Filmmaker Dean Romano is inviting you to screen test and critique a working draft of his documentary "Green Light: The Long Island Motor Parkway".
Dean Romano describes his film as follows:
The movie I'm looking to make is actually a history of Long Island over the course of the 20th century, with the Parkway serving as the main narrative thread. Robert Moses, the Gold Coast, and Lake Ronkonkoma's history as a summer playground are just a few of the themes I'll be touching on. My plan is to attack the project in three ways; 1) Using a "Ken Burns" approach, namely through the use of old photos, to tell the story of Willie K. and the Vanderbilts (hoping to get someone from the museum to appear on camera as well); 2) Interviewing people who have connections to the Parkway- whether historical (such as yourself) or personal (people who lived near the Parkway, like me and the guys I grew up with); and 3) a video tour of the Parkway itself, with me and a couple of cameras, beginning in Queens and ending at the Lake.
My goal is to be as historically accurate as possible but not didactic. I try to be serious about the work but not too serious about myself; a little humor goes a long way. If you can teach somebody something, great; if you can do it while also making them laugh, more the better.
As you will see, Dean used, with my permission, images and information used on VanderbiltCupRaces.com and my two Arcadia books Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island and The Long Island Motor Parkway (co-authored with Al Velocci).
Please provide your suggestions and revisions on this working draft in the below Comments section or send an email to Howard@Kroplick.com. I have seen several dates and images that need to be replaced for accuracy which I will post this weekend.
Overall, Dean you are making one of the best documentaries ever on Willie K. , the Vanderbilt Cup Races and the Long Island Motor Parkway. Congrats!
Notes From Howard Kroplick
Dean, excellent job! Here are my comments and suggested revisions:
0:00 to 1:00: Rather long silent opening without identifying the location. Suggest adding narrartion or copy "Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum- Former Home of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr."
2:36: "Beating a dead horse" video likely will be missed by most viewers. Suggest remove.
2:43: Remove derogatory term.
3:30: More accurate to say "Village of great Neck Estates" rather than "town of Great Neck".
3:40: Suggest deleting joke.
6:13: Fade out video
11:57: Revise narration.
13:33: Image is from the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Suggest using an early European city to city race with William K. Vanderbilt Jr. racing
13:23 to 13:34: Needs to be revised.Willie K. was not a spectator but drove succesfully in several European races from 1902 and 1903.
14:21: Image is not the Grand Central Depot which opened in 1871.
14:57: Revise narraration to include Willie K. breaking the one-mile land speed record in January 1904.
15:38: Incorporate the film of the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race.
16:46: Image is from 1904 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Race.
16:58: Although Willie K. spent his honeymoon at his father's estate Idle Hour and did have a home in Manhattan, from 1903 to 1909, his primary estate was Deepdale in Lake Success. In 1910 he began building his Eagle's Nest mansion in Centerport.
17:46: Barney Oldfield film does not quite fit here. Suggest Willie K. racing at the 1905 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Race.
24:25: Petit Trianon was an inn not a restaurant.
25:05: The Petit Trianon fire occurred in 1958.
26:19:Image doews not match the narration. Lake Ronkonkoma was a tourist attraction in the early 1900s.
27:30: The course for the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races was shortened to 12.64 miles not 40.
27:52: Wrong image for the Vanderbilt Cup Race. The image used the 1901 car/railroad accident withe driver Henri Fournier.
28:12: The meeting was held at the Garden City Hotel not Krug's Hotel.
28:26: The Vanderbilt Cup Races would continue for six more years, travelin from Savannah, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Santa Monica.
31:42: Rosamund Vanderbilt was previously married to Barclay Harding Warburton II, an heir to the John Wanamaker fortune.
31:45: Construction of the Eagle's Nest Estate in Centerport began in 1910. Rosamund and Willie K. did live at Eagle's Nest.
33:10 to 34:30: Since Robert Moses played a really small role in the Long Island Motor Parkway story, I would reduce this section and eliminate the personal stories.
35:47: Incorrect image. That's Willie K not his son William K. Vanderbilt III.
37:00 Suggest using a photo of Alva as a private yacht.
38:03: Sugest using Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.