Television crews visited a Cranford eatery on Aug. 29 to film a commercial.
Sorry ladies, but the rumors about Brad Pitt filming a movie in downtown Cranford Wednesday weren't true. But that doesn't mean the township was completely devoid of excitement. Film crews swarmed around Joanie's Cafe while filming a commercial inside the local eatery.
Joanie's, a popular North Union Avenue diner, was chosen as the backdrop for an AARP/New York Life Insurance Company commercial. Filming took place inside the restaurant, while crews set up tents and equipment along North Union Avenue.
According to Kira DeMarco, a production assistant for MacGuffin Films Ltd., the eatery was selected by a location manager. The ideal spot for this particular commercial, she said, was a small diner. Several other locations were visited but in the end, the insurance company decided that Joanie's Cafe would be the perfect spot for the commercial.
DeMarco commented on the friendliness and hospitality of everyone in the township, from members of the governing body and police department, to residents who passed by quietly to check out the action. She also said she and the crew were impressed by the local eateries that served them breakfast and lunch.
Cranford is no stranger to production crews. Over the years, a number of movies and TV shows have used the township's quaint streets and buildings as a backdrop.
In January, crews drove around the township in a large bus, while filming a commercial for Hungry Man dinners. Domino's Pizza, CSX Transport and Allstate Insurance have also shot commercials here.
A Wikipedia profile of Cranford notes that during the 1990's, the Orange Avenue Pool, Cranford High School, Brookside Place School and the Modern Barber Shop all showed up in scenes of the television show "The Adventures of Pete & Pete." Additionally, portions of the films "Garden State," "Far From Heaven" and "September 12" were also shot in Cranford and actors Ashton Kutcher and the late Bernie Mac walked the streets of the township in the 2005 movie "Guess Who."
More recently, local director Ken Castellano used the township to shoot scenes for his films "Close to Midnight" and "Return to Start.