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Hello Hollywood, 1981

Director Jeremy Kagen arrived in Santa Cruz with a Hollywood film crew to shoot scenes on the Giant Dipper for a “new” release of The Sting titled “The Sting II”.

Only stars Karl Malden, Mac Davis and Woody Parfrey were required in Santa Cruz for the scenes filmed at the Boardwalk and on the Giant Dipper. The Giant Dipper mechanics including myself were assisting the movie crew with setting up for filming.

The Dipper’s train and signs were made over to look like the “Cyclone” in Coney Island. Once the camera and lights were setup and filming was ready to start – there was the question of “who” would be at the control panel to run the Giant Dipper for the filming.

The director asked me if I’d like to be in the movies.. My reply was “Who wouldn’t”.. So I was sent to wardrobe to be “costumed” for the period – and Woody Parfrey gave me the nick-name of “Sidney”.

We filmed scenes for 4 nights with Karl Malden and Mac Davis – including a scene with a stunt double for Mac Davis who exited the train in a not so normal manner.

After 4 nights of shooting, and re-shooting the Hollywood crew went home but things were not quite back to normal for me.

KSBW 8 did a 4 part interview with our “local” actor (me) on the “set” the Giant Dipper station. These 2 minute interviews were shown on the 11 PM news for 4 nights in a row.

Jeremy Kagen again came to Santa Cruz several months later when the Rio theater hosted the “World” premiere of the “Sting II”.

Needless to say a “movie” role – and TV interviews made me a popular guy in Santa Cruz – at least for a few days..:)

Chuck Stepping, Coos Bay, Oregon

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