Now, Forager Week 3 started in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, shooting a restaurant interior at Chestnut on Smith Street.
It was very fortuitous that our intrepid location scout (Jenny Harkins) made contact with Chestnut's chef (Daniel Eardley) soon after his own foray into the woods searching for fall edibles. We had found a like-minded establishment--with a perfect interior for our scenes. This wouldn't be the last time Jenny saved our bacon with a fantastic place to shoot.
Our next morning would be a venture into doc-style shooting, for scenes of Lucien at his winter job working in a bread bakery (located in Astoria, Queens). The afternoon was spent on various restaurant exteriors around Brooklyn--in Park Slope and Sunset Park. Special thanks to the folks at Moutard, Stone Park Cafe, and Hunan Delight.
We spent a full day in Manhattan for (mostly) exteriors. The East Village in the morning (where this photo of our lead characters hawking their wares was taken); Chinatown mid-day; and then a short round-trip train ride to NJ. Boom, boom, boom. We were on fire.
We rounded out the week with two days on Staten Island. I'm not sure how many films shoot in all 5 boroughs of New York, but the scrappy DIY professionals behind Now, Forager made it happen.
(Our Bronx shoot was in Van Cortlandt Park back in May--scenes of Lucien hunting for morels and ramps. 'Can one actually find morels and ramps in Van Cortlandt Park?' you might ask. My lips are sealed...)
Camp Pouch Boyscout Camp on Staten Island was a fantastic and fungi rich location. Jeremy (our sound guru) had his mushroom eyes on--finding a big Chicken-of-the-Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) log. We also spotted a big patch of stinkhorns (Phallus impudicus), a fruiting of shaggy manes (Coprinus comatus) and some blewits (Lepista nuda). I also found several Lactarius and Cortinarius species, as well as a patch of Hebeloma (these are hard to ID to species, but a typical variant has the common name "Poison Pie" if that gives you a clue as to their general edibility).
We also had the full moon working on our side for our Staten Island days--and we took advantage by shooting into dusk one day, and into the night on the next (at Wolfe's Pond Park).
Week 3--wrapped. The Now, Forager crew would get a week's hiatus while our DP Jon and our gaffer Brian went to shoot episodes of Chopped for the Food Network.
It was just the chance I needed to get back into the woods to shoot some more "mushroom porn" and gather a few more stunt fungi for our final scenes. The fall season was hanging on with some nice late hens, plenty more blewits, a late explosion of honey mushrooms (Armillaria gallica), and even some delicious gypsies (Cortinarius caperatus).
Did I mention how much we love this crew? Here's some of the gang on Staten Island at the end of the week.
(The photos in this post were taken by Jon Nastasi...on actual film, no less.)