Watch "The Bounty Hunter" this weekend and you may see a familiar sight - namely the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (Route 135), which was closed in July for shooting of the Jennifer Aniston-Gerard Butler comedy.
The scene involved Aniston being taken out of a car's trunk, followed by a chase sequence.
What you probably won't see are irate drivers jumping around just outside the frame while traffic was diverted for production of the film by director Andy Tennant ("Fool's Gold," "Sweet Home Alabama").
But, according to veteran location manager Len Murach, things actually went pretty smoothly for the Columbia Pictures / Relativity Media feature. The section of the expressway used was a partial dead end, he said, and people generally don't really get all that worked up when film production invades their space. "Considering the people who might be affected, a very small percent really complain about it," he said. "But we try to work with the local municipality." In this case, the liaisons with the film shoot were the Nassau County Police and state Department of Transportation.
SEEING STARS. More exciting for locals was the presence of ex- "Friends" star Aniston, and Butler, whose credits include "300" and "P.S., I Love You." Although it was a one-day shoot in Seaford - out of 56-day total - the visit by brand-name Hollywood ratcheted up the degree of midsummer excitement.
For Murach, it was another day on the job. "When we scout locations, we try to find the easiest places, something controllable that can also afford us a look we're in need of. The priority is to find something that's going to work for traffic and other needs."
A GOOD EXPERIENCE. His experience in Nassau was better than what happened when "Bounty Hunter" shot in Manhattan: Murach came under attack by a group that took issue with how he worked, and whom he paid. "That was a unique situation," he said, " because we were dealing with the wrong entity. We gave a donation - they're not fees per se, and no it's not really extortion. But we ask that the donation go to some charity." In Seaford, money was given to the local schools, he said.
"I have to look out for the interests of the production company, as well as the community," he said. "I live in the West Village, so I know how filming affects my parking and my life, so we want to avoid any complications, do the right thing and make it a fulfilling experience for the community - so when the next production comes in, they'll have the same good experience we had."