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Old 09-08-2019, 11:16 AM
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When Hollywood comes to your home or work


In this thread, Siam Sam talks about Hawaii 5-0 filming at his condominium complex:

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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
Just to mention: The Hawaii Five-0 trucks are setting up on the street outside as I type. Looks like it will be a night shoot. The wife saw "Adam" from the show entering our building today with a bunch of crew. Looks like our building, one of three in the compound, will be the one for the shoot but not our floor. Scheduled to shoot tonight and two more days next week.
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
Five-0 will be back Monday and Tuesday. Filming in the lobby of our three-building condo complex, then inside one of the units (not ours) and the carpark. We've been told there will be simulated gunfire, so don't panic. I've heard it will be an abduction scene. The scenes will air on the October 18 show, so be watching that night if you want to see where Siam Sam lives.
So, I'm curious about how disruptive it is when Hollywood comes along and decides to film near your house, or in your apartment complex, or at/near your place of work, or whatever.

Let's say something is being filmed on the street in front of my house one day, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Do they tell me I am not allowed to leave my house, or that I need to stay away? Do they have the right to do that? If I'm at home, and decide I want to go out for lunch, and say "screw those guys, I'm going," what can they do about it?
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:28 AM
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Happens all the time around here. No, they can't tell you to stay in your house, etc. If they need your property itself they'll arrange that specifically--basically rent it from the owner.

The biggest hassle is they put up parking restrictions so nobody but the crew can park on the street during the shoot, for the whole block.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:33 AM
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Oh--and it's not 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. It's always a 24-hour period reserved, at least, no matter when the scenes are set--they'll be there for about 14 hours each day.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:10 PM
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I've seen it happen a few time.

The Way We Were was shot on my college campus. I wouldn't say it was disruptive, though they had a lot of equipment on the academic quad, but there was still plenty of room for people go go about their business.

The Age of Innocence was shot in our area, including part not far from where I was working. They blocked off the street, and spread dirt and stone to make it time appropriate. It was just one short scene, where we were standing in for Boston; most of the shooting was in Troy.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:16 PM
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I worked in a famous building/set in NYC. In my 5 years, probably 10 movies and several of them for weeks. I road the elevator with Tobey Maguire, he talked to my sister on my phone to say hi to her.
My favorite interaction (for telling the story) was riding in the elevator with Julia Roberts (who is absolutely tiny which makes her unrecognizable!) and her assistant(?). I had just finished running an analytical experiment and was carrying the print out (along with' wearing a lab coat, etc.) and asked, "Miss Roberts, would you mind signing this so I can put it into my thesis?" and the other person says, "Miss Roberts doesn't sign while she is working." I said that Julia Styles, Jessie Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Tobey Maguire were far more generous when they disrupted the building and our work.

But I will say that everyone else associated (other than those people tasked with keeping people off the set) are awesome and know that they are creating a pain (for parking, noise, bright lights, etc.) and offer donuts, coffee, hints on expected schedule. So generally it is pretty fun!
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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There was a scene from a movie that took place in the lobby where I worked. We were told when they were coming and what would be closed. I always went in and out of the building a different way, and didn't drive past the building. So, if I wasn't told they were there I wouldn't know they were there.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:35 PM
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The New York Times ran this article yesterday about having your house/apartment/condo used for filming a TV show or movie. It talks about the good and the bad, as well as the disruption to the neighbors. And the comments offer more experiences.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:41 PM
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The 1994 movie Blown Away (1994) was filmed (among other places) in Copley Square in Boston. It was a major disruption, with a van "exploding" in the Square. They had to block off the square, and they had zillions of onlookers. I was using the library reading room at the time.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Happens all the time around here. No, they can't tell you to stay in your house, etc. If they need your property itself they'll arrange that specifically--basically rent it from the owner.

The biggest hassle is they put up parking restrictions so nobody but the crew can park on the street during the shoot, for the whole block.
Happens all the f'n time in my neighborhood. ALL the time. And the parking restrictions in an area which relies on street parking are a pain. They will tow to the nearest available parking place (no ticket), which could be quite a distance. By the time one finds out that one has been towed, the signs with the number to call could be gone. Then they'll move large tractor-trailers onto really tight streets. During actual filming, they might close off some streets to car traffic, which can cause lengthy delays.

Here is a partial list of productions which have shot in my neighborhood, just off the top of my head:
- Fringe (they listed the scenes filmed in our neighborhood as Boston, and was the production that opened up the floodgates)
- 30 Rock
- Blue Bloods (very often)
- Shades of Blue (very often)
- Army Wives (they were looking for houses to film in - good deal if they choose you)
- Spiderman 1 (Tobey Macguire)
- The Americans
- Some CBS web series
- Several cable series

Before Fringe, it was "wow, they're filming in our neighborhood." Now it's "dammit, why are they here again."
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:30 PM
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I work in a skyscraper and occasionally TV shows shoot some scenes outside. Usually that just means that a couple of street exits will get closed down and the sidewalk will be blocked off (i.e., just a minor detour).

When I lived in an apartment closer to downtown, a couple of times I received a flyer in my mailbox saying "if you hear gunshots on the 13th of Smarch, please ignore them -- a gunfight is being filmed in this neighbourhood".
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:53 PM
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Back when we were living in NYC, some movie/tv show was being shot right on our fire escape, outside our apartment. There was no communication with us in any way.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:03 PM
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The nearly straight to video/The Hallmark channel Richard Gere movie Hachi was partially filmed at my office in an old train station. They took over the lobby, which was rough since we had people working on either side of it. We also couldn't leave the building during exterior shots. Fortunately, they did a lot of it on weekends so it didn't affect us as much as it could have. The one part that was really bad was they needed external generators to power all of the equipment, and they ran the lines through a window about 20 feet from me. Yeah they packed it as best as they could, but an open window in the winter in RI was not a treat.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:10 PM
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Hawaii Five-0 is hugely popular here. All the residents are excited. This is a large, three-building compound with four different exits to outside, so no one expects to be inconvenienced much. Seems the main inconvenience will be to people living in the building whose elevators open onto the lobby, as that will be a major filming spot, but that's not our building. For tomorrow, they're saying the shooting will be from 6:30am-3pm, with free coffee and pastries in the lobby for the residents. I'll probably miss the whole thing, but the wife will be around.

We're just a block away from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where the cast and crew tend to stay and which appears in a bunch of scenes every season. They'll just have to walk over.
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 09-08-2019 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:35 PM
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I literally rented out my house for 3 days to a shoot. We got just about a months worth of rent from it. We were allowed to sleep there, but had to be out at 7ish am, and couldn't return until wrap. Which was usually about 10 pm.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:43 PM
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Happens quite often in Portland and less often in my specific neighborhood, but yeah, it's lots of trucks and tons of equipment and several blocks cordoned off for filming and truck parking.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:54 PM
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The tornado scene from “Man of Steel” was shot near my old house. We could watch the shoot from the backyard. The road was closed for three days but it wasn’t a big deal as the detour didn’t take you out of the way at all.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:56 PM
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Makes me think too of the 1989 filming for Air America (1990), starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. It was filmed mostly in northern Thailand's provincial capital of Mae Hong Son, where I was living and working as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The movie people moved in and took over for about six weeks. The locals were ecstatic, as the movie people were throwing money around like water. Landlords got what would normally be a year's rent for the six weeks or so. I met Mel Gibson at the time but was so engrossed in my mail from home that I didn't even know that's whom I was speaking with until someone else pointed it out.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:18 PM
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I was a background extra on a film shoot in a nearby town. My scene was in a storefront that had been built in the front of the town's hardware store. During a break, I ended up chatting with the hardware store's owner. I asked how this film shoot was impacting his business, and he replied, "Not at all. They're paying me extremely well for the use of the store." I guess if Joe Smith couldn't buy a can of paint or a pound of nails for a few days, the store owner wasn't too worried.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:24 PM
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I was a background extra on a film shoot in a nearby town. My scene was in a storefront that had been built in the front of the town's hardware store. During a break, I ended up chatting with the hardware store's owner. I asked how this film shoot was impacting his business, and he replied, "Not at all. They're paying me extremely well for the use of the store." I guess if Joe Smith couldn't buy a can of paint or a pound of nails for a few days, the store owner wasn't too worried.
One scene in The Hangover Part II was filmed in a small bar area in Bangkok's Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 (aka Soi BJ for the presence of a certain popular blowjob bar). (A soi is a "lane.") The owner of the now-defunct Busaba Bar (no, that was not the BJ bar) told me they paid him and every other bar in the soi a ton of money to close for the two hours of filming. They were like, "You all come back anytime."
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:46 AM
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They filmed a Major Motion Picture starring Nicholas Cage at my work. I never saw them once. Whatever they did, however long it was, the crew was really non-disruptive.

But they did give this one guy a screen credit for his "help". As if he wasn't already full of himself before that.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
We're just a block away from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where the cast and crew tend to stay and which appears in a bunch of scenes every season. They'll just have to walk over.
Hey, I once lived in one of the towers at Discovery Bay Center, howdy neighbor!

As for filming in the neighborhood, I once heard a wag describe a sure way to make a few bucks when they are filming nearby. Just wait until the "all quiet" signal and start honking your car horn. Someone will be by shortly with a stack of cash. May be an urban legend?
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:04 PM
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One of the shoots my daughter was on was on a set of railroad tracks running through a suburban set of houses in New Jersey. The camera work was done to make it look like the middle of nowhere. It was filmed at night, going to midnight, which might have been disruptive to the homes nearby. But the residents were mostly in their backyards watching the filming.
More disruptive was that they rented one of the houses as dressing rooms, so we were in someone's bedroom, which was not the best dressing room I've ever seen.
But the owners got paid pretty well, I think.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:05 PM
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I've had shoots in my neighborhood, at my work, and everywhere in-between. Being in SoCal and nearby several studios, it's a part of the background. If they're on a break, you can chat with the crew and sometimes cast. They don't like people wandering off the street to bug them, but when they're in your way they're friendly. They live here, too; they know the hassles. Local residents are typically accommodating to shoots as well. Sometimes that means waiting for a scene to end shooting before you can get across an area.

It's a big industry here, and I'd guess about a quarter of the people I know locally are in media or entertainment. I don't follow things enough to know or recognize most stars. At a function my kids were in, I was chatting with a woman whose kids were there too. Later, someone asked if I knew who she was. I didn't, and still didn't know after they told me her name. Wiki told me she was a fairly famous TV and voice-over star with an Emmy. She just seemed like any other mom to me. :shrug:
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:09 PM
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Dick Wolf's series Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med film in my neighborhood all the time. As others have said, most of what you see are huge trailers that line up and down both sides of the block. I always look for names on the doors, but never see any. I also like to walk my dog past the trailers, hoping he'll get "discovered." (he's really photogenic)

Once I was walking down the street, and saw that a storefront had been painted with a sign that said "Alderman's Office, 51st Ward." That puzzled me for a moment, because Chicago has 50 wards, and I was in the 43rd ward. Then I realized it must be made up for one of the shows.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:09 PM
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This just happened to me a couple weeks ago. I'm in LA, about 3 miles from Sony.

For the most recent time, the production crew pasted flyers (with gaffer's tape, so you know it was legit) to the buildings within about a 3-block radius of the filming site, alerting us to the filming day and time -- just one day, from about 8am-4pm. They also set up orange traffic cones along the curbs and blocked off street parking for 24 hours. This was done the day before filming, so there wasn't much warning.

They did not close down streets to cars nor restrict residents' movement in and out of buildings, but they did have a person blocking the sidewalk so pedestrians couldn't just stroll past the cameras and crew. I am sure they would have let through anyone who lived or worked there.

I saw the flyers and cones the night before, so I knew what was happening and to avoid the street. But if you lived in my building and entered from the side door and took the nearby freeway onramp instead of surface streets, you probably wouldn't have known anything was happening. By the time I got home, there was no sign anything out of the ordinary had happened.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:41 PM
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Homeland filmed outside my workplace a while back, before I worked at this location. I'm told it was a mild inconvenience because everyone had to come and go through the front entrance instead of the staff entrance in the rear.

I wrote screenplays for some fund-raising films almost 10 years ago, and we filmed in the library I worked at then, but shooting just waited until after closing, then did the exteriors as fast as possible while we still had daylight, then shot the interiors when the sun went down.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:09 PM
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I've seen a few Hollywood shoots in my life.

The first was when a scene from the film Lucas was filmed at my high school in a Chicago suburb. The scene was filmed in the boy's locker room, which screwed up our P.E. schedule for a few days, as I recall. (A few years before, a scene from Risky Business was also filmed in that same suburb, but it didn't affect me.)

The next was at my university in Houston, Texas. It was a forgettable Dolph Lundgren film. Dark Angel, maybe? Anyway, they filmed a scene in one of the engineering labs. The scene was filmed at night so as not to interfere with university operations, but the scene was set in the day. They therefore put big light boxes on the exterior of the windows to make it look like daylight inside the building. I was walking by the film shoot late at night during one of their breaks, and was asked if I wanted to meet the actors. I said, "Sure!" and got to meet Dolph Lundgren himself (who was still pretty famous at the time). He asked me what I was studying (chemical engineering) and told me that he actually had a master's degree in chemical engineering! (Which is supported by his biography on IMDB.)

The last was downtown Newport, Rhode Island. While filming Amistad, Steven Spielberg filmed the exterior scenes in Washington Square as a stand-in for 19th-century New Haven. The courthouse scenes were filmed inside the Old Colony House on the square. For the exterior scenes, they had to turn modern Newport into a 19th century town, which involved removing all the vehicles, traffic lights, street signs, commercial signs, covering up the asphalt with gravel, etc. One of the store owners in the square (a camera shop, IIRC), refused to cooperate, so the filmmakers had to carefully keep that store out of view of all the shots.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:41 PM
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I've seen a LOT of shoots just by going about my daily business. The only time there was any shooting at my condo complex was for a House Hunters episode on HGTV. I wasn't aware of it on the time. I recognized our complex when I saw the aired show.

Once I was walking one of the dogs behind the high school a half block from the complex, and I saw a Ferrari Testarosa "crashed" against a utility pole. It was obviously just a shell.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:53 PM
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I live just a few blocks from Weta Studios, which is located in a mostly-residential suburb. While Ghost in the Shell was being filmed, we were briefed that we might hear gunfire at odd times, but when they had to fire weapons at night, they'd keep it to only two nights, and make a significant donation to local charities by way of apology.

It was fine with me. As it turned out, I only actually noticed guns firing in the distance once.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:15 PM
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Quite a few years ago, they were shooting a scene for Nash Bridges with Elvira at my workplace. They were there for most of the day, having arrived before we started work at 8 AM, and wrapped somewhere mid-afternoon.

Fairly disruptive - from time to time, it would be announced to the building via the phone system that we had to be quiet, which meant work stopped, and the sales floor was pretty much off-limits to us and any would-be customers until they were done. And nobody not directly involved with the production was allowed to talk to Elvira. When she was done, her handlers whisked her away very quickly.

Ultimately, only about ten seconds of shooting made it to the final cut.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:05 PM
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When I lived in LA, I went to buy a turntable in a Santa. on Ica stereo store. They wouldn't let me in because they were fixing some TV show.

To this day, I do not own a turntable.

I blame Hollywood.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:14 PM
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A what kind of stereo store?
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:36 PM
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Happens all the f'n time in my neighborhood. ALL the time. And the parking restrictions in an area which relies on street parking are a pain. They will tow to the nearest available parking place (no ticket), which could be quite a distance. By the time one finds out that one has been towed, the signs with the number to call could be gone. Then they'll move large tractor-trailers onto really tight streets. During actual filming, they might close off some streets to car traffic, which can cause lengthy delays.

Here is a partial list of productions which have shot in my neighborhood, just off the top of my head:
- Fringe (they listed the scenes filmed in our neighborhood as Boston, and was the production that opened up the floodgates)
- 30 Rock
- Blue Bloods (very often)
- Shades of Blue (very often)
- Army Wives (they were looking for houses to film in - good deal if they choose you)
- Spiderman 1 (Tobey Macguire)
- The Americans
- Some CBS web series
- Several cable series

Before Fringe, it was "wow, they're filming in our neighborhood." Now it's "dammit, why are they here again."
Yeah, this. I live on a very picturesque street in Brooklyn. It's very, very popular for shoots because it's timeless. Move the cars out and it could be a hundred years ago. Nothing has changed (and it's a NYC historical district, so nothing ever will). Look down that street, nothing but three-story brownstones on a cobblestone street, with slate sidwalks, you'd think you were back in the 19th century sometime. And, indeed, a few years back, Winter's Tale spent about a week shooting on my block. That was actually kind of fun -- they put fake snow down, and it was amazingly realistic.

Sometimes they'll park vintage cars all along the street, so at least there's that.

Blue Bloods was shooting in the neighborhood last week. So were two other productions. So parking was shot in the whole neighborhood for a couple of days.

It's kind of a pain in the ass.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:54 PM
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Do they tell me I am not allowed to leave my house, or that I need to stay away? Do they have the right to do that?
How could you possibly imagine they would be able to do that??
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:17 PM
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A what kind of stereo store?
A Santa Monica stereo store.

I don't know where that came from. I blame trump.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:29 PM
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Hey, I once lived in one of the towers at Discovery Bay Center, howdy neighbor!
We're just up the street and around the corner from Discovery Bay. Whenever we decide to rent a car for a day, it's always from the Enterprise place that's in there. Maybe about a five-minute walk away.

As for the Hawaii Five-0 shoot, that wrapped up on Tuesday. Supposed to show on the October 18 episode. Some sort of abduction scene, I gather. The abduction itself was filmed up on the seventh floor of our building. We're down on the second.
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 09-12-2019 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:46 PM
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There is always film production going on around Montreal, but the closest it ever got to me personally was a portion of the 2003 film Levity, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Morgan Freeman, about 150 feet from my front door.

Annoyingly, in his review of the film, Roger Ebert said the characters live in a "slum." Hey, screw you, dump-truck.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:30 PM
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Film crews are an extremely common sight in my town. The only time I’ve ever been inconvenienced was coming back from a restaurant on the main square, while an episode of Watchmen was being filmed; a production assistant asked us not to cross into the background of the scene while they were getting a shot. He held us up for about three minutes, then allowed us to pass; even calling it a “minor inconvenience” an overstatement. Given the amount of money and jobs Hollywood brings to the area, I’m willing to put up with far more hassle than I’ve ever encountered.

Never have seen a celebrity, though, which is disappointing.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:07 PM
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Although Orange County is close to Hollywood the majority of the county is outside of the original Thirty Mile Zone (Studio Zone or TMZ), so I don't see too many film shoots.

Tarantino did shut down a local street in my City to film a scene for his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We have an old shut down Taco Bell that they fixed up to look like it did in the 70s. Most of the locals were excited to have a big name director in town and went to watch the filming.

We also have two of the massive hangars from WWII that are often used in film, commercials, and TV shows. They are located on an old base so their use does not disrupt anything.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:31 PM
Tired and Cranky is offline
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Films occasionally shot where I used to live. Once I was crossing the street in front of a big Hollywood production when a cop yelled at me that I couldn't take a picture as I crossed. I wasn't actually taking a picture but my response was an assertive, "Fuck you! I have a First Amendment right to take a picture if I damn well want." Then I turned and noticed it wasn't a cop. It was a probably 18-year-old security guard who was trying to sound authoritative and do what his bosses told him to do. I apologized.
  #41  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:53 PM
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My former office in Chicago was used in one of the Transformers films. Quite a pain to get there on a Sunday afternoon.

I’ve run into plenty of TV shows filming as well since I work night shift. You may have heard of some guy that used to be on Empire, that was frequently filmed around Washington and Wells in Chicago.
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  #42  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:10 AM
bonzer is offline
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As mentioned in the other thread, I had occasion to walk through the crew setting up stuff for The Sense of an Ending locally. They'd taken over a storefront and dressed it as the location. Since it's a fairly busy North London street. they couldn't close it entirely, so they resorted to a set of signs stating that if you walked along that stretch of pavement you might be liable to be included in the film. Which I did and wasn't.
  #43  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Happens all the time around here. No, they can't tell you to stay in your house, etc. If they need your property itself they'll arrange that specifically--basically rent it from the owner.
The movie Promised Land filmed close to our home. They wanted to use a friend's farm market for some scenes, and approached them to see if they could use their market for (IIRC) 9 days. My friends were all excited but didn't want to lose money in the deal, so they researched how much cash it would take to close down for ten days.

When the movie guy came to discuss things, they were thinking that if they could convince them to pay $3,000 they'd bet set. It turns out his offer was way more than that, plus they would do some remodeling before and after the shoot.

spoiler for Promised Land
SPOILER:
It was a lousy movie.
  #44  
Old 09-14-2019, 02:04 PM
Ulf the Unwashed is online now
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Similar to kayaker's story:

There's a TV series filming around here. They took over the house belonging to my BIL/SIL for a spell. Two full days of filming, plus setup time and doing some serious redecorating of the inside. Total payment made was $7000.

Particularly nice for them as they weren't actually living there; they had moved a few months earlier and hadn't figured out what to do with the property. So pretty much free money, plus an updated coat of paint/wallpaper for when they do decide to rent it out or sell it. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

(Not so nice for some of the neighbors though, who had to deal with a closed street and mega traffic in the area without (AFAIK) any compensation. But for my relatives it was great.)
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
The 1994 movie Blown Away (1994) was filmed (among other places) in Copley Square in Boston. It was a major disruption, with a van "exploding" in the Square. They had to block off the square, and they had zillions of onlookers. I was using the library reading room at the time.
I'm gonna guess they couldn't do that today without making sure every damn citizen of the city knew what was happening.
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