends, patiently waited around the restaurant turned movie set in an effort to get an autograph.
According to a spokesperson for the eatery, Lee’s movie company Hostage Productions contacted Carmichael’s a few months ago to scout the location and found it conducive to serve as a backdrop in the film.
"Summer of Sam" is set during the summer months of 1977 when "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz instilled fear into the minds of residents after leaving a trail of bodies across the City.
The contract between Hostage productions and Carmichael’s called for two days of filming at the South Queens restaurant.
For most of the afternoon, Spike Lee, actor John Leguizamo and others were visible inside the restaurant working on a one minute and 37 second scene in the upcoming motion picture.
The scene depicts four men in 70s style clothing sitting around a table talking and smoking cigarettes followed by some heated discussion where Leguizamo darts from the diner booth, out of the front door and approaches a front window to deliver a single fingered gesture to the other actors left remaining inside.
To shoot the scene, traffic was diverted on Guy L. Brewer Blvd. in order to preserve a 70s feel by limiting background traffic to reveal only disco-era cars equipped with authentic yellow and blue license plates and extras sporting polyester leisurewear.
Spike Lee and crew are not the first well known faces to visit Carmichael’s. Since its establishment in 1969, many familiar politicians including Mario Cuomo, Ed Koch, Governor George Pataki, Senator Al D’Amato, former Vice President Walter Mondale, Rev. Floyd Flake and Martin Luther King Sr., father of the late civil rights leader, have all walked through the doors.
Carmichael’s had been in the news during recent months as the location of Rev. Al Sharpton’s meeting between Jewish leaders and the father of Gavin Cato, the young boy who was killed in the incident that triggered rioting in Crown Heights.
Sheryl Carmichael, daughter of Leroy who is an owner of the family run southern cuisine establishment, was happy to see the commotion of the movie making crew and she said she hopes area residents will view Carmichael’s as "the place where a Spike Lee film was made bringing in more business."

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