Thursday, August 11, 2011

The "In" Place to Be

by Joyce

Since all of yinz guys ain't from Pittsburgh n'at, you may not know it's a really happening place right now. No, really. It is.

A lot of movies have been filmed in Pittsburgh: Night of the Living Dead, Hoffa, Sudden Death, Striking Distance, Silence of the Lambs, Wonder Boys. (There's a really exhaustive list on Wikipedia. Way more than I knew about!) Some members of the police department where I used to work played the SWAT team in Silence of the Lambs. That SWAT guy crashing through the window was our lieutenant. They filmed a lot of the movie in our township, too.

None of these movies, however, have garnished the kind of attention as our latest claim to fame. In case you haven't heard, they're filming the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises here. There's a lot of coverage in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, if you want to check it out. There's even a Twitter hashtag to follow: #batburgh.

One of the things I find really fascinating is that in the midst of our 90 degree plus heat wave, they've been filming winter scenes. On two of the hottest days of the year they filmed a fight scene on the steps of the Mellon Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and a Gotham City football game at Heinz Field, promptly overtaken by the bad guys. People had to wear winter coats which they promptly stripped off as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. I don't know about you, but thirty seconds in a winter coat in the kind of weather we've been having would have given me heat stroke.

It was just announced yesterday that the Jack Reacher movie will be filmed here, too. Yeah. Tom Cruise. Don't get me started on that one.

And for really geeky people (like me) who watch a lot of PBS (except for the British shows--they put me to sleep), the Antiques Roadshow will be in town this weekend. And I'll be there! A couple of months ago, the local PBS station, WQED, asked for volunteers for the Roadshow. I put in an application, was interviewed, and got the gig. I have to go to training from 4-6 on Friday, then I'll be at the convention center from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm on Saturday. I have no idea what I'll be doing yet--I'll find out on Friday. It'll probably have something to do with corralling about 3000 people, each with two items to be appraised. If you're on Twitter, follow @RoadshowPBS on Saturday. Sometimes they do live tweets.

If I live to tell about, expect a report on my adventure in two weeks. If I'm lucky, one of the two items I'm taking with me will be worth more than $1.98.

9 comments:

Martha Reed said...

HI, Joyce - you're right. PGH is very hip and busy right now. I saw the snow yesterday on Oliver Avenue. Got passed on the street by a police car that said GPD - Oh! Gotham Police Department, very cool and there are signs hanging all over for Magnus Rex which I assume is the working title for the Batman movie?

Antiques Roadshow is one of my favorites. I can't wait to see what they'll turn up. It's like Let's Make A Deal.

Joyce said...

My hubby sent me an email yesterday morning that he saw the snow. I was extremely envious. I'd like to snag one of the Gotham Police Department patches. I hear there are all kinds of Batman and Gotham t-shirts on sale dahntahn.

Ramona said...

Joyce, one of my FB friends (and a Pennwriter!) is an extra for the Batman movie. Apparently, he works regularly at this. He's been posting about his experiences--great fun to read.

Annette said...

I'm so jealous that you're working the Roadshow, Joyce! I fully intended to sign up for it, but completely forgot when the time came. That'll teach me to tune out the local news.

I'm with you on the heatstroke thing. I could hardly stand to wear jeans outside! Let alone a winter coat!

And we'll have to discuss the casting choices for the Jack Reacher movie another time. Tom Cruise? Seriously???

Jenna said...

I'm jealous; Pittsburgh sounds like such a fun place to live!

A week or so ago, Alex Sokoloff had a really good blog on Murderati about the Tom Cruise thing. I'm not thrilled with the casting choice either, but she made some good points. Look it up if you want.

Have fun at the Roadshow, Joyce!

Joyce said...

I did read Alex's post about Reacher. She had some good points, but I still don't like Cruise as Reacher. He's a decent actor--maybe he can pull it off, but there are other good actors who look the part. I think one of them would have been a better choice.

Patg said...

As a lapsed Pennsylvanian, I remember when Pittsburgh's air was a black mist. And was very happy to hear how the town really cleaned up.
What do you mean--Those Britsh shows???? Surely you do not mean Masterpiece Mysteries or Classics??
Portland and Oregon gets a lot of movie business too. A lot of scenes from Leverage are filmed her.
I'm not a Cruise fan at all. I so did not like him in the remake of one of my all time favorite movies, War of the Worlds. Of course, adding kids to it was awful too.
Patg

Patg said...

Oh, by the way, Martha? Why did you use the PGH for Pittsburgh? Is that a local thing?
FYI, the airline/airport code for Pittsburgh is PIT.

Joyce said...

Sorry, Pat. I do mean those shows. I've tried to like them because I feel like I'm supposed to--being a mystery writer and all--but I just don't get them. At all. I don't like the period pieces like Downton Abbey that everyone raves about either. I'm more of a Burn Notice or Monk kind of gal. Reruns of course, since I don't have cable.

Pgh. is the common abbreviation of Pittsburgh. I still remember pre-zipcode envelopes addressed as Pgh. 5, Penna. Or Pgh. 5, Pa.