The issue may have been serious: raising awareness of problems facing Maryland's film industry. But, that didn't mean that an event for that cause couldn't be fun.
All you needed to see were the smiles on the faces of folks like: Betsy Jiranek, American Land Title Corp. president, and her husband, Drew Jiranek, Jiranek Co. principal; Lorraine Whittlesey, Private Sector Productions artistic director; Ann Stief, Bryn Mawr teacher, and her husband, Charlie Stief, Wells Fargo senior vice president; and Judy Turner, retired Verizon analyst. They were among the couple of hundred folks gathered at the Baltimore Museum of Industry to rub shoulders with some members of the cast and crew of "The Wire," the HBO series that was filmed in Baltimore from 2002 to 2007.
Audrey Turner, a writer, and Scott Skasick had made the drive up from Fairfax, Va., to meet some of "The Wire" folks, like: Nina Noble, executive producer; Sonja Sohn (Detective Kima Greggs); Andre Royo (Bubbles); Anwan Glover (Slim Charles); Michael Kostroff (lawyer Maury Levy); and Delaney Williams (Sgt. Jay Landsman). They were rewarded with an autograph from Jermaine Crawford (Dukie) soon after they walked in.
"Within the first five minutes, I was hooked [on 'The Wire']. I actually called in sick to watch all of Season 2," said Turner.
For the cast and crew, this was like a family reunion.
"It really was a family. You really miss the people," said Janice Kinigopoulos, key hair designer for "The Wire," who had come with key makeup artist Debi Young.
"We are family, going back to the days of [creator] David Simon's 'Homicide' [the 1993-1999 NBC series also produced in Baltimore]," said key grip Rodney French, as he turned to greet casting director Pat Moran, production designer Vince Peranio and his wife, Dolores Deluxe.
But the reunion was secondary to trying to get the word out about needing more film and TV production in the state. Production manager Joe Incaprera was now commuting to New Orleans to work on Simon's new HBO series, "Treme." "That's what this whole thing is about," he said. "People like me who are now having to go somewhere else for work."