As the sun went down last night, I looked out the window and saw that crews were hard at work above the Rosslyn Hotel - they were "reactivating" the neon signs for a film shoot. Jim and I stepped out onto our patio to snap a few pictures, then he asked me, "You know who would really appreciate this?"
I tried to think, but I was under the influence, so I copped out "I don't know. Who?"
"Eric Lynxwiler and Shannon."
I called Shannon, who called Eric. By the time she came over, night had fallen and the lighting crew had made more progress. Eric showed up shortly afterwards with The Gentrifier, ready to take pictures. As Shannon mentioned on her blog, Jim and Eric had better cameras then she or I, but neither that nor my high level of intoxication stopped me from snapping away. I did get a whole memory card full of blurry pictures, though.
After a while, we all snapped our fill of photos. I brought out the binoculars and we were transfixed, watching the neon and the film crew in action. It was getting late, so after getting their fill of a downtown night illuminated by neon, Eric, Shannon and The Gentrifier packed up their cameras and went home to upload their pictures.
Jim noticed that Dave Bullock had twittered, asking if he could come over and shoot some photos of the sign from our rooftop patio. Jim twittered him back to come over. Wonton was tired of company, especially company that paid more attention to a neon sign instead of him. So I got Wonton ready for bed while Jim and Dave took more pictures outside. Dave was quick to take his shots, I was on my way out to say hello when Jim came inside saying Dave had already gone to upload his pictures and blog about it.
Just then, we heard a crowd's roar from outside on Main Street. "What the hell was that?" I asked Jim, "That wasn't from the film shoot at the Rosslyn, was it?"
Jim laughed, "No, that's the other film shoot at 6th and Main, near the PE Lofts. Check your email, Ben emailed FilmLA about that shoot and copied Jan Perry and Jose Huizar's offices."
I checked my email and sure enough, there was a permit being violated. Here's the details from Permit # F-208445:
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY: BOOTLEGGERS
WILL BE FILMING: TELENOR
UNDER PERMIT: F-208445
LOCATION: 640 S. Main St.
HOURS: 5:00 P.M. -3:00 A.M
DESCRIPTION OF SCENE: Exterior dialogue. Walk and talk. Drive up and away. Camera & equipment on sidewalk, in curb lane & across the street. Intermittent traffic & pedestrian control. 50 extras on sidewalk and curb lane. Crane. Scissor lift. Smash TV on sidewalk. Film LA Monitor required: 9/09/07, 4:00 P.M. - 3:00 A.M. Base Camp & Cast /Crew parking at 645 Main St. Lot 9/09/07
PARKING: East side of Main St., 6th St. - 7th St. 9/09/07, 1:00 P.M. -10:00 P.M.
Ben's email pointed out that the extras were not in the curb lane, but out in the street. The production was using a megaphone to direct the extras, directing them to cheer loudly - after 10pm, within earshot of three residential buildings not associated with the production. And of course, all under the watchful eye of a FilmLA monitor. Ben's phone call to the "on call coordinator" at 10:28PM to complain went unanswered. Funny how that happens when there's a production violating a film permit that they don't want to shut down.
The film crew at the Rosslyn posed no problems. We didn't get notification, but they weren't noisy. And although several lanes of Main Street were closed, access in and out for the surrounding residential buildings wasn't an issue. There was one spotlight that shone into our windows, but it wasn't a problem. How is it that one film crew can get it right, and one block away another production gets it wrong, but FilmLA doesn't reward the good crews or issue citations or fines to the productions that get it wrong?
Earlier today Kevin at LAObserved blogged about Eric's, Shannon's, and Curbed LA's coverage of the re-lit neon signs, and linked to an earlier rooftop view of the Rosslyn signs, from Laura's wedding. It's funny that all those pictures were taken from our patio, just from different vantage points.