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[Read my previous post - LA Film Festival: Day 2 - Volunteering & Night Lights]
I had a short, early volunteer shift at the T-shirt and badge stand. It was only my second day volunteering, but almost everyone I had met so far were aspiring screenwriters, directors and/or producers. It was amazing how much knowledge I gained about the entertainment industry just by sharing stories with these new acquaintances for a few hours.
A Pasadena Adventure
I felt like going on a little adventure, especially since I discovered On Location Vacations, a website that provides daily filming locations of films and TV shows, from LA to NYC. One that caught my eye: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s first self-directorial film Don Jon’s Addiction, starring Scarlett Johansson and set to release in 2013. The location for the day: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I planned to spend the day with my friend Sam who happened to live in the area, so I called him, linked him the website, convinced him with, “Scarlett Johansson is going to be there!”, and we were set to go in an hour.
As the website didn’t provide a specific time, we had low expectations, but drove with purpose as we were determined to catch some celebrity film action that day. I was ecstatic at the thought that I might finally experience an on-location shoot.
As I navigated us closer to the Rose Bowl, I knew we were getting warmer as there were signs everywhere saying, “Don Jon’s Addiction” with big arrows indicating what roads to follow. As we came to a lot, there were at least 3 medium-sized trailers spread throughout the massive parking space. As we walked, drove into other lots and ran around some more, to our disappointment we finally saw a crew member taking down the road signs. It was too late, and they had already wrapped up. I look to Sam, “My bad… No Joseph-Gordon Levitt…” Sam: “…No Scarlett Johannson! Japanese BBQ to cheer us up?” “Yes.”
But as we drive out the confusing lot, we get lost through a little neighborhood where again, I spot more trailers. This time, I see them all lined up together on one side of the street, even catching a glimpse of an open trailer with costumes inside. We get excited, park and run out, and stumble right into a Toshiba commercial behind a local house. It’s no Hollywood film shoot, but still… a Toshiba commercial! No one really noticed us for awhile, as crew members were either busy with phone calls, organizing costumes, or working in the middle of production. Despite being asked (very nicely) by a producer to leave the set 5 minutes later, I was still happy that I was able to observe the crew at work, as brief as it was. Though I don’t know about Sam, with his failed Scarlett expectations. But at least the Japanese BBQ dinner and Lychee Saketini at Gyu-Kaku helped lighten the day’s mood!
In the end, even Sam had to admit that the day was exciting. It wasn’t his typical day in Pasadena for sure.
For more on my spontaneous week in LA, check back soon for LA Film Festival: Day 4 – Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, & Manny Pacquiao