21 Aug 2014
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WATCH: Locals Star in Video Shown Before Obama’s DNC Speech

North Fork Democrats get airtime on the Jumbotron in Charlotte last week.

They were chosen for a casting call but had no idea they would make the cut.

Anne Howard of Cutchogue and Tom Hart of Orient, both active in the local Democratic party, were asked in August to go to New York City to be interviewed on camera for a video that was shown before this past Thursday at the in Charlotte. The two locals were two of about 60 people who were filmed, according to Howard.

“The producers were looking for people from different backgrounds – nurse, farmer, construction worker, educator, retired, etc.,” Howard wrote in an email to Patch on Saturday. “Since we’re so far from Manhattan, we didn’t think most people would be willing to go into the city for the casting interview.  But since there aren’t many farmers in the city, I called Tom Hart, who I know through Slow Food and the and asked him if he would be interested in doing this."

Howard said that neither she nor Hart, who runs Deep Roots Farm in Orient, suggested themselves for the parts. But she said someone in the Obama for America office (the group Howard works for) did suggest them.

“Both my husband and I said ‘sure, we’ll do it’ – I guess as retired-looking professional people,” she said. “We went into the city on Monday – and I was called back on Tuesday. I went in again the following Friday for the shooting. No one called to tell me or Tom that we had made the cut.”

The film was directed by Bennett Miller, director of “Capote” and “Moneyball.” Howard said that there was no preparation, no questions given to them to think about in advance. At the convention, when the video began to air at 7:40 p.m., Howard said she was shocked to see herself and her friend Tom up on the big screen for the world to see.

“I had no idea what I had said, and fully expected to end up on the cutting room floor,” she said. “But there I was — what a surprise!”

Take a look at the video — Tom Hart appears at 0:48, talking about owning a home. Anne Howard, wearing glasses and a red dress, appears at 2:59 and at 3:17.

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