City Desk

COG E-Mail Freaks Out Film Office

Tomorrow, between 9:30 a.m. and noon, Hollywood stunt types will be staging a special effects fire-flash on the Potomac River just north of Key Bridge. They will be "blowing up," but not really blowing up, a sculling boat as part of a pilot episode for "Washington Field," a series about an elite group of FBI officials. There will be no explosion, just maybe a thud. Whatever the noise, the entire effect will last but two to three seconds.

Yet the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has been getting pumped up about something a bit more showy. Here's how an e-mail from COG phrased the event:

For the filming of a TV pilot, there will be a simulated explosion on Wednesday, March 25 between 9:30 a.m. and noon near Key Bridge in the District. The explosion will produce a 20 to 30' fireball that will last for approximately 2 minutes.

Please pass along this information to others appropriate. The Department of Homeland Security and D.C. Police and Fire departments have been notified, along with the Washington Airports Authority. The Virginia State Patrol and Arlington Police Department will be contacted. If you have additional questions, contact Kathy Hollinger or Burt Warner with the DC Film Office at 202-727-6608.

The explosion will take place on the Potomac River just north of the Key Bridge and Jack's Boathouse (K / Water Street, NW under the Whitehurst Freeway). In the scene to be filmed, there will be six (6) sculling boats on the Potomac River and one of them blows up.

CBS Paramount television is filming a pilot titled "Washington Field." This is a new television series about the elite Washington field office of the FBI and a team of agents with exceptional and diverse skills who are called together for only the most critical cases.....like blowing up sculling boats.

Jeanne Saddler, who sent the COG missive, said it resulted from a "miscommunication" as the information passed from one entity to the next.

The D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development has issued the definitive word on the matter:

A special effects scene will be staged on Wednesday morning, March 25, 2009 between 9:30AM and Noon, on the Potomac River, as part of a film production in the District. The controlled special effect, which will last for approximately 2 seconds (not 2 minutes as has been reported elsewhere) is being staged as part of the CBS Paramount television pilot titled ‘Washington Field’ which will be filming at various locations across the city.

Contrary to reports, there will not be an “explosion,” and no boat or any other object will actually “blow up.” The contained-pyrotechnic effect will involve a brief flash and plume of smoke that will last for only a few seconds. The scene will be filmed out on the open water, at a safe distance from any roadway, bridge, or other structure.

So now that you have all the facts, think it'll be worth it to hang out by the Key Bridge for an hour or two, just to catch this nonexplosion?

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  • J

    Nah - sounds like it will be nothing. Though I bet a bunch of people show up anyway.

  • http://georgetownmetropolitan.com Georgetown Metropolitan

    It's all just a conspiracy to get people interested in a dreadful show.

  • RE

    'Twas great being out on the water and getting paid to row around all morning and afternoon.

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