While Dan Marquardt was going about his life working for a law firm in West Islip as an administrative assistant and raising his family, he knew there was something else he was supposed to be doing.
Marquardt approached his wife, Susan Marquardt, four years ago and told her of his desire to become a filmmaker, and she supported him knowing it would mean a signifcant change of lifestyle for them and their two daughters, Tiffany (12) and Dyani (16).
With $7,500 to buy equipment, and friends and colleagues donating their knowledge and time (and, on occasion, a Canon C300), Marquardt, who grew up in Rockville Centre, began his three and a half year, self-taught, journey to produce his very first feature-length documentary, “This Is My Long Island.”
The recently-completed film is in part an homage to Rockville Centre and a salute to Marquardt’s grandfather, Eugene Murray, the former mayor of Rockville Centre, as well as Marquardt’s uncle and Rockville Centre’s current mayor, Francis Murray (who is Eugene Murray’s eldest son).
“I have so many great memories of my childhood in Rockville Centre,” says Marquardt, who went to Covert Elementary School and St. Agnes Cathedral School, and graduated from South Side High School in 1989. “My hometown is very special and my grandfather was instrumental in making the village what it is. He is the greatest inspiration in my life and this film is an opportunity to pay tribute to him and his legacy.
“By paying tribute to Gene I am paying tribute to Rockville Centre as well because Rockville Centre is Gene.”
Marquardt’s pride in growing up here and living on Long Island is what led him to finally fulfill his creative ambitions and embark on his new career as a filmmaker, while aiming to debunk the stereotypes and media negativity about the region. “I love Long Island and have always been passionate about film even though I never went to film school,” he says.
“The purpose of doing this film was to present Long Island in a better light. I want to show Long Island’s beauty and how vibrant it is, including the history and