Saturday, May 17, 2008

Owen Wilson was here

In my newsroom, that is, on Thursday, filming a movie. The crew, which included Wilson, actor Clarke Peters, camera, light and sound people, continuity girls, best boys, makeup artists, hair stylists, extras, grips, gaffers, gofers, food servers, cable layers, carpenters, electricians, technicians, and nuchschleppers with cell phones, arrived far earlier than I did. I did, however, catch the last couple of hours, including a scene that Wilson and Peters shot in the editor's office.

Now, this was all taking place during a working day in a working newsroom, with editors, reporters and office staff trying to do their jobs, and our editor-in-chief was naturally concerned about the possibility of disruption. So he sent a memo to the staff asking that we not disturb the film crew.

In fact, the crew, whose 250 members prompted one of my colleagues to remark that she now understood why movies cost so much to make, was considerate, quiet and unobtrusive considering its size. They were packing up within seconds of the final "Cut!" and were out within minutes, leaving behind only a few pieces of equipment to be retrieved the next day. It was an astonishing reminder of how efficiently an enterprise can run given a staff of adequate size.

(I'm not sure my desk is visible in this scene with Wilson and Peters, but that's my newsroom, all right.)

(Addendum: The movie crew left without removing the yellow filters they had placed over the windows, so my colleagues and I have been violating union rules by removing them ourselves.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008



Blogger Simona Carini said...

250 people? Wow! I guess they know how to move around. Nice to get a glimpse of where you work.

May 17, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The crew's size caused more than one ironic reflection that our paper has laid off and otherwise slashed staff to the marrow, while the movie crew had people whose only job was to bring food to the people who checked the makeup of the people who styled the hair of the people who answered the phones of the people who had no easily discernible function.

May 17, 2008  

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