I read in Michael Klein's column "Law Abiding Citizen will film driving scenes tonight, forcing Center City street closures after dinnertime through 5 a.m. tomorrow. Affected will be Market Street between 16th and 19th Streets; 17th between JFK and Market; and 18th between Market and Chestnut." So I cleared my schedule:I checked out the site at lunch to see what the set up would be and saw a lot of trucks, in addition to workers taking the banners off the poles.
Around 7:30PM I left work to see the progress of the filming. I figured correctly that they would do the rehearsal first and watched that for an hour or so. This is around 18th & Market
Then out of seemingly nowhere he appeared.
right next to that familiar mop of hair, Sharon Pinkenson.
Surprisingly he eyed a few of his fans and they surged forward. Now I have to say for the amount of emails I have been getting from the serious Gerard Butler fans, and for the amount of info out there, I was surprised at how few fans there were. (No doubt GB recognizes me from my barrage of questions during NY Fashion Week last week.) When Marley & Me filmed the place was crawling with Team Aniston members, so ladies if you are kicking yourself today you should be as Gerard was as accessible as he is ever going to be on this shoot. In fact for the most part the crowd was filled with folks asking what's going on? What movie are they filming in Philadelphia? Or my favorite "Are they filming a movie?" He posed with this one duo 3xs; once together, then each one individually. Maybe it was the celtic charm the girls gave him.A few weeks back there was a great Nightline segment on celebrity worshiping. The first stage was Poems & Letters to the celeb, second stage gifts, third stage referring them as your future husband, mother/father and writing your first name and their last name
While I was busy with Gerard I didn't notice but the action moved to 19th & Market
It was then I spotted Danny Bonaduce and Amy Railsback walking along the street. I went over to say hi. They told me they had just gone to Chima and had a nice dinner. Amy's sister was in town from San Francisco and they were showing her the town. Danny told me that as he was checking out the cars, at 19th & Market, Jamie Foxx hopped out of the car and called him over; they chatted a bit, but then Danny saw Colm Meaney and they hugged it out as they had worked on a couple of projects in LA together. I high tailed it up there to see if I could catch Foxx and some action. Here's Director F. Gary Gray directing the scene.Here he is directing it from the back of the truck that will be pulling the Jamie Foxx car
You can't see it but JF is in a car behind this truck and the guy in the red was eating a large hoagie dropping bread all over the place and you know JF is trying to get into character
It was a warm night, we were all happy with the balmy 39F weather (On a side note, back in November Hurricane Schwartz predicted this would be the snowiest winter to remember, and that on 3/6/09 we would get a huge snow storm. So far he's been wrong on all counts. HS I think you need to go in the dunking tank if we don't get that snowstorm)
At one point Jamie came out and greeted the crowd and began taking photos of them (Now these photos are a big OOF as I was doing that Hail Mary thing over a few heads. I did get a few good shots and sent them to my photo agency out of NYC. Maybe they will show up somewhere exciting)A bit after this Jamie started taking questions from the audience. Someone asked about his new CD and he started singing. This would have been a good point for me to break out my other camera and record this for TMZ, but it didn't happen.Then it was back to work for the Foxx. The crowd swelled a bit and everyone asked who was in the car filming. The guys were high fiving each other like they had accomplished something, and others were saying they were going to be there for the duration to one of the cars crashed.
The driver of the car is Irish actor Colm Meaney. Although you might not know the name, you definitely know the face as he has been a character actor for almost 30 years.
After filming a few scenes I got this shot, and of course I am thinking oh man now I've done it, I've taken too many shots they're gonna tell me to get out of here. Well what they were looking at were the girls next to me. The PA walked over asked them their names, went back to Jamie Foxx and he signed each one an autograph. SOOO awesome for them, what a nice guy he was as no doubt that will be a treasured keepsake.
I met a lot of nice people on the set. I wish I had taken their photos, but I was in that zone of concentration not wanting to miss "The Money Shot". I did get a photo of these two nice ladies Art Institute Phila I don't know what the H stands for Simone Middleton, who is studying film and Marquisha Daniels who's in fashion design. I bet Marquisha is on the left.
I learned from the extras, some of whom drove their cars all the way from Virgina, that their job was to just have a car and park it along Market Street like you see here on the left and right. They were not to sit in the cars, as the cars were just for background. The cars you see going down the street were the "stunt" cars, even though no stunts were being done. the car with the lights trained on it was Jamie Foxx's car being filmed.
They have their own principle photographer to take the stills
After awhile, 4 hrs and 500 photos, it was time for me to leave
All in all it was a good night, I was excited that the production let me photograph the events, and i might tell you that 99% of these photos are shot w/o flash, but just with my great Nikon set at ISO 2000. Not too shabby or grainy either.This is an example of a flash shot, which I didn't flash but the guy next to me did hence the shadows are falling to the left and not right.
By the time I left the crowds faded too. We had seen them film this scene about 7 times and it was getting old. By this late hour even Jamie Foxx stayed in the car between shoots, chatting on his phone to whoever. Colm got and took a cigarette break every time and talked to the crew.
I heard from someone on Twitter that Gerard did indeed come back to the set. Probably not to film as I heard most of his scenes are from a jail cell. I also heard that this film is to be released in March 2010.
Video of Gerard Butler on the scene:
Video of the Shoot: