The City of Vancouver gave 20th Century Fox permission to shoot some scenes of their expensive block buster action film "The Fantastic Four" right in the middle of its financial district.
Being interested in film, ms_nerd and I went and checked out the night shoot location on Burrard St. between Pender and Hastings. Trucks, trailers, generators, light and vehicles of all kinds spilled out for blocks past it. Man! It takes a shitload of crap and crew to make movie magic!
Fantastic Four I
After we'd plotted our night, we went home after work and watched our usual Wednesday night shows and at 10:00p.m, we were giggly and excited and heading downtown on a "" very rainy to 'recon' the area. Our mission: to check out - parking, route to/from set, coffee shop distance, closed/blocked off roads, etc. They weren't shooting because of the rain so, still giddy and excited, we went straight home to rest up for the next night's adventure. We weren't sure just how long we'd be there when we stayed to watch the next trip down.
Here are some "artsy fartsy" shots I took that first night - from the moving car as we headed home. Did I mention giddy and excited?
Fantastic Four II
Alright, watches were synchronized, warm woolies were put on and all raring to go, we went back downtown on Thursday [after CSI] with dreams of spotting celebrities at work. ms_nerd's Hottie McHotHot to be exact. [I was just there for moral support]
Okay, as we drove toward the location - we could tell they were already shooting because of the glow of light eminating from the area. Kinda like seeing a stadium off in the distance - it glows in the dark.
When we got there, we watched maybe a hundred extras screaming and yelling in "" fear, running in every direction, all over the street around 'stunt cars' as 'movie smoke billowed, man made fog floated, and lights flashed all over the place as The Thing lumbered around menacing them all. We watched as they took take after take, after take, after take, after....oy! You get the idea. Then they broke for 'lunch' at about 11:00pm. I think they'd probably been shooting that scene since about 7:00 or 8:00pm.
[I'm looking forward to seeing this movie in a theatre to see it from the camera's p.o.v.] It looked rather small and flat and unenthusiastic (but exciting to watch, if that makes any sense). I'm hoping it will be revved up with sound effects and cgi when it gets to the screen.
We were fortunate Thursday night to be on the corner where there was a nice young P.A. working.
I asked him if there would be a problem with taking pictures of the set.
He animatedly told us that there would be a $172.00 dollar fine, camera confiscation and a personal escort from the area by a not-so-happy local law enforcement representative. I kept my camera tucked safely in my pocket for the rest of the night. Until we were away from the actual set and I took shots of the area, that is.
Through chatty conversing I found out that the P.A. who we'll, call "JamesthePA", was in the acting program at the school where I teach. Well, we became fast friends and he let us hang out with him and be total P.A. Groupies. *much squeeage was done by both of us!*
We watched movie guys drag in a smashed up car - with a semi-circle cut out of its side - and set it up beside a blasted out "New York City" bus. And gawked in amazement as they put a huge donut shaped 'melted asphalt' jigsaw puzzle together in the middle of the intersection and screw it together and to the street to keep it in place. So cool. When the stuff was all put together and securely in place, it actually looked like the road had erupted and melted. They had fires smoldering around it and it was very convincing!
Well, we finally decided that we couldn't ignore the cold or the hour anymore so we left around 1:00a.m. We did, after all, have work in the morning - or later that morning.
I don't have to mention how tired we both were a mere four or five hours later when we headed into work, do I?
Here are some photos I took of "the area" that first night while heading back to the car.
Fantastic Four III
Before we headed over to "movie central" on Saturday, we had a fantastic dinner with a smattering of Vancouver Posse members. Giggles were had by all. As were full tummies. Once the others were on their way ms_nerd and I got ourselves a couple of Starbucks lattes and headed to our usual parking spot. Sadly lance_nerd only discovered then that she'd lost one of her mittens back on Davie Street near the restaurant. :o(
But to add to the excitement, as we were parking, lance_nerd spotted a Hell's Angel Jacketed fella at the corner joint. Wheee, what fun. We scadoodled over to the Burrard & Pender corner where we hung with JamesthePA the first night.
Unfortunately, he'd been replaced by Mr. Cranky-Pants.
We didn't stick around but instead played stealth strollers and went down a block closer to the waterfront and turned up Hastings. As we expected, we were intercepted by a P.A. A different one who we'll call...ummmm...JessicathePA. Her turf was right outside the
snooty Private and VERY Exclusive Vancouver Club. A club that just happened to be throwing a James Bond Theme party that night. We saw the scariest Botox-Turkey-Basted-Broads north of Rodeo Drive. I'd say most of them would probably have listed Plastic Surgery and Anorexia Nervosa as hobbies in their bios. ::shudder:: They were a scary bunch. The place was dripping with money and silicon.
Aaaanyway, sweet JessicathePA it turns out!!! Went to the same media school as Ioan Gruffud-smitten ms_nerd! Can you believe that?! They yacked it up about broadcast students hating the film students about the multi media students hating everybody else, yadda yadda yadda. I just asked a bunch of P.A. / industry questions.
You wouldn't believe how some people reacted to her very politley! asking them to take a detour around the set. One old fart practically cussed her out. Idiot!
After seeing that we weren't spies from a rival studio or terrorists, and were actually 'nice ladies', she got permission from her boss, who we'll call TheBossPA, to let us get closer to the 'action'. We got to stand right behind the stunt actors' holding area. Being that close we could see just how cool the costumes were! Dr. (von) Doom's costume is AWESOME! *rrraaaoooww!!* And too, the stunt doubles really look like their Priciples. (or is that Principals?)
The 'actors' were so cool! There was a family of four standing quietly watching them set up a stunt. Their two kids were maybe seven and ten? The stunt guys, were all smiling and shaking the little guys' hands. The most adorable thing, EVER!! I don't think the kids will forget this anytime soon!
One sour note about the evening was when a hoity-toity from The Vancouver Club refused to 'listen to the P.A.s' and nearly got our little crowd that had gathered to watch, kicked off the set. ::kicks stoopit highbrow asshole hard:: What a jerk he was. I'm convinced he's the prick that turned the mild mannered electrician guy who was wandering around from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde!
I was getting pissed because I really didn't want to miss the stunt we'd been watching them
'choreograph' just because of this arrogant fuck.
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Highbrow-Asshole got bored and left so we didn't get booted out and we got to watch the smoke and the fires and the water and the dollying camera and everything else more than once! So all was of the good.
And since we were both starting to shiver and yawn pretty steadily, we decided to call it a night and head home happy to have had such a wonderful experience
stalking hanging around a location film shoot.
One downside to these clandestine 'dates', was poor ms_nerd got herself a terrible cold!
I think I could make a habit of
stalking there's that word again, visiting movie sets!
It's fun and exciting, despite the lots and "" lots of standing around. But I'll repeat, it was fun and exciting just the same!'
And that's based on cold windy nights. Imagine how great it would be on balmy spring nights? Hmmmm, I wonder how I go about applying for a P.A. job ...
And to wrap, as they say, I went by the location this morning before work and took some daytime shots without all the cast and crew milling about. [and not getting in trouble for it!] So, here's what I took today:
And you should go look at ms_nerd's journal to see her post about our
"Hollywood North adventure". She's got tons of fantastic pictures!!!
soooo much better pics than mine!
And ms_nerd, why the heck didn't we do this when they were shooting "Edison"?
now were did you say that Harrison Ford film is shooting?