Indiana Jones 4 Set Report

Indiana Jones 4

/Film Reader Cinemalad sent us a report from just outside the set of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in Pasadena.

/Film was actually the site that broke the news that Spielberg had decided to shoot some additional photography in Pasadena. We posted that report questioning if this was just a simple routine pick-up shot, or part of a set of reshoots. We didn’t pretend to have any information in our posting, and as it turns out, my phone rang and Paramount was on the other end of the line letting me know that it was in fact just a simple exterior pick up shot.

It’s funny that Indy producer Frank Marshall encouraged Cinemalad to blog about his experience witnessing the shoot to combat internet rumors of reshoots. Sorry Frank, we didn’t mean to start any trouble!

There’s nothing really too interesting about the below set report, but I thought I’d post it regaurdless.

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The following report was written by /Film reader cinemald:

As I start writing this, it’s 12:14 p.m….and I’ve got a big, big smile on my face.

After reading an online “leak” about the crew of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reportedly doing some pickup shots in Pasadena this morning, I decided to throw caution to the wind and pay them a friendly (if unannounced) visit.

As any one of my friends could tell you, I wanted to work on this film very, very badly. Snowball’s chance in hell, I figured, though it didn’t stop me from sending in a resume. (More than once.) Or calling the production office. (Again, more than once…I even mailed them some of my original artwork.) But I digress…

It was around 7:30a.m. when I found the location, right off of Orange Grove; I knew it well, having taken it an untold number times for my frequent, almost weekly visits to South Pasadena. As I drove down a curved road, the neighborhood of many beautiful bungalow style homes and mansions, I approached two period cars and about a dozen or so crew members preparing for a shot.

The location was beautiful brick home, quite impressive in size, with at least two 50’s period cars parked in its driveway. Someone told me it was probably to be the exterior of Indy’s house, though he wasn’t sure. (If this is the case, globetrotting professors of archeology must make fantastic money, even by 1957’s standards.)

Two period cars were parked out in the street – a yellow Mercury and a green Ford, both sporting 1957 Connecticut plates. The cars – particularly the Ford, shining and in pristine condition – were truly beautiful. They were rented for the production, and their caretaker was a friendly woman named Kelly. We chatted for a few minutes, and I was amazed how nonchalant the rest of the crew was to my presence; I even exchanged some pleasantries with the two police officers guarding the scene from across the street. I was half expecting to be yelled at or thrown to the ground, Indy-style fashion…but, fortunately, this was far from the case.

I asked someone if it was OK to take pictures. At first I was told yes, provided that I refrained while the film’s cameras were running. Having deliberately left my digital camera inside my car so as not to draw attention (or make quick enemies), it was only then that I went to retrieve it. As I marched back to the location, who should step out from his car but producer Frank Marshall…who’s eyes immediately focused on my camera.

That’s it, I figured. I’m gonna be thrown out. My career is over, and I’ll never work in this town again. (Even if, technically, I’m not working, and this was just Pasadena.)

Stuttering and weak in the knees, I quickly assured him that I came in peace and meant no harm — or something to that effect. He calmly smiled and said it was fine. (Thank God. Adam shall work another day.)

Thirty seconds later, as I approached the house and was ready to take closer pictures, a young member of the crew politely asked me to stop. I apologized and immediately honored his request. He thanked me and said it was still OK to watch. Fine by me I thought, hoping that I hadn’t completely pissed him off.

The shot they were doing was a simple one, a horizontal tracking shot of the house, done on a small ramp for a minor lift. But I was amazed at how much work went into it – the security, production trucks, period cars, and yes, the trademark table of coffee and doughnuts. I sincerely doubt the shot will be the most memorable sight in Indy IV, but boy…I’ll be giving it a little cheer when it makes its way onscreen.

Back to my car again. I retrieved a glicee print of one of my Indiana Jones illustrations, which I’d had on hand at home for some time. Why not? I thought it’d be a nice gift for someone – a gesture of thanks for bringing Indy back. I handed it to Kelly, who in turn showed it off to some of the crew. I asked if they could give it to Mr. Marshall when opportune.

Damn these are nice guys.

Damn, I wish I could have worked with them.

I dumbly stood across the street for another half hour or so, keeping quiet and taking it all in. I observed Marshall pacing the opposite sidewalk, his eyes focused on a small digital camera. It hits me: This guy’s produced some of the biggest films of all time. He played the pilot of the “Flying Wing” in RAIDERS – the guy Karen Allen knocked out with blue blocks, in a cute little cameo. Marshall’s also a solid director in his own right, having done an episode of FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, ALIVE, EIGHT BELOW, and the camp “creature feature” classic ARACHNOPHOBIA.

(Damn, I hate spiders. I mean, hate, hate, hate them. My own little phobia, the creepy-crawly things that still make me scream like a little girl. Spiders… How I do hate spiders.)

Marshall turns and slowly approaches me. Playtime’s over, I’m thinking. Time to go home.

“Could you do me a favor?” he asks.

“Leave?” I shyly, jokingly reply.

“No, no…” he says. Then: “Do you blog?”

I immediately blurt out, “Um don’t worry I swear I won’t write about visiting this if you don’t want me to and…”

“No, no,” Marshall smiles. He then explained that there have been rumors of extensive reshoots on Indy IV, and wanted to assure me – and the fans – that this wasn’t the case. If anything, Marshall said, everything on the production has gone swimmingly well, and that it’s shaping into one hell of a film.

From what I saw, I don’t have reason to doubt Marshall’s claims. This was, as best as I could tell, merely a pickup shot and not, as had been reported, a “reshoot”. I did not see one STAR WAGGONS trailer in sight; neither Spielberg nor Ford were there. (And if they were, well…my kudos to the crew for hiding them so well.)

I told Marshall how happy I was at the news of Karen Allen’s return. “Yeah, she’s an absolute sweetheart,” he said. (Perhaps I’m paraphrasing now, but I’m trying my best to remember his words.) “Being with these guys is like being with family again.” He smiled, then added, “Only now, no one’s worried about the size of their paychecks.”

Kelly and others spoke very kindly of Harrison Ford, stating how professional and approachable he’s been to all the crew. And if the crew’s treatment of me was any indication, who could possibly blame him?

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