Monday, May 14, 2007

Making Movies

For about a week now I’ve had to ride a different route because someone is making a movie on my usual course. They’ve got scenery and equipment parked all over, and a security guard sitting in a plastic chair telling me I can’t go in there. Also officers from the local constabulary, paid I’m sure by the film producers.

No idea what the movie is. The security guard told me it’s “some kind of science fiction thing, with a robot.” I gather it also involves some explosions. Note the hydrogen-powered buses (one for filming and one that looks like a spare), and the truck trailer that something has burst out of or into or through. (There also are two truck trailers with ragged holes, though you only see one in the top picture.)

Zounds! Drat! Something has blown a big hole in the retaining wall!

Mostly when I ride by during the day, they’re setting up shots. At night, they have the whole stretch of road lit up, and it looks like they’re actually filming, with extra cars driving around looking like freeway traffic.

I rode over to the edge of the overpass to take a peek, and the rented security told me, “Get going—they’re filming.”

This is my city. I live here. I pay taxes. These are public roads, and they’re inconveniencing me and a lot of other people who live and work here every day. I’m sure they paid the city a hefty permit fee, and I know they think they’re special. I’m sure the movie they’re making will be a regular Citizen Kane when it’s done.

But when someone tells me “Get going” without adding “please,” I get thinking.

Oh—I get it! There wasn’t really a hole! Just a hole in a fake wall that sits in front of the real retaining wall! These movie guys are so clever!

It looks as if something terrible happened to the poor old hydrogen bus. So much for alternative vehicular power.

As I rode by on my emission-free two-wheeler and squeezed off a couple of shots, a guy in a windbreaker up in a nearby parking garage called down to me, “Hey, sir! No pictures!”

At least he called me sir.

“Welcome to Long Beach!” I called back up at him, and I stopped taking pictures and rode home.

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