A bus crash, a new post office and an early Memorial Day weekend are coming to Southampton Village this week, but it’s all pretend, as USA Network films for the third season of its acclaimed series “Royal Pains.”
The production crew has placed outdoor dining tables and fake flowers on the sidewalk of the west side of Main Street and fake trees in bloom on the other side to create the illusion on film that it is, in fact, the last weekend in May. is getting a makeover to act as the Southampton Post Office and fake signs have been placed on vacant storefronts to make them appear active.
Stars Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo and Reshma Shetty, as Dr. Hank Lawson, brother Evan Lawson and physician assistant Divya Katdare, respectively, will be the main actors during filming on Main Street, said Eileen Musarra, the deputy village clerk. As it was explained to her by the location manager, the three members of HankMed will be on Main Street when an argument over a parking space erupts, then they’ll hear a bus crash.
The crash scene -- between a and an expensive car -- is planned near . At that point, Dr. Lawson will jump into action with Katdare at his side.
The television series is centered on Dr. Lawson, who set up shop in the Hamptons as a concierge doctor after he is blackballed in Manhattan unjustly following a rich patient’s death.
Musarra said USA agreed to give village Mayor Mark Epley a walk-on role in the bus crash scene, playing himself, but she was not sure if he would be given any lines.
Epley said Monday that Musarra jokingly asks every television show and film that comes through if they want him to be in a scene. This is the first time a production bit.
“It should be interesting,” Epley said. “It’s actually kind of embarrassing.”
He said local filming is a great source of revenue for the village, and, “It’s an opportunity to promote the East End of Long Island or Suffolk County.”
The production’s base camp will be the parking lot, though Musarra said if it was the summertime, when the beach is often crowded and parking is scarce, the village would not permit the use of the lot.
Five parking spaces will be closed on the east side of Main Street during filming Tuesday and all spaces between the Jobs Lane intersection and on the west side will be closed. The production will also film on village streets either Wednesday or Friday, depending on the weather.
“There is inconvenience involved, but they’re paying for our inconvenience, so taxpayers should be happy,” Musarra said.
The village is slated to receive $5,000 for film permits, $7,200 for police overtime, $1,000 for the inconvenience of the production crew’s prep work on Main Street, $1,500 for use of the and $3,500 for the use of village parking lots all week. Additionally, the production company paid the $2,800 cost of giving the columns on village hall a fresh coat of paint last week, Musarra said. Altogether, the production is expected to bring in $21,000 for village coffers.
Epley said the village had planned to paint the columns at village hall this summer anyway, but now it has been taken care of earlier and USA incurred the expense instead.
The police overtime will be about zero-sum for the village, because the revenue will pay for extra officers who otherwise would not have been on duty. Musarra said four officers would be paid for 12 hours a day for two days to redirect traffic, close roads and provide security.
“I don’t want the village taxpayer to have to carry the burden,” Epley said of the expense of police officers and other village employees involved.
The exact amount the production pays the village can still change, especially depending on the weather, Musarra said. “Things aren’t poured in concrete.”
Scene will also be shot at private residences on Meadow Lane and Captain’s Neck Lane, she said, but no village permits are requires at private locations.
“For the most part, everybody seems pretty positive about it,” Epley said of residents’ and village merchants’ reactions to filming in town. “There might be a little inconvenience here or there, but the reality is that they feel it's an exciting thing.”