FLASHBACK: Location Shooting...A Soap Could Visit Your Home Town (Part 3)

This photo, taken when Van Rydell (Paul Thomas) was murdered on
Edge of Night, clearly shows how the great outdoors can be recreated
inside the studio.
Location Shooting...A Soap Could Visit Your Home Town

The Soap Box
Vol. IV No. 3 March 1979
by Linda Susman

(continued from Part 2)

Edge of Night: Edge's most recent location sequence involved April's prison break and return to her childhood home in Northboro. The actual site–Mahwah, New Jersey–was suggested by a staff engineer who knew the show was looking for a haunted house. The Mahwah location was known to have been used in films; but because the house was occupied by tenants , Edge couldn't do anything to the exterior. Since the story called for April to break in by smashing the front door windows, she stopped just short on location, then recreated the scene back at the studio with a replica of the door with "sugar" glass panes. All interiors were shot at the studio, and the cemetery's gravestones were made of Styrofoam. The actual on-site shooting began at 1 p.m. and finished at 2:30 a.m., with light snow falling.

An earlier development in April's storyline resulted in a car crash when she was trying to get help for her dying sister-in-law. Goodsite's home town, East Brunswick, became Edge's "Mayfield." The road had to be blocked off several times during the course of the shoot. A policeman in the scene was a local officer, and the town gave the show the use of a police car. Actual paramedics were used, too, and were paid as actors. Arrangements were made through the director of public safety, and a donation was made to the local Policeman's Benevolent Association.

Other recent locations have included Deborah and Steve's horseback ride and barn tryst, which took place in Pine Bush, NY; the Rainey Cooper/Tony Saxon shootout at a cameraman's summer house in Washingtonville, NJ, where the dramatic possibilities for police car/rescue action were "preferable to a studio setup," Goodsite says; and April and Draper's romantic picnic and carousel ride at Long Island's Hempstead Lake State Park. Although it was supposed to be a warm spring day, it was actually chilly and rainy. Since the carousel wasn't yet in operation, the caretaker opened it for the show.

The yacht in the Caribbean–which served as a honeymoon location for Nicole and Adam Drake–was actually the boat of a director's friend in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. The shoot began one night, continued the next day, and although it was early May, the temperature soared to 90 degrees, perfect for the "Caribbean." The explosion was created at the studio, where a section of the boat was built, but Adam's rescue actually took place in the Bay. The problem with the shoot was audio, since the tight quarters on the boat had to house generators, equipment–everything–and the generator was audible during the dialogue, Goodsite relates.

General Hospital: A few months ago, GH went to the Santa Monica pier to shoot a scene with Jeff Webber and Mitch Williams. Although California has a reputation for warm weather, the GH shoot took place on a cold, rainy day, not unlike the conditions soapers face back East.

Guiding Light: The Peter Chapman storyline and Eve and Ben McFarren's second honeymoon both took place in Nassau. Producer Leslie Kwartin says they could have chosen "any Mediterranean country, but Nassau was most helpful in providing the necessary requirements for both storylines–we needed underwater footage, a certain kind of coral, safety precautions, plus settings attractive for honeymooners and tourists." Arrangements were made via telephone through the Ministry of Tourism, and the staff scouted out specifics just prior to the shooting. GL's entourage included 25 people, and Kwartin notes that one problem was the slow pace of the Island and delays in getting things on time.

In addition to Rita and Ed's pre-honeymoon trip, GL took to the NYC streets for the early scenes of Evie's blindness. They chose an "emptyish" street in midtown Manhattan, and its particular layout was used to represent a four block area. There was a problem with audio control in that sequence; but audio wasn't a factor some months later when Roger had his "accident" in an actual garage. The scene was shot on a Sunday and, according to Kwartin, there were no sound problems. Lighting possibilities were particularly favorable in the underground location.

The exterior of Rita and Ed's new mini-estate was found by a location scout in Englewood, NJ, a town Kwartin notes that is "very interested in promoting itself for filming," with many architectural possibilities. The red Mercedes the characters drove up in actually belongs to Mart Hulswit (Ed).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Stay tuned for Part 4 of Location Shooting...A Soap Could Visit Your Home Town.

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