Have you ever happened upon a movie being filmed?

Asked by Josh Board

July 15, 2009

Photo of Herbert Ragan

Herbert Ragan

From El Cajon (Auditor)

In New York, it was impossible not to. I saw many movies being made from a distance. I saw the movie Nuts with Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss...that last scene where she’s running away and there are pigeons. When I was in Orlando, I saw Lethal Weapon 3 filming at the old city hall building. It was the scene where Danny Glover is on the toilet with all those explosives. We got to watch them blow it up, but none of the stars were there.

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Clancy Warren

From San Diego (Writer)

I’ve seen a few. In the ’50s there was a movie called Picnic, with Bill Holden and Kim Novak, filmed in my small Midwest town. We only had 1700 people living there, and they filmed at a nice park. A lot of people I knew ended up being extras. I didn’t have a Social Security number, so I couldn’t. Novak used this one boy as her mascot and gofer. He ended up running away from home to find her in Hollywood. He got caught, though. And when I was in Moscow working for the embassy in the ’60s, I saw a Soviet film crew working on something.

Photo of Eve Daniels

Eve Daniels

From Balboa Park (Retired)

I saw some movies being made. My mom worked for MGM as a writer’s secretary. My grandfather was in a Douglas Fairbanks film. He was the bad thief in The Thief of Baghdad. He did silent films and worked in vaudeville. I was able to watch one film being made and got a part in it. I was three or four and played Spencer Tracy’s daughter in the movie Edison, the Man. It still airs sometimes. My father had died, and I was the lucky, adorable girl they picked to play that part.

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Derek Shackleton

From University Heights (Language Teacher)

When I was around 18, in Houston, they were filming that Kevin Costner movie Tin Cup. Me and three friends went and ended up being extras. We got $50 a day, but that’s a long time of being there the times they tell you. And we were told to wear clothes that a golf spectator would wear. One of my friends wore punk-style stuff, and he wasn’t allowed in. We saw Cheech Marin, and I filled a bag with grass shavings. I kept yelling, “I got the stuff,” and he finally turned around. I thought he dissed us, and when we were walking away at the end of the day, he came up in a golf cart. He said it was pretty funny but that I should let it go. He said it was in his past and he wanted to concentrate on acting. That was kind of cool.

Photo of Jennifer Craig

Jennifer Craig

From San Diego (Systems Engineer)

It was a made-for-TV movie; does that count? It was with Sissy Spacek and that woman from Weeds…what’s her name? Mary-Louise Parker. It was about 15 years ago, and it was filmed at Sharp Memorial. It was a story about a baby born with AIDS, and a nurse ended up adopting him. I was working there at the time, so I got to see a lot of the filming.

Photo of Bobby Brenner

Bobby Brenner

From Santee (Construction Foreman)

I had a cousin living in L.A. Anytime I went to visit her, it seemed we would walk by some film-shoot. You can always tell when you approach because you see the big trucks, the boom mikes, cameras, and so many lights. It can be daylight, and you still see huge lights set up. When I was a teenager, I always knew the star. Someone would say, “It’s a Cher movie.” The last time I saw a filming, which may have been five years ago, they mentioned the star. I had no clue who it was. They said he used to be a comedian. I’ve always meant to pay attention when the film comes out, to see if I recognize anything from when I walked by.


SDaniels July 15, 2009 @ 12:49 p.m.

Eve Daniels... maybe we're related. Spencer Tracy's daughter? Rock on, lady!

In NYC it is definitely hard NOT to run into filming. At NYU, from a prof's third story office office, I watched Nicholas Cage film a scene across the street in the Washington Mews--for a film whose title I've now forgotten. Something about stealing cars with Angelina Jolie?

It was pretty anticlimactic; a hot late spring day, and they spent about three hours spraying the cobblestones and foliage with fake snow, just so Cage could pull up in a limo, walk up to bang on a brownstone door to get no answer, then take off again in the limo. It looked like they had sprayed his hair too, with Ron Popeil hair-in-a-bottle...


magicsfive July 15, 2009 @ 1:30 p.m.

LMAO hair in a bottle... never have i walked up on a movie being made but does it count if it's a tv show? there was a show that was filmed in san diego...a couple of years ago...who remembers what it was? you know one of the real cheesy ones. well anyway it was right after my friend's vegas party (josh remember that party is on the 25th) and my friend cynthia and i were (ok i admit it) really wasted and decided to take a walk through north park. we got down to upas st. and there were all these cops and security guarding one of the streets off upas. she wanted to turn around and go the other way because she didn't want the cops to know we were walking around drunk at 2 a.m. i kept telling her to "just act casual" because i wanted to know, no, i HAD to know what was going on. i asked what all the security was for and the cop told me they were filming a scene from ____... i was able to totally play it off like i was sober, but still don't remember the name of that silly show.


Josh Board July 15, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

Those two stories remind me of stories (on a side note: email me, or call my voice mail, regarding the party on the 25th, so I have all the info).

When Jurassic Park opened, lines were around the building of every theatre it was showing in. My friends and I went to a midnight show, and it even sold-out. This was in Mira Mesa, and I ran into a few of my other friends near the back. They said that Sylvester Stallone was filming a movie (the female lead was a then unknown Sandra Bullock) on Miramar Road, and that pyramid building.

We figured at 2:00 a.m. when we showed up, they'd be done. They weren't. They had to drive an old Camaro or some muscle car, thru these glass doors. They would do that, set up the doors again, and film from a different angle. No stars were there, just a few extras, dressed in robes (because, I guess that's what people wear in the future...either silver outfits, or robes). After an hour, we were so bored, we just left.

When the movie came out, we were surprised. It was a scene where Stallone steals a car from a prison and drives out the building. It lasted a total of 30 seconds, tops. And they spend hours nad hours filming it.

Ever since that moment, I didn't mind spending over $10 on a movie ticket.


Josh Board July 15, 2009 @ 3:26 p.m.

SD...I agree. That woman should be thrilled. Not many people can say they were in a movie with a famous actor playing their dad. I think she was more proud of her grandfather, though.

Anyway, magic...you should see the movie In Bruges. They have a scene where Colin Farrel sees a movie being filmed, and is so fascinated by the entire production. Even more so, when he realizes a midget is in it.


rickeysays July 16, 2009 @ 2:36 a.m.

I came across a crew filming in Venice when I lived in LA, featuring some young no-name actress I didn't recognize and have never sen since, but what blew me away was how beautiful she was. Breathtaking. Shows how over-the-top attractive you have to be to make it in that business.


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