I checked out the film shoot today to see what was responsible for the closure of Hollywood Blvd. most of this week. This is a rare closure that I think benefits the community overall, as the sidewalks remained thus allowing tourists a front row seat to the making of a major motion picture.
One of said tourists happened to be my dad, who took this photo. While he was able to take a number of shots showing what appeared to be mass destruction in the middle of the Boulevard, his camera crapped out when the cameras rolled. Giant fans turned on blowing paper, palm leaves, and other debris over the street, as hundreds of extras ran away in a panic. Among the fleeing crowd: Hooters girls, dozens of fake tourists, and Superman (aka Christopher Dennis) with Professor Dumbledore right on his capetails.
The film, as you may have read previously, is “John Hancock”, previously called “Tonight, He Comes”, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman… the synopsis via IMdB:
A hard-living superhero (Smith) who has fallen out of favor with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife (Theron) of the public relations professional (Bateman) who’s trying to repair his image.
I tried to impress my dad by calling someone on the production – one of my oldest friends in Los Angeles happens to be working on the film – who swung by to say hi and mention some fun details…
#1: In spite of the clear skies, the scene being filmed was actually taking place during a hurricane.
#2: The scene takes place about 2/3rds to 3/4ers into the film. (I mention in the hopes I’ll get linked to Aint-It-Cool-News).
#3: The producer and some of the key crew also worked on Speed (1994), which also required the closure of not only Hollywood Blvd., but also the 105 Freeway, which this production also recently shut down.
That said, maybe a four day closure is a bit too much an inconvenience for local commuters no matter the benefits, and the security guards kept telling specatators they could take pictures, but not videotape, the film shoot (I don’t know the specifics of the film permit, but I highly doubt they could legally stop anyone from filming from the sidewalk).