Prince of Broadway is the latest effort from writer/director Sean Baker that draws on the untapped talents of mostly unknown and non-professional actors. The project originated in 2004, when Baker decided to use the wholesale district of New York City as a back-drop for his next film. The energy of this part of the city has been untapped and rarely shown on film in narrative form. In addition to a desire to use this location, Baker intended to use Karren Karagulian (charcater of Levon) in one of the lead roles, after working with him on his previous feature Take Out. These two ingredients set the production in motion.
Baker and Victoria Tate (associate producer and actor) began research on the district in the winter of 2006, interviewing shop owners and street hustlers in the area. It was during this research that they met Prince Adu, an employee of a wholesale tee-shirt shop. He immediately expressed interest in working on the film and would eventually land the lead role of Lucky. Baker, wanting the film to have a personal story, decided that showing the district through the eyes of a child would be appropriate being that the audience is also being initiated into this world. Prince Adu introduced Kat Sanchez and her son Aiden Noesi to Baker. It was obvious from the first meeting that Aiden was perfect for the role of Prince. However, it was a pleasant surprise when Kat expressed interest in playing the child’s mother. She landed the role after going through the formal audition process.
After Greg the Bunny wrapped its 2006 season on the Independent Film Channel, Baker decided to jump head first in to production. Employing the talents of fellow filmmaker Darren Dean to co-write the script, production was slated to shoot for 20 days in February of 2007. Due to the constraints of a self-financed budget and working with a child, the shoot spanned close to 35 days. It was shot on HD Video employing Panasonic's P2 technology.