June 30th, 2007, posted by MitchMan710 | Digg This
Indy IV in New Haven Day 2
Well, today was interesting in New Haven for many reasons…
I did a solo today, as the kids have been totally turned off to movie making – I believe that they think it is up there with watching paint dry (extremely expensive paint – but boring nonetheless). I watched huge trucks and cranes, setting up lights. I saw the trucks marked Panavision unload equipment and was still pinching myself that these city streets were the same ones I grew up on and used to argue with my friends on what would make a great movie, never thinking I would watch the making of one take place in front of me. A film made by one of the industry’s legendary directors and one of its biggest stars, nonetheless. If you have read my other blogs, you will know by now that I have a special spot for the town I grew up in. I always saw it as diamond in the rough, a well kept secret that out-of-towners never really noticed.
Now, I know I mentioned that my kids found it all boring, but I grew up watching those nerdy “making of” documentaries. The ones where they would show the model makers move the AT-AT Walkers in “The Empire Strikes Back”, or the mine car chase in “Temple of Doom”, one frame at a time – again and again. Months of work for 7 seconds on screen – that was always an example of true professional craftsman and patience beyond imagination. It still doesn’t change watching “Indy IV” being put together. I asked a cameraman if those were digital cameras they were loading and he said no it was real film – and only about 4 minutes of it in the canister. I found that simply astounding! Maybe this a little redundant to any film experts out there, but watching them load the cameras – I must admit I was floored. When you watch all the preparation, the labor force involved, the attention to detail, the hours of takes and retakes, to see it all done for such a brief snippet of time – FOUR MINUTES – it’s no wonder that it takes take after take, months, and years to produce a film! So when you watch a film being made and think it looks easy — you are sadly mistaken!
Today was nicer in New Haven, the weather was cooler, even a bit cloudy, but everyone seemed to get used to having the Indy IV film in town, and traffic – both vehicular and pedestrian flowed smoothly. Chapel Street still had more detailing to the shops, such as gumball machines, shoe shine stands, and pamphlets posted all over, giving it a more authentic feel as the town where the 1957 Marshall College is located.
Old cars went up and down College Street, nothing new. I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be a dullfest, as the kids had experienced the day before, and after an hour I was heading home. On the way back to my car, I saw a bunch of folks gathered around and asked what was happening and they said that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg were there. But it really looked like a lot of trucks, cables, lights, and folks hanging around drinking coffee at the food tents. Then everyone was pointing at the food tent and sure enough there was the star of the film! Everyone was chattering, “he looks taller than I thought”, “I have to call my wife/husband/kids”, “where’s my camera”. But after a few seconds, he headed off down the street. People were still buzzing, amazed that one of the most successful stars in movie history had just walked by. I started talking with a tall fellow who was watching the excitement and we both agreed it was cool. We started to chat, he told me he was from
Boston and in town for the summer – and how he came down to see the action. We walked and talked and turned the corner and stopped in our tracks to see Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford – wow that was cool times two. Like tourists’ kids at Disney World who just bumped into Mickey and Donald, we took out our cameras. This was really cool, I thought, wait until I tell the kids, they missed it, and I really did see the real Indiana Jones /Han Solo and the man who made “ET”.
Then I realized that everyone was dressed in 50s clothes around us, and we weren’t.
Hmm, that was strange, I hadn’t seen all those extras before, and where were all the people we were just standing around a second ago. I may be a little slow on the uptake, but as my old boss used to say, even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut. And at that moment, I felt really, embarrassed. It was one of those moments in life that you slowly look around and realize that you just did something was not right. I turned to this new acquaintance and said, “did we take a wrong turn”, and before I could get an answer we found out that we did.
Now, at this point in the story, I have to say that all of this blog writing, and reports, have been a great way to share all the excitement happening in New Haven and what a time it has been watching all of this take place. It has introduced me to a huge network of fellow fans, from all walks of like, ages and around the world! Truly, this has been an amazing experience, in just a matter of weeks. As a Marketing Director, I am also well aware of the influence and reach of communication, and have been careful not to reveal anything that would ruin the surprise that awaits fans next May when the go see Indy IV on the big screen. It would be like waiting for a Christmas present for 17 years and have your friend tell you what you are getting months before you open the package – it takes the fun out of it. The foolishness of leaking storylines only hurts the fans in the end. How mad would you be to know that Luke Skywalker’s father was Darth Vader a year before you saw the movie – pretty disappointed, huh?
Further, after reading the emails and comments that I have received, it has been a really eye-opener to see the devotion folks have for these films, to many it is a huge part of their life, similar to Star Trek and Star Wars fans (no offense, to anyone). I always considered myself a big Indy fan, I remember going to see the films fondly, but its not my life – I also like the Yankees, Giants, blues and jazz, the works of Saul Bellow, Raymond Carver and John Steinbeck and more than anything else, spending time with my family. What I have seen from others is far beyond my few posters and trinkets.
I say all this in this blog, because, after I walked away from the street where they were filming, myself and the gentleman I met, were asked to delete the pictures we took, which we fully complied with, immediately. Feeling foolish and realizing how difficult it must be for the production crew on location. For every honest mistake, like ours, there must be a constant set of bozos interrupting them. Hopefully, I am not in that category now – Look gang, the production company is there to work. End of story. You wouldn’t want someone walking in to your place of work and interrupting you all day. They are professionals at work and should be treated with respect. We all enjoy the final product, so let the craftsman work, and don’t get in the way!
Afterwards when we left, we talked to each other realizing how foolish we felt. It was then that my friend called and said the local news crew was looking to do a feature on local fans who had come down to the filming. We waited for the reporter and when he came up he asked us a bunch of questions and asked if we had any stories, if we had seen anyone famous, etc. We went on to talk about what a huge thrill it was to be in New Haven, and see all this, the old cars, the 1950’s storefronts, the fellow fans, and how we had seen some big names.
Do you know what they used to tell that story on the news that evening? How we were told to delete our photos.
None of the good stuff, the positive, just the negative was there. Whenever I conducted print interviews at my job, I always asked for a final review before it hit print – to make sure I wasn’t taken out of context. What was used that evening on the news was exactly what I didn’t want to see – instead of Indy fans rejoice – it was Indy fans bitch about deleted photos. If you watch the link on wtnh.com and look at the Day 2 filming story, you can see that I wasn’t even aware we were really taping, as I casually leaned on the wall, expecting that it was a just a run-through of the questions. I talked about the importance of set secrecy – and why film companies need to protect themselves - and they blended it all together with my glib response.
To say that Day 2 was not what I thought it was going to be – is an understatement.