Scanned through HDNet Movie’s upcoming schedule this AM and saw that 15 MINUTES is showing later in the week.  This reminded me of a story…

The director of 15 MINUTES, John Herzfeld, likes to rehearse with his actors – on location – several weeks before the shoot actually starts.  This requires a small crew, but it doesn’t look like a film shoot as there are no equipment trucks, catering vehicles, a “Honey Wagon”, etc.  Just a couple of cars and vans.  I was a P.A. (Production Assistant) at the time and was hired to work during the 15 MINUTES rehearsal period in NYC.

The movie stars Robert DeNiro, Ed Burns, and Melina Kanakaredes, as those of you who saw the film may remember.  At that time – 1999 – Ed Burns’ star was shining much brighter than it does today, and Melina K. was in ascention due to the recent success of her show PROVIDENCE.  But then, as now, neither of them could touch DeNiro’s fame, especially on the streets of NY where he is a demi-God.

SO – one day we’re all gathered for rehearsal on some residential Upper East Side street of the brownstone variety.  As mentioned, we don’t look like a film shoot, and so for a while nobody really notices we’re there.  But the three stars of the film – some of the biggest stars in the country at the time – are standing in the middle of the street, and of course people eventually catch on.  I’m on the sidewalk trying to keep the residents moving along, when a woman runs up to me, points at the actors – including ROBERT FRIGGIN’ DeNIRO, 30-YEAR SUPERSTAR – and breathlessly exclaims:

“OH MY GOD – is that? – is that? –


Movies are all well and good, folks, but never, ever, underestimate the power of TV.