You’re walking down Walnut street past Rittenhouse square park on a bright summer day, as you reach for your iPhone to shuffle through your Pandora playlist of summer songs, …Vroom! you could swear you just saw a New York “Yellow cab” fly by… you think nothing of it and continue on your way. As you near the corner, …vroom! Another one, followed by another two …vroom, …vroom! And before you know it, you’re swarmed in a sea of them. You begin to notice that none of the license plates on any of the vehicles look familiar to you and for a daily commuter of the area you also realize that neither does any of the store awnings, faces or street signs you see. Your mind goes blank as you gaze up at the foreign brown and white sign. “Broadway“? …Am I trippin’? you rationalize to yourself, then “Pop“, “Pop“, “Pop” from around the bend “a car’s tires screech”, then…” female screams”, you’re frozen stiff; were those gunshots..? Why is nobody running..? …and before you could make a move… you see “it”, …you see “him”… and “her” …you see THEM and you see it all!
You hear “Cuuuut” as M. Night Shamalyan jumps down from a tall director’s chair and the vision unfolds before your dilating pupils; Hundreds of frantic extras running and a few actors hurrying back into their position for the next take. You see several eighteen wheelers rigged with scaffolding and hundreds of yards of wires and cables wrapped around fifty-foot poles supporting massive lights, about fifteen -fifteen passenger Econoline vans lining the sidewalks and a trail of trailers bearing Paramount pictures decals on their sides and back. You, my friend, have just walked into a pivotal scene on the set of Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson’s latest feature production due out next summer and.., may have possibly just ruined the thirty-thousand-dollar shot, just kidding, we hope!
This experience was loosely based on several true stories and events that indeed have randomly taken place on random days to many random folks in Philadelphia throughout recent years, myself included. Large projects and productions like the one previously mentioned help stimulate smaller cities like Philadelphia more than most people may know.
Film… U. aspires to keep the energy going in the city long after these billion-dollar blockbuster productions pack up and roll out-of-town.