Film Location Scouts Help New York City Find Hospital Space
The film community has been pitching in to help the healthcare industry deal with the spread of COVID-19, and now the New York Times reports a new way in which filmmakers have stepped up; helping New York City find hospital space.
There are few folks who know a given city or area better than location scouts, who have a granular understanding of everything from storefronts to parks, city blocks to the perfect stretch of country road. Not only are location scouts experts at the topography and geography of a given area, but they also know how to potentially access these locations quickly. We’ve interviewed location scouts on huge films, from Elizabeth Banks’reboot of Charlie’s Angels to The Girl in the Spider Web about how they do their work, yet now, with productions currently shut down to due to the pandemic, location scouts like New York-based Jennifer Lyne have turned their talents towards helping hospitals find space.
The Times Jane Margolies spoke with Lyne, whose work included the New York-shot HBO series Boardwalk Empire, about working with Greater New York Hospital Association’s task force to find buildings in the city for hospital overflow. Lyne and other location scouts volunteered.
The task force included engineers, architects, and other experts in designing and building healthcare facilities. Although those folks were well seasoned in the longterm planning and execution required to build such facilities, Lyne and her fellow location scouts had skills the task force needed, including the ability to quickly finding workable sites and obtaining the necessary permissions. Speed is crucial when battling a pandemic that moves from person to person, invisibly, and with devastating swiftness.
The Times Margolies writes about one of Lyne’s fellow scouts, Susan Pazos, who was able to upload images of Victory Memorial Hospital, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, as a potential site. She’d already been there for a TV series called FBI. Ultimately, hospitals in New York have been able to absorb more COVID-19 patients than initially expected, and the task force’s findings will be crucial if and when a second wave of the virus hits. Lyne told Margolies it was “the ultimate scout.”
We recommend you read Margolies’ entire piece in the Times, which spotlights a few of the New Yorkers who have used their skills—and acquired new ones—to help in these unprecedented times.
Here’s more of our coverage on how COVID-19 is affecting the entertainment industry, and how the entertainment industry is trying to do their part to help:
How cinematographer Kira Kelly shot Netflix’s Self Made and is responding to her sudden furlough.
Featured image: NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 28: A medical worker walks while wearing a protective mask during the coronavirus pandemic on April 28, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 217,000 lives with over 3.1 million infections reported. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)