Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quiet On The Set!

Southland Location Shoot
About 3 weeks ago I heard the bad news that NBC had canceled "Southland" one of last season's more compelling dramas and a favorite of critics. It starred .... from "The OC" and Regina King (Jerry Macguire, Enemy of the State, How Stella Got Her Goove Back)as LAPD's finest and it was one of the few shows I liked last year. Then last week I saw a notice of filming flyer posted in my neighborhood and guess what? It was for "Southland". I decided that I would hang around the set and see if I get lucky like I did for the Monk filming a few months earlier (see details). I showed up at 5 pm and was able to see a lot of production stuff including a new cube-shaped light that looked like an hot air balloon" and was hoisted into the air on tethered lines.

I was also able to see a few scenes as they were being shot which is always a thrill for me. I sat down at a table near a taco truck and talked with some of the people sitting there as we watched the filming. I was just about to call it a day when one of the production people asked us to be extras for the last scene they were shooting. I was stoked! I had been an extra in crowd scenes before but this time I would be in a group of 3 standing right behind the actors. I'll be honest, I did think "it's time for my close up, Mr. Demille" for just a bit and I tried to give the camera my best angle. However, as they did take after take, after take of that same one last scene for over an hour, I was over any lust for screen time I may have initially had. In fact, We all were actually tired of just sitting there trying to not look at the camera or spoil the shot. I realize that I love movies and I like being on set but I definitely want to be busy when I'm on set as otherwise it is very boring.

After the final take, the production crew hugged and said their good-byes to each other and some made plans to go out commiserate together over the final day of shooting. I told the crew how much I liked the show and I tried to encourage them to have faith that the show would be picked up by another network but they weren't too hopeful. Apparently 6 shows were ordered, 5 were already in the can and the final one was shot that evening. The crew gave away a few scripts and call sheets as mementos and then they started packing up all the lights and equipment.

As I was ready to leave, a black low-rider oldsmoble with glowing green headlights, blacked out windows, tommy guns mounted to the hood and riddled bullet holes drives sinisterly by. I did a double-take then I looked around nervously. "I hope it's not an L.A. style drive-by", I thought frantically. I calmed myself and figured that the car must be for the Southland shoot. Then an identical black car but with an array of interior gadgets passes by me and I gawk in surprise again. They could not be for the "Southland" shoot! Turns out the cars were for The Green Hornet movie starring Seth Rogen and filming about 7 blocks up the street. I was not too thrilled with the idea of a movie about this 60's TV show nor of Seth Rogen as it's lead but now I may have to check it out. Plus, they might discover a new Bruce Lee.

Another industry site is reporting that TNT has just picked up Southland but I don't know if they are ordering any new shows so the crew may not be back. I will keep you posted on if or when the episode will air.

Monk Location Shoot

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