Dewey Decimal System no help here
EmptyIf you were a historic landmark, you wouldn't appreciate a bunch of whippersnappers Rollerblading on your marble floors. But that is exactly what the venerable New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue faced when the new ABC drama "Traveler" came a-knocking.
"Traveler," which debuts at 10 p.m. Thursday, follows two men who are framed for blowing up a New York museum after they are seen fleeing the scene on Rollerblades. What they actually were doing, according to the script, is participating in the latest fad of skating down staircases.
The original script called for skating in the Guggenheim Museum, as the boys pay homage to a scene in 1991's "L.A. Story," but when execs scouted the location, they found that museum covered in scaffolding.
"You couldn't even shoot the exterior of it," said David Nutter, who directed the pilot. "And there were lots of issues with respect to clearances availability. So we basically said, 'Where else can we try to do this?' "
They found the 96-year-old library amenable to their needs, though strict precautions had to be taken. On the steps and staircases, the production rolled out adhesive hard matte tape. On landings and floors, workers unfurled marble laminate. The normal hard wheels of the Rollerblades were switched out for a softer, cushier material. The production leaned away from normal lighting gear, whose stands could scrape the floor, instead relying on helium balloons with soft lights, which protected any artwork that could be damaged by normal hard, hot lighting.
The safety of the location was just as important to the production crew as was the safety of the stuntmen on Rollerblades.
"It was a situation of being really sensitive," Nutter said. "This is a historic landmark, and we needed to treat it with the utmost respect and not damage it, not even a scratch."