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Industry Star of the Month

Dan Mercado, Parks and Recreation

Dan Mercado March 31, 2004 New York City is full of amazing scenery, and some of the best spots to get the shots are the parks in lower Manhattan. Parks and Recreation Manager Dan Mercado has nineteen years' worth of experience with the City���s greens, and he puts it to use by helping filmmakers to shoot their scenes in downtown parks.

City Hall Park has long been a favorite of filmmakers: most recently, it starred in Spiderman 2, which opens this July. Described by Mr. Mercado as ���one of the best kept parks in the City,��� it offers City Hall as a backdrop, the Woolworth Building across the street, a cascading fountain and blue stone pavements.

Battery Park rivals City Hall for its city scenery, offering incredible views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Staten Island Ferry. The park includes the Eternal Flame of the World Trade Center Memorial, the World Trade Center Sphere, the promenade along the water and a picnic area. ���It���s amazing how many of the City���s icons can be shot from this one spot,��� Mr. Mercado said.

Another favorite among producers and residents alike is Washington Square Park. ���It���s where musicians go to jam, NYU students go to study and people just hang out,��� Mr. Mercado said. ���It���s one of the best parks in the City.��� The park���s landmark, the Washington Square Arch, is scheduled to complete renovations in April.

For Mr. Mercado, the draw of these parks is ���the scenery, the buildings, the people walking around from every walk of life, the tourists.��� The diversity of these locations means that, whether producers are looking for a playground, basketball court, park benches or views of the City, Mr. Mercado can usually help!

In order to request permission to shoot in one of the parks managed by Mr. Mercado, filmmakers need to write him a detailed letter describing their plans. Although he asks for a minimum of one week���s notice in order to iron out the details, Mr. Mercado says he���s willing to work with producers when last-minute emergencies arise. Mr. Mercado also assists production companies in assessing appropriate donations to the Parks and Recreation department based upon the impact that their shooting will have on the location.

The City���s parks have long been used by television shows like Sex and the City and Law and Order, but the possibilities are only increasing. That���s because the Parks and Recreation Department recently received $25.5 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to improve the parks in this area of the City.

���It���s going to be awesome,��� Mr. Mercado said. ���Once it���s completed, these parks are going to be outstanding.���

For more information on shooting in New York City parks, contact the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting by calling 311.

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

2012
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


2011
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


2010
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


2009
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


2008
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


2007
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


2006
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


2005
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


2004
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