Being so focused on my own professional world of “virtual” products, which Internet advertising is, occasionally I’m interrupted to appreciate another virtual world, the movie business. In my case, the Jake Kasdan film, “Walk Hard”, starring John C. Reilly, filmed on our street the other week.
Internet advertising may help sell “real” products, but the work I do in lead generation, advertising and strategy have no physical components. At best, I help produce blips on a screen and send a lot of electrons through wires.
Movies are essentially also virtual, except for the DVD you might buy. But I can assure you, there’s nothing virtual in the actual filming one of these beasts. There’s a reason movie budgets are tens of millions of dollars.
“Walk Hard” will be a comedy. I won’t give much away, because it won’t be released until December 2007 (see IMDB), but it’s got to be funny, because there was a camel walking down our street for one of the scenes. Although we, as gracious neighborhood hosts, were admonished not to take pictures (“so they don’t end up on YouTube,” said the location assistant), just about every crew member whipped out their camera or cell phone and snapped away. I guess camels are pretty rare on the streets of L.A…
What most impressed me was the fact that it took three days and 130+ crew members on site to film what will become less than 30 seconds of film. They made our street look like the 1950’s South, apparently.
FilmL.A., Inc., the non-profit economic development corporation that handles permits and promotes filming on the streets of Los Angeles, reported that there were 1,860 production days on local streets the first quarter 2007.
Unfortunately, those days were down 22% from last year, in part due to so many other states and countries offering subsidized incentives to draw production away from L.A. Well, our street accounted for 3 of those days — and I’m happy that hundreds of crew members were able to earn a good living while using our neighborhood. At least they didn’t have to commute to Toronto.
By the way, if you’re ever approached by a location scout named Boyd Wilson, be nice to him, because he and his crew are fair, professional and easy to work with. They left our homes and street better off than before, and we had a lot of fun in the process. Not to mention with a little extra cash for the inconvenience.
Here’s a further shout-out to John C. Reilly and Kristen Wiig, who were super-nice to my children and very personable. They made my kids’ day – who then got the chance to see a real movie being made in front of their eyes.
P.S. And yes, I did get a pretty good photo of the camel…