To that end, Marquardt, who attended Nassau Community College, where he majored in Fine and Performing Arts, brings in as many fascinating aspects of Long Island as he could muster into his 89-minute documentary. He includes the political entities of both Nassau and Suffolk County, environmental organizations such as The Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Richard Amper of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, music legend Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, the organization Long Island Cares, and former ballplayer Frank Catalanotto, who played for the New York Mets during his 14-year career, along with other notable Long Islanders.
“I like to say we start in Brooklyn and end at Montauk Point,” Marquardt explains. “When we first began we didn’t know what direction this would take. We started filming and it came together.”
Marquardt, the film’s producer-director, credits his team for enabling his dream to become a reality. “I have a great team,” he says,“which includes Sergei Tsytsarev, my cinematographer. Our film will hopefully be the catalyst for a continuing series.”
His goal is to expand the film into a documentary mini-series that will eventually find its way onto television. “There’s no way an hour and a half film can tell the entire story of Long Island,” Marquardt explains. “We have so much more to say.”
Marquardt, who had no experience with filmmaking of any kind, describes the project as “a labor of love,” during which he began to master equipment and the process of movie production, all previously unknown to him.
“I learned how to do this by watching documentaries,” he says. “I started out watching a lot of documentaries on television and taught myself how to use a camera and how to use a computer editing program that I had never heard of. I essentially taught myself how to be a filmmaker.” The end result: Marquardt has now wrapped his first film and has created a production company, SawGrass Productions.