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Film Crew Uses Local High-rise As NYC Backdrop

WILKES-BARRE – One block of West Market Street was closed to traffic for several hours on Wednesday as an independent film crew shot scenes for the upcoming film “Trust Me”.

Co-writer and film director Chris Fetchko of West Hazleton says the Citizens Bank Building on West Market Street made the perfect backdrop.

“Ninety-nine percent of the movie takes place in Wilkes-Barre, but we needed to film a New York City scene,” said Fetchko. “Its cheaper to do it here, than take all these people into New York.”

Fetchko said the film focuses on a man who gives up his business career in Manhattan to move back to Wilkes-Barre to help his favorite rock band.

A handful of people volunteered to be extras in the film, and Wilkes-Barre police closed West Market Street to traffic for several hours.

The lobby of the Citizens Bank Building remains empty after the bank branch left, but there are offices in the upper floors and luxury apartments are also being built.

“We thought this looks good. It has the revolving doors on the front. It sets back a little bit,” said Production Designer Chuck Yarmey. “Keeping all the shots tight, we think it’s perfect for New York City.”

Kevin Bartuski told Newswatch 16 that he did not realize that he walked through a movie set while they were filming, but he thinks some “movie magic” will help the corner look like Manhattan on the big screen.

“They`re going to get creative, they have to in order to make it work,” said Bartuski.

Other people who were watching the activity said they had their doubts about the setting.

“As for it looking like New York City, they`re going to have a bit of a hard time,” said Bryan Pienta. “I mean some of the buildings look like they`d be in New York, but some of the stuff over here, I don`t think it would work.”

The crew said they’re nearly done filming in Wilkes-Barre, and they plan on submitting “Trust Me” at the Sundance Film Festival this fall in hopes that a distributor will pick it up.


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