A Little Taste of Hollywood

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I was following my normal route to work yesterday when an unusual white tent caught my still groggy left eye.  Parked betwixt several large trucks on a busy midtown avenue was a small catering hub, a veritable what’s what of perishable breakfast goodies.  You had your carb station, your fruit station, of course you had your coffee station.  And while the smell of bacon and lemon danish filled the air and drool dribbled down unnoticed onto my business casual short-sleeved sweater, I shot back to life knowing full well I could not partake in this tremendous feast that lain before me.  You see this feast is called craft service, and it is only available to a lucky, lucky few.

Every (note: not every) New Yorker worth their salt knows that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and where there’s craft service, there’s a film shoot a ‘brewin. Whether it’s a TV show, a commercial, a music video or a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE is not the point. What’s really important is that we normals get to see a real, live video production in the flesh! And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself smack dab in the middle of a film set, you might even get to see some celebs! If that’s your thang, make sure to follow these easy steps:

Step 1. Tear your eyes away from the croissants at that beautiful white tent and search for the closest street sign/lamp post/totem pole sticking out of the ground. Affixed to that very sign/post/poll will be a bright colored piece of paper, known as a permit. This permit is your ticket, this permit is your friend. You know why? It tells you what you’re looking at! Legally, the production has to tell you what they are shooting, and this little neon token is the only thing that will tell you.  So instead of chasing around a PA wearing a headset and a frown who will inevitably tell you they are shooting Law and Order: Hawaii 5-0 instead of The Dark Knight Rises, go find that sweet, sweet colored paper and move on to Step 2.

Step 2. OK so you’ve sidestepped craft service (without stealing anything) and located the neon paper of dreams. It’s now time to whip out your smart phone and IMDB the crap outta the title that’s scribbled on the permit in black Sharpee.  How else are you going to text your friends that you saw the set for the new Ben Stiller movie when you didn’t even know he was shooting The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? In other news, if it’s not on IMDB, that means it’s probably a student film and that means you should move along, there’s nothing to see here, folks.

Step 3. First, let’s review: You ignored the breathtaking tablescape, you discovered the vibrant permit and you successfully established what set you are on.  Now it’s time for surveillance.  I will warn you that while Parts 1 and 2 will take less than 60 seconds in total, this next step could run you a few hours. But hey, this is more important than the Cats tickets you bought from the guy dressed as Buzz Lightyear in Times Square, right?
So because this is the surveillance phase, be sure to bring your A-game.  You’ll need caffeine, granola bars and a whole lot of optimism – this could get rough. You’ll need to hang out around the set, but keep moving. You hear me? No one likes a loiterer! Since this is (hopefully) a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, the production will most likely cover several streets. Take a walk around! Get a cup of coffee! Follow the screams! When the screams begin, that means the stars have arrived and you’ll start to feel better about the fact that not only did you miss out on Cats, but you learned it hasn’t even been on Broadway since 2002.
Which is okay, OK? Because while you didn’t see Cats and you didn’t procure a biscuit from those turds guarding the craft service tables, at least you were able to taste a little bit of Hollywood, if only for a few hours.
So that’s that, Buzz Bloggers – Tell us if you’ve had any cool set visits in the comments below! And while you’re at it, tell us which TV show shot on the streets of NYC is your favorite!

30 Rock

Gossip Girl

Law & Order: SVU

Person of Interest

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