On Dec. 8, 1980, shots were fired at the front entrance of the Dakota building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Some people ran away while other rushed to help the man who was shot. The victim was John Lennon, shot in the back four times by Mark Chapman.
Lennon was a member of “The Beatles”, who debuted in the early 1960s. Famous in England, the Beatles soon came to America beginning “Beatlemania.”
Last August, a film went into pre-production in Manhattan focusing on the night John Lennon was murdered. The film titled “The Lennon Report” focuses not on Lennon or Chapman, but rather on the medical staff, who came to Lennon’s aid once he arrived at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.
Some filming took place at Queens College on Nov. 24 to film one of the scenes for the movie. It began in Remsen Hall in the later part of the afternoon. Despite the raw damp weather at the time, some students remained outside just to see the production assistants at work.
The location scout had previously visited QC before for another film where he came across in Remsen Hall.
“He saw it to be fit for our film. We then saw the pictures and went to scout it ourselves and we loved it,” Gabriel Francesco said.
Gabriel Francesco said he feels very fortunate to be working with a great all-around staff and that “everyone is really friendly on the set.”
The producers decided to use Remsen Hall to film some scenes that took place in the ABC newsroom the night Lennon was killed.
Around the set there were more than 30 people from the film crew moving different kinds of equipment along with wires stretched all around the floor from one room leading into another. Rafael Francesco explained it takes a long time to film one minute of any given scene.
“It can take up to 1 1/2 hours. Just look all around us,” Rafael Francesco said.
The Lennon Report, produced by Gabriel and Rafael Francesco, tells the story of what really happened the night Lennon was killed.
“The Lennon Report” focuses specifically on the surgeons who operated on John Lennon after arriving at the Hospital. Gabriel Francesco noted, before filming took place, he spent four months going around meeting with all of the people who worked on the medical staff that tried to save Lennon’s life. From the surgeons to the nurses, Gabriel Francesco went to all of their houses where he received their first hand eye-witness accounts from that fateful night.
“After 34 years, something new will be coming to light. There’s going to be a shock,” Gabriel said.
However, he did not elaborate on what the shock would be.
“The Lennon Report” stars names like Stef Dawson, David Zayas and Richard Kind. Dawson is largely known for playing Annie Cresta from “The Hunger Games” series. Zayas played Angel Batista from “Dexter” as well as his portrayal of Sal Maroni in the recently hit television show “Gotham.” Kind starred in the T.V. sitcom “Spin City” and alongside Ben Affleck in “Argo.”
Set to debut next year on Dec. 8, the film aims to tell a sincere and true story.
“Some of the people didn’t even know it was John Lennon. The film is about the men and women who lived in New York City just trying to save a life,” Gabriel said.