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Industry Star of the Month

Rebecca Seale, DCAS

Rebecca Seale February 27, 2004 Whether you���re shooting a modest cubicle or a dramatic courtroom scene, Rebecca Seale���s office is a one-stop-shop for free access to courtrooms, offices, elevators, bathrooms, hallways and even rooftops across the City. As Film Liaison and Event Coordinator for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Ms. Seale issues permits for shooting in 55 City-owned buildings in all five boroughs.

Ms. Seale, who has been working in her position for the past six years, is a wealth of information on locations and logistics. ���When someone comes to me with a scene I either know what would be best for them, or I call the custodians of the building who know every foot of their space,��� she says. Ms. Seale is happy to arrange for pictures of prospective locations to be sent to producers or to escort production teams to different sites when they are scouting.

Some of her most popular locations are New York City���s courthouses. Ms. Seale describes the Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street as ���very film friendly and a perfect location because of the high steps that really look like a courthouse.��� With its elaborate lobby, the Surrogates Court at 31 Chambers Street has also become a favorite among production crews; a week���s notice is needed in order to gain special permission for access to the historical landmark. And there are more unique locations. The vacant jail cells at the Harlem Courthouse make for an easy shoot, the Emigrant Savings Bank downtown is vacant and available for production, and the roof of 1 Centre Street is great for filming both action scenes and picturesque views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City���s municipal buildings offer many options for cubicle space and conference rooms, and Ms. Seale says they are especially convenient because ���if someone wants an office scene, they don���t have to dress it. We have everything right here, and they even have permission to use people���s desks with computers on them.��� While there are no fees for filming at any of these sites, producers are responsible for paying the salaries of City employees who are required to work overtime to assist production.

Though she receives over 30 permit requests each week, Ms. Seale can make arrangements for a film or tv shoot with two days��� notice. ���Sometimes producers lose a location or something comes up at the last minute, and I can work with them to expedite their request,��� she says. Her credits include assisting Law and Order, Sex and the City and Third Watch over the years.

Ms. Seale says the City���s properties are diverse, and so are the possibilities. She is able to offer producers everything from marble courtrooms, wooden elevators with brass trimmings and the old clock tower with winding steps at 346 Broadway, to hallways and industrial bathrooms. ���There are really spectacular buildings in New York,��� she says, ���and it just depends on what they need.���
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