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Legacy in the News: 'The Librarians' turns halls of Legacy Meridian Park into set

The Times

May 22, 2014

“Shhhhhh” echoes throughout the crew as the cast prepares to rehearse. Everyone stands perfectly still, aware that too much movement or noise might ruin the shot. And nobody wants to be that person. In the hallway, monitors display the scene occurring inside the small hospital room.

“The huntsman cut open the wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood emerged whole and safe,” reads actor Rene Auberjonois, 74, in a deep, methodical voice from a large storybook near a window in the room.

“I love these kinds of stories,” says 11-year-old Sophia Mitri Schloss from a hospital bed. Her voice is rhaspy and deliberate as a thin smile stretches across her face.

“Ooooo creepy crawly, creepy crawly!” says Jonathan Frakes, the director of this episode of TNT’s upcoming series “The Librarians.” Schloss’ parents stand in front of a monitor sharing a pair of headphones as they watch their daughter act out a character, Jamie, who may or may not be evil.

Based on three TNT movies of the same name, “The Librarians” is a mystical tale about an ancient group hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library who protects the world from the magic hidden everywhere. The series is executive-produced by Dean Devlin and features Rebecca Romijn, Noah Wyle, Christian Kane and John Larroquette, among others.

 “The genre is the fantasy, the mystery,” said Auberjonois. “It’s not necessarily ‘realistic.’ You can be more theatrical and ask the audience to make bigger leaps of the imagination.”

Part of this episode, “And The Fables Of Doom,” was filmed at Legacy Meridian Park Hospital in Unit 1D and the Community Health Education Center, which also saw filming of two episodes of “Grimm” and this summer’s “Wild.” The entertainment companies don’t have to pay to use the space, but often make donations to Meridian Park Medical Foundation.

“We do everything possible to ensure that these filmings are in no way affecting patient care, which they haven’t,” said Ashley Stanford Cone, who does public and community relations for Legacy. “In most cases, patients are completely unaware. Their family members may notice, but we keep things very well contained.”

For filming, this wing of the hospital is transformed into a complete set, with crew members buzzing around making sure everything is running smoothly. Cords snake all along the hallway connecting the lights, monitors and cameras. Signs for Legacy are covered up with signs for a fictional hospital in Bremen, Washington. X’s are taped to the floor where the actors need to stand.

Most, if not all, of the 10-episode series will be filmed in Oregon. Co-executive producer Rachel Olschan-Wilson said she prefers staying in one area because it helps them stay on budget, supports the local economy and provides work for local actors and crew members.

“We try to hire as many local actors as we can,” she said. “We’ve found that there’s so much talent here.”

Background actors, all locally sourced, walk toward the nurse station that was made for “Wild” and left behind. In this episode of “The Librarians,” which will be the third to air, it serves as the central emergency room desk. They’re dressed in scrubs and coats, and are a necessary element in making the show seem realistic. What’s an emergency room without doctors running around?

Meanwhile, the crew scrambles to meet the requirements of the set change.

“Points!” shouts one crewman as he enters the room carrying a massive tripod, ends out. Lights are arranged and then arranged again. Cameras are relocated. Stand-ins hold the actor’s places as the set goes up around them.

“There’s these moments of scrambling around, physical labor, and then quiet,” says Olschan-Wilson. “And then the set changes.”

In the moments of scramble, the crew jokes with each other endlessly. Many of them have known and worked with each other for around two decades, and it’s this connection that brought them together to create the show.

As Olschan-Wilson says while laughing at a comment from Frakes, work is never boring.

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Read the original story at The Times.

Contact: Ashley Stanford Cone