Friday, April 17, 2009

Trauma films on North Beach streets

I cannot believe the circumstances: it's been four decades (give or take a few hours/days) since I stood on the corner of Taylor and Filbert Streets in San Francisco's North Beach and watched in awe...... the filming for the movie Bullit was wrapping up one of its many scenes of the famous bouncing-off-the-crest-of-those-SF-hills chase sequence, and now I am again a more mature witness to another modern-day filming on the very same street corner.... and this time I have a camera!!!
Today it was to be for a TV pilot to be aired possibly in a month for NBC and titled Trauma. The camera crew and actors have been been filming for the past few weeks in various SF locations, their biggest and loudest being the explosion on the King Street off-ramp some weeks ago.

But I remember waaay back when, as a kid, on this very corner where I stood there was just a film crew of not even a handful of the production crew. With just a single camera, three cars (two chase scene cars and an "innocent" VW bug) and no police for traffic control.

Tonight there was at least five trucks with a work crew of at least 50, one very noisy but fast car, and even portable toilets and a food cart, plus a huge power generator... about five motorcycle policemen were utilized for traffic control, and even more!!!

Boooy, has the times changed! There were quite a big crowd of about 18 just standing around tonight in the cold wind watching ~ but I do remember as a kid 40 yrs ago, there wasn't but five watching..... and it was during the afternoon. I stood on the sidewalk at the northeast corner of Taylor & Filbert just behind the camera crew!!! :-)

Tonight this speeding car flew down the hills, skidded a little as he hit the brakes a bit too much then swung around to his right; the scene was well lit with small lights on the hill, plus a huge bright light at the very top of the street pointed south to our corner.

The last time I was here those two Bullit cars flew down the hills, screeched on their brakes and skidded to their left.... in this link to a youTube video (not responsible for any broken links but was functional when I tested while writing this) of just the movie's chase scene, the chase down Taylor Street starts at about 4mins 10 seconds. You can see Crystal Tower apartment building in the background and the little moss-green VW bug gets passed by the two speeding cars.... ;-)My, have the times changed!!here he comes DOWN Taylor street!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

so I've been busy.....

and while I wait for the latest and last filming of the new television series "Trauma" pilot taking place within 200 feet of where I sit typing this, and thought to kill time while waiting, I'd describe my last few weeks in my City.

Eyes: Of course the healing is great and progressing very well; the last checkup in San Jose weeks ago went well and no more checkups, unless I stab myself in the eye again as I have too many times already. I love not having to wear glasses and even frown upon wearing my super-light sunglasses. The only thing I miss is having glasses on all the time for the sole purpose of protecting my eyes during periods of high wind, debris in the streets, etc. No more of that as I wear glasses as rarely as possible these days.

My tiny folding bicycle: Am looking forward to riding again. I now have a light, a U-lock and a mirror as I hate turning around to check for cars, bikes and people behind me. I changed the position of the cutey bell-ringer to my right-side handle so it's easily accessible. All I need now is a mate/friend with a bike also to ride with!!! :-)

Sunsets: Of course I've been to and seen quite a few as always. Earlier in the year after returning from Spain the sun was setting at a hour too close to my sister's release from work, and I missed quite a few great sunsets. But now the sun is starting to set later in the afternoon fortunately, and I can once again get to a great location hopefully to catch a few good golden gate sets!Culture: Last weekend a thoughtful friend if my sister invited us to join her at the Legion of Honor and the de Young museums. I hadn't been to the Legion ever, but I was a weeee-lad when I went accompanied by classmates during a grammar school field trip to the de Young. It's so exciting to see historic art and pieces and descriptions of things and times past; I love history and often look and think back to times long gone...
Architecture: Downtown is always a challenge and a delight for me... challenging because I have to crank my eyes upward giving me the most painful pain in the neck literally!! A heavenly delight because of what I see... the beauty, the uniqueness and modern glass glory mixed with the old... it's all so wonderful!!
Macy's 63rd annual flower show: I was informed of this event by a fellow Yelper, I went to see the flora designs at the Union Square Macy's main store. It was really very interesting and colorful. I saw some great displays that required a lot of time, planning and flowers. Unfortunately this display ends this Saturday, April 18th... More pictures are posted at my flickr site....