Film crew will be at work in Times Square throng


In what New York City officials are calling a first, the city police department and Mayor's Film Office have paved the way for Columbia Pictures' big-budget "Money Train" to shoot in Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Approximately 300 extras will be joining the 300,000-plus throng of revelers and multitude of news and broadcast crews expected tomorrow night at one of the world's most celebrated New

Year's Eve gatherings.

The shoot won't involve the film's stars, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, but will capture footage for a key chase sequence at the end of the film when Mr. Snipes, a good-guy decoy cop, chases his adversaries on a motorcycle.

Mr. Snipes' double will be filmed on his motorcycle attempting to descend into the subway after the culprits, who are involved in a scheme to rob the city's "money train."

The shoot will involve two cameras, one north of 47th Street looking south toward Times Square, and another that will be positioned right on the square near 43rd Street.

To convey the scope of Mr. Snipes' challenge to reach his prey underground, a high-angle crane shot will pan the enormous Times Square crowds blocking Mr. Snipes and his cycle.

The actual scene of Mr. Snipes driving the cycle into the station will be shot at another time.

The shoot will be well- patrolled by police, who will make a pen -- a "frozen area" -- in Times Square that closes off the film's extras from the crowd.

Sources said that crowd control logistics have been "very carefully worked out." To keep onlookers from interfering in the shoot, the film crew will attempt to pass as a typical news crew covering the New Year's Eve celebration.

Earlier tomorrow evening, the 300 extras are to gather in a holding area about 10 blocks south of Times Square, then be bused uptown for the filming.

Detective Andrew McInness, of the NYPD Public Information Division, said that while the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration has long accommodated television crews, this will be the first time that a major motion picture has been given permission to film in the highly congested area.

Directed by Joe Ruben, "Money Train," which began shooting in New York two weeks ago, is an action-adventure movie about two policemen who get involved in a huge subway heist.

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