The July 22 premiere of Spike’s The Kill Point is a little over a month away, and we’ve still got a lot more coverage of the series coming. The July issue of Channel Guide Magazine has a special On The Set section where you can read about the filming of some of the gun battles in the bank and some of my interview with John Leguizamo, and there’ll be more from the set on channelguidemag.com. In The Kill Point Countdown posts, there’re also my interviews with actor Jeremy Davidson, Donnie Wahlberg and director Steve Shill yet to come.
My preview DVD of the first episode showed up yesterday, but I’m saving my viewing until the week before it premieres and I’ll post a review then.
In the meantime, here are some behind-the-scenes photos from the set in Pittsburgh, some taken by me while I was there and a few others provided by Spike.
John Leguizamo relaxes a bit between takes. They were filming a shootout sequence with the bank robbers that morning, plus some very eerie scenes with Leguizamo and his crew stalking through a smoke-filled hallway after a firefight. That’s cowriter/co-producer Todd Harthan with his back turned, and young actor Ethan Rosenfeld, who plays a hostage, at right.
The set of the fictional Three Rivers Trust bank built on the soundstage in a warehouse in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. It’s beautifully constructed, and highly detailed. The production’s art department created authentic-looking wall murals, bank brochures, posters and even computer screen images.
Another view of the bank’s counter. The two cameras are set up to shoot a scene in which SWAT team guys infiltrate the bank and exchange gunfire with the robbers in the hallway.
This photo from Spike taken from the bank loft shows the actors portraying the bank customers setting up for a take in the lobby. There are some very lovely young actresses (Brandi Engel, Christine Evangelista, Jennifer Ferrin) playing customers turned hostages. I guess I’ve been going to the wrong bank…
On the right is Geoffrey Cantor, who plays the bank manager. Cantor’s been in lots of TV roles and you might recognize him from commercials. When the bank gets robbed, his character pretty much wets himself. Cantor told me that he literally does pee his pants on camera, but he’s a funny guy and I thought at first that he was joking. My guess is he’s not.
On the soundstage, when you step through the bank’s front doors to go “outside,” you run into the translight — a huge hanging sheet (sort of like a giant shower curtain) with images that provide the illusion of Pittsburgh’s Market Square exterior. The translight goes around the bank set wherever there are windows, and can be used to simulate both day and night.
Here’s what the real Market Square in Pittsburgh looks like. It’s a nice quiet little nook in the downtown area with small shops, taverns and eateries. There’s a florist, a bakery, an oyster house and … a Starbucks, obviously. It would be a great place to get away for lunch and relax. And it’s a great place to do some armed robbery. I would’ve stayed to do some armed robbery, but it was raining outside and that’s not how I roll.
On this corner in Market Square, they’re building what will be the exterior of the Three Rivers Trust bank.
This photo from Spike of actor JD Williams taken a few weeks after I was on set shows (sort of) how the bank facade in the background turned out.
In this corner of Market Square is La Gondola pizzeria and Italian restaurant. On The Kill Point this becomes Marco’s Espresso, where Donnie Wahlberg’s team sets up their operation. On the soundstage in Lawrenceville, they built the whole interior of Marco’s based on a little family-owned Italian eatery. Like the bank set, it looks totally authentic.
In this photo from Spike, Donnie Wahlberg talks on his phone between takes on the Marco’s set back at the soundstage. Wahlberg’s in the back of the kitchen, and you can see all the restaurant supplies stacked up on the shelves. They weren’t filming any restaurant scenes while I was there, and the set was dark inside. It turned into a tranquil getaway for a crew member who needed a little snooze at lunch — he flopped down for a rest in one of the booths.