Sunday, January 27, 2008

20 Days Fun and Work Pittsburgh: New Movie "Homecoming" directed by Morgan J Freeman produced by Animus Films

Animus Films and Morgan J Freeman wanted to shoot in Pittsburgh to capture its gloomy winter days and nights. Even more so to take advantage of the consistent weather conditions and outdoor skies to keep the film exposure and look and feel of the film consistent! Animus Films seemed to be very satisfied with how the Pittsburgh conditions treated them over the 20 days of shooting. It actually took longer as they took a break for the Christmas Holidays which is very unusual in making a film.
Morgan J Freeman and Mike Kolko (line producer) made it back to city on January 5th just in time for the Steeler-Jaguars playoff game. In Pittsburgh everything stops on gameday- the bars open early- the tailgaters spend the night- and you cannot go anywhere without seeing gold and black. In fact the bridges downtown are painted gold and all the seats are painted gold in the Heinz Field. So if you're in Pittsburgh and the game is on what could be better than to be there! Quite a game as the Steelers scored 19 points in the 4th quarter only to fall short 31-29!

Now one more day of Holiday Break and back to work as Morgan, Mike and Jim Young review the plans for the day.
The next 10 days will be shot in Saltsburg outside of Pittsburgh. The old farmhouse was located through a realty firm that had it up for sale! Perfect location for a edgy thriller like "Homecoming". The rooms were small and crusty. The basement was as dreary and uninviting as it gets. The crew spent several agonizing days filming in the basement!
Mischa Barton (Shelby) and Matt Long (Mike) were on the set when we visited. The film also stars Jessica Stroup and Michael Landes who had the day off. Here is Mischa doing her "Fargo" body disposal imitation blood and all! It looked as tho' she'd done this before in watching the scene!
Matt Long arrived later as the rest of the day was to be filmed inside the farm house. Matt showed up ready for bright sunlight or was expecting "People Magazine" with his nice shades. More later....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pittsburgh the Perfect Host for Homecoming Movie Crew and Director, Morgan J Freeman and Lead Mischa Barton!

This was my first trip to Pittsburgh. I arrived late and we stayed at the Westin downtown. The view of "Three Rivers" at night is very impressive. Plus you can see the lights and the skyline as the acid dust and constant haze from the early steel manufacturing days is long gone.
Now Pittsburgh is offering tax advantages and other incentives to attract more movie makers to film here. I assume this is why Paper Street Films selected Pittsburgh for "Homecoming" and Kevin Smith will be arriving soon to start their new project here as well.
Here are a few shots of Pittsburgh and Three Rivers.

We had an early start the next day to the set located about 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh. It was cold and you could feel it in the air that snow was on the way. I went with my wife Barbara and we had a quick cup of coffee at crafts services and then proceeded to take a look at the set for today's shoot. Morgan J Freeman and the crew decided that it would be best to film the outdoor scenes first in case it snowed. The crew had already set up for interior shots in the old farm house and were not excited about breaking down their morning effort and prepare for the exterior shots. Turned out the Morgan was right as the sky opened up about 10:30 AM and within 30 minutes the snow was too heavy for the snow filters mounted on their cameras to work properly- so they were able to maximize their day in spite of the difficult weather conditions. Mischa Barton was getting a good dose of snow conditions just in time for her departure to more snow at Sundance for the premiere of her new film, "Assassination of a High School President," that debuts on Wednesday night the 23rd!

Here is a photo of Morgan, Barb and me on the set.
More later

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Homecoming" with Mischa Barton and Matt Law & Directed by Morgan J Freeman is a Wrap!

Just left Pittsburgh and the snow, wind, rain, ice and sub-freezing temperature. If the Paper Street Films team and crew wanted to shoot their film in gray, gloomy and dreary conditions the weather certainly cooperated. How they withstood the harsh conditions is beyond my warm California blood. I lasted about 3 hours on the set (a farm house in Bell Township in the city of Saltsburg about 60 miles outside Pittsburgh) and after watching two wicked and bloody scenes by Mischa Barton I got out of town and headed for Chicago to thaw out! Arrived in Chicago town on Friday the 18th and it was 10 degrees. Today, Saturday, it will reach minus numbers! Sunday is supposed to be even colder and we are not far from Green Bay and a bunch of crazy guys will try and play football in this kind of weather. Morgan, Mischa and company are very lucky as the word I got in Pittsburgh was that they get their weather from Chicago. So as cold as it was during the shoot they are going to miss the super-cold as they are all headed home.
I met the entire crew plus the producers and I was very impressed with everyone. They all said it was one of the best crews they have ever worked with and I could see it as I watched them pull down an entire set and relocate in order to shoot outside and hopefully miss a potential snow storm- they moved outside and did their shots and at about 11:00 AM the snow storm started!
So a big "job well-done" to the entire team and here's hoping their hard work results in a successful movie!
For me I'm heading back to California for some Fun in the Sun!