“Extra, Extra” films in Scranton

Featured — By on June 4, 2008 at 10:27 am

In our continuing efforts to highlight the revitalization of the arts and culture in Scranton, we’ll be bringing you profiles of area residents driving the rebirth of our local art scene.

Joe Barlow, together with producer Michael Fasciana, developed a television series “Extra, Extra” and filmed the pilot in and around Scranton last fall.

Barlow described “Extra, Extra” as “a sitcom about four laconic, borderline neurotic, reporters at one of the worst newspapers in the country.”“The fashion editor is clueless about fashion; the gossip columnist is deathly afraid of talking to people…that sort of thing.”

Fasciana created the series and shopped a pilot script around to networks; it nearly went into development around 2000, but at the last moment, the deal fell through. He went on to write and produce two independent horror features. Fasciana’s friend of many years, Barlow, sold a feature film script in 2002 that was not produced and wrote and directed several short films. The two decided to collaborate on a project, resurrecting the “Extra, Extra” concept. Barlow rewrote Fasciana’s original script and directed the pilot with Fasciana producing.

The decision to film in Scranton was an easy one. “Well, we live here, so it was a no-brainer,” Barlow said.“There’s a vast, and largely untapped, resource of creative people in this area, and we had no trouble finding enthusiastic, talented people who wanted to help out, both in front of and behind the camera.”

Barlow said the experience of shooting in Scranton was entirely positive. “Nearly everyone bent over backwards to help us,” Barlow said. “I want to give special recognition to Cooper’s Restaurant, who not only gave us carte blanche for shooting, but also allowed us to hold our casting call and a few production meetings there. Really great people. Very supportive.”

The pilot is completed and being shopped around to networks in the United States and Canada. “We’ve had some great responses to it, and we’ve got our fingers crossed,” Barlow said. “But our timing couldn’t have been worse.”“We wrapped production around the time the writer’s strike went into effect, and most networks have cut back on the development of new shows. One network actually told us that our show was perfect for them but that, due to the writer’s strike and with a possible SAG strike in the near future, they’ve shifted to reality-based TV for the remainder of the year. So that’s frustrating.”

Barlow continues to develop projects in the Scranton area and added, “I’m hoping to shoot many, many more projects here.”

Barlow is the host of Cinemaslave, an Internet radio show/podcast, and writer of the Cinemaslave blog. Check out Barlow’s YouTube page to view all of the behind the scenes video diaries shot during the filming of the pilot.

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  • Shannon Mahon says:

    Hello my dear friend, Michael Fasciana. hope all is well, ive been out of work with knee surg. for the last few months. tell robert & mom i said hello and that ive been thinking of you guys . i miss all of you. i hope to see you in the big time soon, god knows you deserve it. more than anyone i can think of . i miss and love you guys , i would like to see some of this movie your working on if you can send me a copy . your friend s. mahon call me . even if its collect. your always welcome. 843-346-4977

  • shannon mahon says:

    hello . fasciana, whered you go , i have been tryin to call you . some one else answered the phone , and said they knew you . and gave me a wrong number. said you didnt live at that number any more . please call or e mail me 843 -346-4977.

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