The crowd of Scream 4 set-watchers in Ann Arbor is pretty small. People start drifting in at around 6:30 pm as the crew begins to set up, and by 9 pm there are maybe between 20 and 40 people on the sidewalk across the street from the filming. The exceptionally clean white Ford vans come and go, and everyone cranes their neck to see who’s getting in and out. If it’s dark, it’s sometimes impossible to tell who it is–crew member or cast member. Even if it’s light, sometimes people are whispering, “Is that X or their stand-in?” People nudge each other, squeal quietly and start texting their friends. The regulars have learned that the younger cast come in the white vans. The bigger stars arrive in the white Suburbans, so you watch for those more closely.
The crowd is very well-behaved. There are a few children, who generally stay quiet, some people with lawn chairs who set up for the long haul, people from the neighborhood walking their dogs (there are a lot of dogs!), and a few teenagers with their iPhones ready to catch a picture of Adam, Emma or Hayden. There are a handful of slightly quirkier crowd members, but I won’t talk about them until all this is over or they may hunt me down! There’s very little heckling, or disturbance at all, and the cast and crew just a few feet away across the street are left largely undisturbed to go about the slow, painfully slow process of making a movie. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short tenure as a movie-stalker, it’s that there isn’t much excitement on the set. And if it’s exciting the first time, by the 12th take, the luster has faded!
Now and again someone will call over to the cast during a break in filming, and the occasional autograph is signed. People are taking pictures constantly, despite the regular warnings and disapproval of the Security Guards. People chat and strike up friendships with strangers. They discuss who’s in the house now, who was here earlier, did you get an autograph? At least once a night someone will confess that they have never seen a Scream movie and people around will start to give a quick synopsis of the trilogy, but no one can ever quite remember who the killer is in Scream 2 and 3!
It’s almost over and I’m both relieved (that I’ll get my evenings back), and sad. The overwhelming feeling is how much fun it is to have the movie makers in town, in our neighborhoods. We’ll all go see the movie, and scream (ha) and point, “That’s my house,” ” I was there!” “I saw that scene!” I’ll even buy the DVD. I need this movie to be a huge hit so that they come back to film Scream 5 and 6 in my neighborhood.