Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dark Knight Rises Trailer II

The Dark Knight Rises has been in production for a very long time all over the world. When the first teaser trailer was out last summer, the movie had already been shot on two continents and was shooting in Pittsburgh.  So there were no local shots in the first trailer for obvious reasons.

It was fun to see Pittsburgh show up prominently in the new The Dark Knight Rises trailer that has just started playing (12/11). The portions of the trailer shot in Pittsburgh include:
  • The long stadium shots were all from Heinz Field, and those shots open the trailer, with the kid singing the National Anthem
  • The field explosion, dramatically enhanced by CGI
  • The fighting in front of gray-columned Mellon Institute (though a lot more of the fighting was also shot in New York City recently)
  • One street scene with a low-flowing aircraft filmed in downtown on Smithfield St. 
The second trailer is now available online.  I don't seem to be in it, though I was only about 10 rows away from the kid who was singing.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Nomination for Nick Nolte for Warrior

Every once in a while, a movie shot in the Pittsburgh area is nominated for an award. Granted, it doesn't seem to happen that often. So, it was nice to see Nick Nolte, who played the father in Warrior, be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor. Good luck to Nick! Full SAG Nominee List

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Shot (in Production)

One Shot continues to shoot around Pittsburgh. They've been shooting in two units all over - the first unit (actors' scenes) and the second unit (driving scenes). Nancy Mosser Casting is still doing periodic extra calls, so, if you think you'd like to be an extra, it never hurts to sign up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Steeltown Event Wednesday Night

For the last two years, Steeltown has sponsored a short script contest.  The kickoff event for the upcoming competition is Wednesday, November 9 at Regent Sq. Theater.

I thought this was a great idea, and attended three script competition events in early 2010.  My favorite script was a small bit of magical realism called Lightweight.  While Lightweight was not one of the two winners, it basically placed third, and the filmmakers made their film, which will be shown Wednesday night.  In addition, the 2011 winner will be shown (due to a very busy volunteer project, I didn't attend any of the 2011 events, so I'm not sure what the winner is like).

There are still tickets available - go to Steeltown Film Factory Website for more event inforation and to buy tickets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

2011 - Busy Moviemaking Year and More to Come!

I haven't posted here much this year, due more to having a very busy volunteer project.  Did a little extra work on Steel Town (later renamed Still I Rise), and was one of about 10,000 free extras who sat in Heinz Field for a Saturday for stadium crowd scenes for The Dark Knight Rises.  It looked like Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt briefly visited the set, but Tom Hardy was there long enough for a general introduction.  Sadly, I was out of my seat and looking for some water at that point, so I missed Hardy completely.

The next Tom Cruise movie, One Shot, will be filmed here this fall.  Rosamund Pike (An Education) and David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will co-star.

Last year, I complained a little that while I'm glad more movies are being shot in the Pittsburgh area, I wished a better quality of movie was filmed here.  That just might have happened.  While Warrior, shot here in 2009, has been a slow-starter at the box office, it's a very good movie, a darker version of last year's The Fighter.  Excellent performances by Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte.  If you haven't seen Warrior, go see it even if you don't care for fight movies.

And, Abduction, shot here in the summer of 2010 with some reshoots in May 2011, has been getting lots of TV commercials and trailers.  The trailer makes it look quite compelling.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Busy Moviemaking Season Returns to Pittsburgh

For the last few years, spring and summer have been the busy times for movie shoots in the Pittsburgh region. This year has been no exception.

The big local movies here this spring include:

  • Abduction - the Taylor Lautner movie, mostly shot here last summer, but returned for several days of reshoots in early May.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - the Emma Watson movie, written and directed by a Pittsburgh native, has been here for about a month and will continue to shoot in June
  • Steel Town (formerly Still I Rise) - the Viola Davis/Maggie Gyllenhaal movie about educational controversies, will be shooting throughout June.

Steel Town is actively recruiting extras, especially kids. There are many classroom scenes, and many scenes of parents/community rallying to help support change coming to the school.

Much of a shooting day involves waiting around, so kids must be able to quietly amuse themselves, and must be able to take direction while on set. I'm honestly not sure what the pay rate is for kids, but they cannot
work as many hours as adults. Tips for Surviving as an Extra (applies to kids as well as to adults!).

To apply, E-mail name, phone number, photo and age to

But, what many of us are particularly looking forward to is The Dark Knight Rises, AKA Batman. Directed by Christopher Nolan, it'll be one of the biggest movies ever shot in Pittsburgh. The 'burgh is only one stop on its international shooting tour, but I think it's going to be in Pittsburgh longer than anywhere else.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Joe Hill's Locke and Key Being Filmed Locally

Since the release of a number of Pittsburgh-shot movies last fall (Unstoppable, Love and Other Drugs and The Next Three Days), it's been a quiet time, TV/movie production-wise, in the Pittsburgh area.

That's changed now that Locke and Key, based on a comic book by Joe Hill, has come to town. Its director, Mark Romanek, has a history of making solid but under-appreciated movies (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo and Bee Season). Its lead, Miranda Otto, is sometimes in big projects (Lord of the Rings, War of the Worlds) but often doesn't get her due. Her co-star, Nick Stahl (In the Bedroom, Carnivale), also does terrfic work.

In this movie, the Pittsburgh area (Hartwood Acres in particular) is playing rural Massachusetts. While Massachusetts has more rolling hills and isn't as "ridgey" as Western Pennsylvania, it's a good fit.