The Punisher: Here is a cool description of a scene from The Punisher movie at Bay News Channel 9 in Tampa Florida.

TAMPA - Two men have been killed in a riot. An FBI agent believed dead is back in town. And somebody has tossed $50 million cash out of a 10th-floor window downtown.

Those are the fake headlines. Now the real news: The first footage for ``The Punisher'' - a multimillion-dollar Hollywood feature - was shot Thursday.

It was TV news simulations on videotape - 35 mm filming starts downtown Saturday

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The first action was at 9 a.m. at Bay News 9 in Pinellas Park, where Polk County reporter Rick Elmhorst and anchor Carleth Keys of Bay News 9 Espanol read their lines for the movie. Keyes said she is excited the producers wanted to include newscasts in Spanish because Tampa has a rich Hispanic culture.

From noon to 1:30 p.m., cameras rolled on two more real-life news anchors recruited to read headlines.

``The casting director looked at a bunch of tapes and chose us,'' said WFLA, News Channel 8, weekend anchor Nerissa Prest, who joined colleague Josh Thomas in The News Center's main studio on Parker Street in Tampa (also home to The Tampa Tribune).

The TV journalists earned about $700 each for their work, which will be part of a montage of news reports for the action-thriller based on a Marvel Comics hero and set in Tampa. (A couple of flashbacks from Puerto Rico will be shot at Pinellas County beaches.)

``Tampa is visually a really nice town,'' said writer-director Jonathan Hensleigh, who wrote a script for Prest and Thomas and then told them to ``put it in your own phrasing, so it sounds just the way you would tell it to the public'' in a real newscast.

As the news professionals polished the words, Hensleigh joined producer Gale Anne Hurd and executive producer John Starke upstairs in the Channel 8 control room, watching and talking to the performers through headsets.

``We have breaking news,'' Prest announces in the scene. ``Two men have been gunned down in the lobby of the Saint Holdings building in downtown Tampa. They were shot during a riot outside the building.'' In a ``related incident,'' she continues, ``a huge amount of money, estimated at $50 million, was thrown from the 10th floor to the street below.''

The other part of their report: ``Francis Castle, the FBI agent presumed dead after the horrific murder of his family in Puerto Rico, is alive and, we are told, is back in Tampa.''

Castle, played by Thomas Jane, is the title character of ``The Punisher,'' a vigilante who wreaks vengeance on criminals after losing his wife and children. And the ``Saint'' building is owned by Howard Saint, the villain played by John Travolta.

After reading their assignments, Prest and Thomas waited eagerly for Hensleigh's approval. It came quickly: ``That was perfect,'' he told them over the studio monitors.

``I just want it to be right,'' Prest said. ``I don't want to wind up on the cutting room floor.''

``The Punisher'' will be filming through mid-October at Tampa locations including the Channel District, Ybor City and downtown.

Thanks to tbo.com

Brian B.