On the other side of the street

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.

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6 Responses to “ On the other side of the street ”


Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. Ugh, parasites. Camping-out on lawn chairs? I hate people that are so brazenly unashamed of being so annoying and intrusive. Why do they think it’s okay to do that sort of thing? If I was security, I’d clear them out with fire extinguishers.

  2. Shut up lol

  3. Do you mean “Scream 5 and 6″ in that last sentence?

  4. Thanks for spotting the typo, Jerry.

  5. Security can’t do anything because it’s a public area, and the people are free to hang out in their yards as much as they want. They can also take as many pictures and videos as they want, as long as they aren’t actually on the set. Many times, security will scare you into thinking you can’t do this or that, but it’s not true if you are on your property. With that said, I hate the idea of autographs! Who the hell wants some actor’s name on a piece of paper? If I was in that neighborhood, I’d certainly take a picture or two and maybe watch a bit here and there, but I wouldn’t bother the cast, unless one of them addressed me first. People that faun over actors are a bit odd to me, and that picture at the top looks like a neighborhood cult :)

  6. After I was threatened the first time I checked up on the law. Thoroughly. The Security guys are just doing their job and I’m guessing that most of the time it’s not a lot of fun. But this is Ann Arbor and it’s about as well-behaved a crowd as you’re ever going to find. They are told to tell you can’t take pictures, but they have no authority to enforce it, and if they threaten you in any way they are actually breaking the law. However, behaving like an ass is just stupid. It’s far better to be discrete and polite, and to respect people’s personal space.

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