Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Friday, June 02, 2006

Nicole Kidman out front?

The other day, a lady stopped by the church while I was doing some cleanup work for the 150th anniversary celebration. She wanted to use the church for a place to hold extras for a movie scene being filmed on the street in front of the church. Although the movie is yet unnamed, it's a major Paramount production, starring Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, and some other famous girl whose name I can't remember offhand. Apparently, they had selected our street as the best in the area for having Nicole Kidman looking down through a window on a demonstration of some sort.

Because of the anniversary, the pastor said they couldn't use the church (even when they came back asking to use the side lot, and again asking about the driveway.) I felt bad for the location scout who kept coming by, so I tried to lend her a hand. They had been shooting, apparently for days, in front of a church member's house, and he says that all the guys he talked to were really nice. They wound up having to use a laundromat for a staging area, and a catering hall several blocks down the street for the crew's meal. Of course, it would have helped them a great deal if the director hadn't settled on using the site just two days before filming there.

We went out to watch the filming for a while. Naturally, thunderstorms rolled in just about the time they wanted to start shooting. And of course an oversized semi that hadn't gotten the word about the street closing had to deliver monstrous construction equipment to the middle of the block while they were trying to get started. I came away from the thing with a whole new appreciation for what goes into a major production.

For probably twenty seconds of movie time, they had the street closed, had people on site for most of two days, had seventy-five extras for a demonstration, people to herd the extras, had trucks, at least three lifts of various sorts (they built the window the actress was looking out of on a lift, rather than using an actual building), painters, assistant painters, camera people, and probably as much electronics gear as was used in the invasion of Baghdad.

It turns out that Kidman wasn't there at all; they used a body double for the shot, since they were shooting over her shoulder. Oh, well; there's been far too much of Kidman on display in several movies, if you catch my drift.

My daughter ended up being something of a star -- she got more attention standing out there than any of the actors did. One of the production people even wanted a picture of our family out there in the rain, with daughter in mom's jacket -- it turned out both adorably and very artistic (she shot in black and white.) Well, we'll likely never watch the movie. But it certainly was quite a show watching this part of it made.


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