Lights, camera and reaction!
Islanders in the last week may have glimpsed a film crew at Casa Ybel and Periwinkle. Or up the street at Tarpon Bay and Periwinkle. The filming stirred interest in normally placid Sanibel, generating lots of curiosity, waving and honking vehicles.
The cast and crew of TradeMarky Films were shooting scenes for an instructional video on bike safety and sharing Sanibel’s bike/pedestrian paths. The work featured locals with the Sanibel Bicycle Club, crew with the film company with an office in Sanibel. The boutique firm’s producer/director Mark Meyers expects to present a rough cut of the film at the bike club’s April 13 meeting in Sanibel.
The instructional video will explain the rules and courtesies of sharing bike/pedestrian paths. The film will be placed on YouTube, but certainly populate thousands of social media, community and group websites, including the city of Sanibel and county tourism agencies.
Occasional injuries, right-of-way misunderstandings, more people using pathways in Sanibel and Captiva, other factors are causing locals to fund the short film, to protect what’s considered one of the centerpieces of the islands, supporters said. Sanibel has some 25 miles of shared-use pathways and was recently recognized as top-tier bike friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. Pathways in the video will show usage by walkers/joggers, bikers, those in wheelchairs, skateboarders, those pushing baby strollers, even bicyclists pulling boats.
Funding the instructional video comes from the city, a grant from county tourism agencies, bike rental merchants, the local chamber and the Sanibel Bicycle Club, the lead group in the effort, said Patti Sousa, the club’s vice president. Total budget for the film is about $23,000.
Former vice mayor Doug Congress, island actor Henry Crater, Anna Nguyen and islander Neal Halleran appear in the short film. Extras play silent roles.
Halleran was chosen by Meyers as a roving reporter. The filmmaker liked Halleran’s everyman look, his quick absorption of the script and his ease on camera.
“It’s really hard to find a good cast, and every one of them hit it,” said Meyers, who appeared as an actor in “Days of Our Lives” and “Baywatch” before turning to producing commercials and industrial films in Los Angeles.
He has also filmed for Sanibel Sea School, Ding Darling and others. He has directed commercial shoots for Nike, Walmart and Ping golf, he said. His firm is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and has been shooting in South Florida for a decade. He has a home in Sanibel.
Sanibel Bicycle Club details are at home.comcast.net/~sanibelbc/SBC-Site/Home.html.