Thursday, April 05, 2007

Movie Magic

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A totally off-topic post, which is a blogger's prerogative.
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Y'all know HBO is filming the John Adams miniseries here in the Richmond area? Its all-star cast includes Paul Giamatti as John Adams, Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, David Morse as George Washington, and Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin.
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My sister-in-law's brother, (aka my brother's brother-in-law), (whatever you call him, he's actually no blood or legal relation to me, but I think of him as my brother-in-law, anyway), has been working on it as an extra, and sent me a few camera-phone pictures, which I thought were fun enough to share here.

He has no lines, is not allowed to talk to the stars or approach them for autographs, and says the hours are grueling but has had a lot of fun.

One day they had him costumed as an upper-class, moneyed gentleman:


And another day he was a "rogue":


He says he prefers the tri-cornered hat.

This "Philadelphia 1776" set was built on a farm out in Mechanicsville:


The cobblestones are real. The buildings are just walls. The trees are fake. (And notice the green screen in the background.)

Here's another view of the green screen:



There is another set built on a farm in Goochland around the prisons out there.

Here's the make-up tent:



And here are a bunch of extras "taking ten":


Redcoats get hungry too:


He tells me:

In our instructions they specifically said not to ask for autographs. The [stars] walk away from the scene pretty quickly after a shoot so you are not really that close or in a position to get them.

I remember seeing Paul Giamotti looking very intense pacing back and forth mumbling to himself just before shooting a scene. I know I wouldn't dare interrupt his train of thought. I couldn't wear my glasses when we were shooting so I didn't realize that David Morse was playing George Washington.

We had no speaking lines; other than clapping and yelling in one scene, we were pretty much scenery. We did have to act like we were talking to each other in some scenes. The friends I met there had digital cameras and they have some great shots. I can't wait to see those.

Welcome to Tinseltown, Virginia!
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7 comments:

Robin said...

COOL!!! Where is the filming taking place?

Krista said...

Crozet, VA (just west of Cville) was the set for the "Evan Almighty" filming. They built this giant wooden ark (ie Noah) and brought in real giraffe's etc. It was a big deal here and they had a lot of local extras! The John Adams film looks fun, although I don't have HBO.

Robin said...

Great post!! Very interesting and that set looks so real. Who took the pictures? Makes the stars sound like royalty. I like his rogue look.

Suzanne said...

My dad did the movie too! and he said the same thing about Paul Giamotti, that he paced around between takes.

Dad even shaved off his mustache for it--and he was a stand in for the judge a few times. Woah doggies!

Margaret said...

Looks like fun! And it must be so odd to see all the old fashions alongside all the high-tech movie gear.

jessie said...

What a cool thing! I love to see your BIL (or whatever) in two different costumes. He looks perfect in both!

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it.
Cate