Report from the shooting @ Elizabeth Street – SPOILERS!

By Paul Martin November 7th, 2001, in The Matrix Reloaded

Nerje witnessed some shooting the other day! Here is his report:

Alright, this is the greatest piece of news you’ll ever hear. Period. No doubt about it, you’ll never be the same once you hear the following information.

Here goes…

I was inside an ACTUAL CITY PHONE BOOTH. I used the phone and everything!

See? The most phenomenal thing you’ve ever heard.
Or something.

Okay, here’s the real deal:

I arrived at 6 pm, and nothing was happening yet. After a while I saw some truck scooting around, and unloading equipment. Excited, I checked it out – I spoke to a very secretive security guard, and it went a little like this:

NERJE: So what’s happening here?
SECURITY GUARD: We’re filming.
N: Filming what exactly?
SG: A film.
N: No kidding! What film?
SG: The Burly Man. I suppose that doesn’t mean much to you.
N: I know what it means.
SG: Oh. (Shuffles away and begins a lengthy campaign of ignoring me)

So that was my first clue that I was in the right place. Then, at 6:30, they started towing cars out of the street. Friendly. Between this time and 8:30, they unloaded a lot of props from the many white trucks around the area. The props included:
– Mesh trash cans full of pretend rubbish
– Green and red brochure stands, emblazoned “Free, take one!”
– A small metal phone stand
– Very American fire hydrants
– An American post box
– A newspaper box (the ones where you put the money in the slot and lift the lid)
– And a City Phone booth. I sat right next to it as the actual phone console was screwed in. I got to mess around in it, pretend I was using the hardline, and all sorts of other stuff. At first, it had white signs, one saying city and the other saying phone. Later in the night, both of these were replaced with green signs saying CITY and a phone symbol next to them. Extra cool stuff.

The crew were hard at work, messing around, then at 8:30 the street was closed to traffic. Then they brought in the CARS. A whole heap of right hand and left hand drive cars. The ones that were incorrect were being changed by putting a cloth over the steering wheel and putting a fake one on the passenger side. Tricky. There were also a few nice sports cars amongst them too.

Two cars to note:
At the front of the queue was a really badly painted brown Chevrolet. Painted too badly to be in the movie as a prop – maybe to be crashed or blown up? The other car was a police car. There were two police officers walking around. Through conversation with them and many, many other people around the street, I found out:

The cops were professional drivers, and they are had been here shooting for 6 weeks. They were expected to stay until next year. Somebody told me they claimed to be Agents in disguise and pointed to the silver tie clips. Another guy heard that in the particular scene “the grid is being shut down, and everything is slowly turning off,” “this whole street will be darkened soon,” “it’ll be dead as a ghost town when we slow the cars to a halt.”

I was told the scene would be in Reloaded, not Revolutions.

There is a little more that I can tell you, but it will have to wait for another time.

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