Industry Star of the Month

Connie Fitzgerald, Department of Environmental Protection

Connie Fitzgerald January 4, 2010 - What do one billion gallons of water, nineteen reservoirs, three controlled lakes and 6,500 miles of water pipes, tunnels and aqueducts have in common? They’re all managed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and Connie Fitzgerald, Director of Communication and Marketing, helps to support the City’s water supply in many ways, including working with local productions that are interested in utilizing DEP’s resources.

Fitzgerald, who joined DEP in 2007 to set up the communications and marketing unit for the agency, works with her team to deliver key DEP messages, create marketing campaigns that support DEP’s initiatives and develop, implement and evaluate communication strategies and collateral materials that positively present DEP’s messaging in various media. One way they’re doing this is by working with film productions.

“Film and TV shooting is an important industry for the City, and DEP works diligently to support it,” said Fitzgerald. One very basic task the DEP undertakes is issuing permits to open fire hydrants so a production can have access to water while shooting on the street, but over the past six to eight months, DEP has been very busy with actual filming on its sites.

One popular location is the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “It’s the home of the iconic digester ‘eggs’ that are illuminated in blue every night,” explained Fitzgerald. “Our very first production at the plant was our own: a PSA with an anti-litter message that features Blue Man Group and the digesters.” That PSA will “debut” after the first of the year. Since that time, four movies have shot at the space: Fair Game, Salt, Wall Street 2 and Iron Man 2. “Each has provided some memorable moments and more importantly, we’ve learned something from each experience.”

Fitzgerald explained that the best part of working with the various film and television productions is introducing people to the work of DEP. “We interact with every New Yorker and visitor to the City all day every day but so much of what we do is unnoticed: the water supply is over 100 miles away up in the Catskills and the 13,000+ miles of tunnels and pipes that deliver it and take it away to the wastewater treatment plants are all underground,” she said.

According to Fitzgerald, filmmakers are surprised that DEP can offer such diverse locations. “DEP’s facilities [in the City] can provide rough urban landscapes and constructions sites, and the manhole covers are pretty popular too,” she said. “Many of our plants have beautiful views of the skyline and others have lengthy underground tunnels and corridors. I especially enjoy participating in the location scouts to see how a set designer or a director can see one of our facilities so differently.

“We welcome the opportunity to continue working with the MOFTB and supporting the industry that is vital to NYC!”

Industry Star

Margarita Acevedo, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
John Battista, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Tom Reidy, Madison Square Park
Steven Holtzman, Canal Creatures Productions

Jennifer Lenihan, Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Lynne Meadow, Manhattan Theatre Club
Thomas O'Donnell, Local 817
Katy Finch, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Meredith Conti, Grand Central Terminal

Gino Lucci, Picture Cars East
Habibah Ali-Love, OFTB
McCord Fitzsimmons, Former OFTB Intern
Lis Pearson, New York Public Library
Veronica Miles, EcoSet
Lisa Rubin, Hudson River Park Trust
Mari Jo Winkler, PGA Green
Michael Super, Coney Island, Parks and Recreational Manager
Caroline Stephenson, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Lisa Lucas, Tribeca Film Institute

Harriet Taub, Material for the Arts
David Moy, OFTB
Fred Cerullo, Grand Central Partnership
Marge Feinberg, DOE
Nate Grove, Marinas
Frank Gribbon, FDNY
Jeffrey Sangrund, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Javonne Parker, Staten Island Ferry
Justin Green, Build It Green! NYC
Tom Ross, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
Eric Peterson, Randall's Island
Connie Fitzgerald, Department of Environmental Protection

Joey Violante, Technicolor
Stephanie Argamaso, OFTB
Vito Turso, DSNY
Elizabeth Rapuano, Governor's Island
Estelle Cooper, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Alvah Holmes, Former MOFTB Intern
Dana Kuznetzkoff, Line Producer
Eva Radke, Film Biz Recycling
Karen Meyerhoff, Guggenheim
Meredith Rothstein, Roseland Ballroom
Charlotte St. Martin, The Broadway League

The Artists Company
Celina Sze, OFTB
Sharon Jensen, The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
Terence Gray, New York Television Festival
Sam Levy, Summer Play Festival
Wes French, General Services Administration
Tom Maiorano, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Joan Cooney, South Street Seaport
Jeannine Marotta, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
Brooke Smy, Tishman Speyer
Elliott Kerman, Tax Credit Accountant

Matthew Kania, Assistant Location Manager
Lieutenant Joe Lassen, Movie/TV Unit
In Memoriam - Nancy Littlefield
Ivory Henderson-Robb, Department of Transportation
Jack Powers, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Robin Forst, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center
Kitty Preston, CUNY Locations
Liz Carollo, Greenmarket
Donna Masly, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
Sean Jones, New York City Department of Corrections
Sheila Greene, NYCHA

Ralph Musolino, Parks and Recreation
Rick Cotton, NBC Universal
Joe Fontao, Location Manager
Gretchen McGowan, HDNet Films/Open City Films
Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance
Erika Feldman, Theatre Row
Vin Lenza, Staten Island Development Corporation
Tristan Assent, "Made in NY" PA
Denise Motta, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film and Television
Monty Ross, 40 Acres and a Mule

Pat White, Local 764
Michelle Byrd, Independent Feature Project
Matt Miller, AICP
Kyle McCarthy, MTA Metro-North
Jeannette Pinero, Department of Correction
Bambi Brook, Dawn Animal Agency
Andy Nagy, NYCHA
Juan Rosario, HPD
James J. Claffey, Jr., IATSE Local One
Mac Brown, Producer
Cheryl Hodge, VTU
Llewellyn Wells, Executive Producer
Lawrence Major, Parks and Recreation

Ken Konfong, Economic Development Corporation
Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Producer
Caroline Baron, FilmAid International
Thomas O'Donnell Sr., Local 817
Drew Jiritano, Special Effects Coordinator
Carla Rajj, Location Manager
Al Cerullo, Film Pilot
James Lauer, FDNY
Dan Mercado, Parks and Recreation
Rebecca Seale, DCAS
Alberteen Anderson, MTA
Joseph Ellis, NYPD
Peter Basich, DOT
Richie Silverman, NYPD