They’rrr baaack!

Back in May I had a post about the visit to Albany by the film crew for the Angelina Jolie movie Salt. Apparently Albany is a prime place these days for shooting chase scenes, because now we have a crew in town to shoot scenes for the Will Ferrel/Mark Wahlberg movie The Other Guys. While the movie is a buddy cop flick set in New York City, apparently some of Albany’s streets can serve as stand-ins in a pinch.

This movie’s different from Salt in that there’s much more shooting and crashing of cars – and buses – involved. (The only crashing I saw on the Salt set was when the driver of an SUV absentmindedly backed into a guardrail after a take.) On the first day of shooting for The Other Guys, a parking lot next to my building was filled with shiny multiple copies of different cars and SUVs, as well as a healthy supply of NYC yellow cabs and NYPD squad cars. As time goes on, the lot seems to be gradually morphing into a junkyard, with a growing variety of banged up cars and buses.

Various prop vehicles, including a tour bus that has been speared by a Chevy Malibu

Various prop vehicles, including a tour bus that's been speared by a Chevy Malibu

Today’s shooting was right outside my office windows, so the day was occasionally punctuated by the sounds of squealing tires and the curiously roaring engine of a Toyota Prius. (I have NEVER heard a Prius sound like this one…and what’s with having a Prius in a chase scene?) Intentionally of not, it appeared the Prius made it through the day unscathed, even if it came close at times to either spinning into a curb or sideswiping some other car or truck. But that’s OK – they have three more identical red Priuses, all with primer gray right rear doors. Something tells me bad things are going to happen to at least a couple of those cars…

Lots of people gathered around the star Prius, getting it ready for the day's shooting.

Lots of people gathered around the star Prius, getting it ready for the day's shooting. Note the suited dummy in the background - it's probably not going to be a good day for him either.

Much of what I said back in May still holds true – the altered reality of a Hollywood production tends to alter your perspective on everyday sights. It also can raise questions about what is “real” versus what’s just part of the movie set. A recently installed sculpture in a nearby park raised the question “was it part of the movie, or was it a new part of the park?

However this time I seem to have a new perspective on all the goings-on: a sense of deja vu. Having seen similar activities only 4 months ago, there’s not as much novelty this time around. In spite of the occasional sounds of squealing tires and automatic weapons fire, I find myself feeling a growing ennui about the whole enterprise. I feel kind of like a New Yorker trying to wade through a crowd of tourists gawking at the towering skyscrapers looming overhead; I’ve seen this all before and just want to get on with my daily routine.

It’s almost like I’m adopting a New York mindset to this pseudo-New York film shoot. Talk about movies altering our reality…


About Dave Higgins

I've been interested in current events since at least the mid 1960's, and in ideas from modern science since the early 1990's. My website Quantum Age, which has been online since 1996, presents a basic framework for applying ideas from modern science to today's world. In this blog I discuss current events in the context of that framework.
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