The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1980 · Page 221
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 221

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 27, 1980
Page 221
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Ed Harris is Sir William, the King Arthur figure, and Amy (nger soil is lady linet, his Guinevere, whom he is in danger of losing because of his ideals. One of the bikers is injured when he's struck by a jousting opponent. Site of filming is a limestone lot in fawn Township. x J) - ; ) o . - it v-' . - - j , " ' .... -... Stunts ploy a major role in the action movie. of Pittsburgh "when our scouts found an even better location" and "where we found the cooperation of the people running the place." - A proposed 10-to-12-week shooting schedule began May 12, with Romero' immediately hampered by heavy rains which destroyed most of his outdoor set. Interiors are being filmed at a Springdale warehouse, but "Knightriders" needs more than the usual quota of sunny days. About 80 percent, by Romero's estimate, is set outdoors. It's a hot day. Romero is directing a scene in which James Baf f ico, of Carnegie-Mellon University's faculty, plays a heavyset parent visiting the fair who sloppily stuffs himself with food and guzzles beer. "Daddy, you're a slob. A fat slob and a jerk," co-star Patricia Tallman barks at him. "Mother, you're a wimp." Romero, who works fast, shoots the scene several times, uncharacteristically for a director accustomed to doing two or three takes. He then films the same sequence from another angle. He's dressed in the sort of outfit with which he's identified: khaki shirt, sleeves rolled up, jeans, plaid scarf hanging from belt, black sneakers. His beard is turning white. A Casual Stance He's casual, supportive, comfortable. He has one foot on the bottom leg of a stepladder which a crew member stands atop dangling a microphone boom over the actors' heads. When the scene is completed, Romero pats Baffico on the back and thanks him for what is tantamount to a guest appearance in the picture. Few on the set are lollygagging. Women in long dresses and men with plumed hats or armor are studying what's going on with the interest of those not yet jaded by the essentially slow, repetitious process of moviemaking. Dozens of costumed actors and extras wander in and out of camera range on cue as passersby. Each time the cameras roll, Richard Rauh, director of The Pittsburgh Playhouse's film pro gram and one of the district's funniest performers, passes across the background in an ice-cream vendor's get-up. David Early, another prominent local actor, playing one of the knights, watches every take while awaiting the next in which he's involved. Cletus Anderson's set includes several small tents, each with a red flag fluttering above. The tents comprise the nearby marketplace where the Renaissance travelers peddle their wares: baskets, pottery, leather goods. Most of the picture will be shot at the site, with sections of it representing different towns the troupe will pass through. It's after 1:30 p.m., and a one-hour lunch is about to begin. Some of the crew has been up since 6 a.m. and on site since 7. Except for commuting extras, the "Knightriders" company is lodged at the Ramada Inn on Route 8. It's estimated three-quarters of the picture's budget will stay in the area, partly because of filming here, with all the attendant expenditures for rooms, meals and prop- Photos Copyright 1980 By Laurel Knlghti Ltd. erty rentals, and partly because dozens of people from the district are on the payroll. Outside expenses include the hiring of six to 12 stunt men who ride cycles in the principal action scenes on a nearby limestone lot. Just as lunch break is being called, producer Richard Rubinstein steps over to say hello in his rust-colored dark glasses, blue shirt and trousers and tan loafers. Runs Interference He's lean and seems more suspicious of outsiders than Romero, but then, part of Rubinstein's job is to run interference. It's Rubinstein who is apt to bristle in a sharply worded note if displeased with an unfavorable review. He and Romero met when Rubinstein was doing a filmmakers' newsletter interview about "The Crazies" seven years ago and formed a partnership. "Knightriders" is the third picture Rubinstein has produced for Romero "Martin" and "Dawn of the Dead" being the others. Their production company is Continued On Next Page 9

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