May 11, 2000

"Miss Congeniality" Films Downtown

I've met someone who's in the movie biz, usually as a production coordinator, but this past week, he worked as a rigging grip on "Miss Congeniality," which is shooting in Austin right now. So last night we were on set watching everything. They've turned the Cue Lounge on Fourth Street (next to the Alamo Drafthouse) into a Russian Mafia bar in New York, complete with Cyrillic signage (ЛАЙКА) and wonderful Russian murals of Lenin and so on inside and even a Battleship Potemkin reference. Sandra Bullock was there roughing up a Russian bad guy, and Benjamin Bratt (Julia Roberts' main squeeze) was playing a cop going undercover as a homeless guy, and Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider, New York, New York, My Best Friend's Wedding) is the cinematographer. They had "New York" cabs and background cars with NY license plates, rain trees to, well, make it rain, and tough-looking extras, and copies of the New York Post for authenticity, etc. I even got to nosh from the craft services truck. So I'm a bit tired today, but it was cool. Maybe they'll keep the sign up and leave the bar as is.

May 1, 2000

Lightning Strikes

After kinda drifting off on the sofa with Teresa the kitty on my lap, I finally decided to drag myself into bed, and just when I was falling asleep, a huge lightning bolt hit the transformer across the street. The resulting fireworks both woke me up and knocked out the power for long enough to reset all my clocks. I don't think I actually fell asleep until 6:30 or later, because my alarm clock (battery backup) went off at 7, but I was in such a deep sleep I didn't actually wake up until 7:30. I'd really rather not be awake right now.

I was reading a Time online article about the movie "Gladiator," and realized that I have met the producer, Douglas Wick. He came to Wellesley when I was a senior to talk about "Working Girl," which had just been released. I was in a video production class at the time, so I made a point of talking to him. I got the feeling he really dug me, which I might have used to wangle a job, but I was intent on finishing school first. Maybe I shoulda been like Brad Pitt, who ditched school his last semester to go to Hollywood. Maybe not.