Disney Movie Shoots on
UMD Campus, Taps Extras
|Filmmaker Julien Jacques (left), 21, and student Charlie Mrusco, 19, two extras, pass the time by playing
Hacky Sack outside
the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. (Newsline
photo by Hortense M. Barber)
By Hortense M. Barber
Thursday, April 12, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md.- Five a.m. on a Saturday is not a time you’d expect to see most college students awake and doing something productive.
But before dawn last Saturday, about 200 students and some older adults gathered at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center
at the University of Maryland, ready for a day’s work as extras for the film “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”
The movie filmed scenes on the University of Maryland campus in McKeldin Library and on the Holzapfel mall near McKeldin,
said Ellen Ternes, a university spokeswoman.
Most of the campus remained undisturbed, with no street closures and no major office closings other than in McKeldin,
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is a sequel to the 2004 movie “National Treasure,” in which Benjamin Franklin Gates, played by Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, tries to find treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers.
In the sequel scheduled for release this December, Gates comes to the college campus to convince his mother, a
an ancient Indian language, to decode text for a mystery he would like
to solve surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Actress
Helen Mirren plays the mother.
Cage was at Saturday’s shoot, but Mirren was not, Ternes said.
The campus spokeswoman said Walt Disney Pictures had originally planned
to shoot the scenes at the University of Virginia, but switched to
Maryland after deciding, among other things, against the further drive
from Washington to Virginia's campus. The crew has also been shooting
scenes in the nation's capital.
A spokesman from the movie's production company, NT2 Productions, didn't return calls.
The film crew hit a snag when it arrived hours before the shoot to find a campus covered with a light blanket of snow,
Ternes said. According to the
Web site ExtrasNow, the weather setting
was to have been spring. So the crew hosed down sidewalks and other areas
before shooting took place, Ternes said.
The movie started filming in the Washington area during the last week of March and is scheduled to finish shooting in the area during the middle of April, according to
Many of the extras, like Mark Glucksman-Glaser, a 19-year-old aerospace engineering major at the University of Maryland,
were chosen from a March 12 open casting call held on campus.
Competition was stiff. “The line was wrapped around Stamp
[Student Union], like, there were a lot of people there. But they moved quickly,"
said Kristin Longnecker, a 21-year-old senior history and government
major at Maryland. "All they did was take our pictures, and asked about
the roles we wanted to play.”
Extras were cast for parts that included students, Hacky Sack players, guys playing football, frisbee
and soccer, skateboarders, professors, University of Maryland police and
Glucksman-Glaser, along with Longnecker and freshman Hannah Gerlach, a math and pre-med major, sat together at a table in Orem Alumni Hall in Riggs waiting to be called.
Some extras cast as Hacky Sack players honed their skills outside to pass the time with other extras who were cast
simply as students.
Billy Davis, a 19-year-old Prince George’s Community College theater student,
was among those playing outside to kill time.
But, he said, he hopes his role as an extra turns into something big.
“I’m very interested in acting,” said Davis, adding that he wants
to be the next Denzel Washington. “This part is just the beginning."
2007 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of
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