Reggie Daniels gets credit for making 'Roc' authenticIf...


September 29, 1991|By Mary Corey

Reggie Daniels gets credit for making 'Roc' authentic

If the setting of the new sitcom "Roc" looks authentic, the credit, in part, belongs to Reggie Daniels.

That's because the opening, closing and transitional scenes of the Fox show depicting a Baltimore trash man's life (and airing Sundays at 8:30 p.m.) were all shot by Mr. Daniels, the owner of Piper Productions in Charles Village.

"I feel very proud to be part of something that has a real chance of making it," says the Marriottsville father of two, who was contacted last summer about participating in the project.

The exterior of Roc's home, therefore, is not some studio re-creation, but a real West Baltimore row house; and the block party featured in the opening actually occurred in Waverly last summer.

This wasn't the first sought-after assignment Mr. Daniels has received. Since starting his company five years ago, he's done a music video for Phyllis Hyman and a public service announcement featuring Mike Tyson. The former WMAR-TV cameraman also recently completed editing a low-budget horror film, "The Weekend It Lives."

A love of movies seems to run in the family. Mr. Daniels is married to Joyce Jefferson Daniels, executive director of the Baltimore Film Commission. And his 23-year-old daughter from a previous marriage recently called with good news: She just got a part in Spike Lee's new film about Malcolm X.

While other kids hung out in school halls, Jennifer Sussal was frequenting the halls of another well-known institution: Congress.

Her mission: to get warning labels on alcoholic beverages.

"I was genuinely concerned about friends who were dying," says Sussal, a 20-year-old Hopkins student who lives in Charles Village. "I saw what this was doing to my school. We would lose at least one student a year."

After writing dozens of senators and congressmen, her message was heard. She linked up with Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., who had a similar bill in the works, and began lobbying. After working 10-hour days, racking up $500 in phone bills and making a dozen trips to Washington from her Long Island home, she gained clout on Capitol Hill.

She became the first teen, at age 17, to lobby before a U.S. Senate committee.

"It was the most exciting experience ever," she recalls. "I was in a room with [Sen.] John Glenn."

The bill is now law, and Ms. Sussal's efforts are being recognized by Chesebrough Ponds. Next month she -- along with Michael Jordan, Marlo Thomas and many others -- will receive a National Hero Award from the manufacturer at a gala in New York.

"This gave me a lot of confidence," she says. "When people tell me I can't do something, I know now I can."

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