Friday, June 8, 2007

Lights! Camera! Fire Alarm!

Dick Van Dyke stepped out of a golf cart in front of me this morning when I strolled back from the Freudian Sip to my office.

Pierce College is often used for filming television episodes, motion pictures, and commercials. This time it is "Murder 101: If Wishes Were Horses," starring the afore mentioned Mr. Van Dyke and Barry Van Dyke. According to IMDB, it will air in August.

A couple of years ago, hackles were raised when Playboy filmed something here. Girls wearing bikinis played baseball. The reaction of the then president to the uproar was to call it "easy money." That hit the wire services and it was all over the country in hours. Obviously, a slow news day.

One evening, the Arabian Prince stopped short in his tracks as a missile ran up and down a wire track supported by a crane. That was something not seen in the natural world for 45 million years. It was for the season ender of "24" a few years back. Pierce also served as Camp David for the same show.

"The Pretender" did a lot of location work here, says my friend Lorien who was a second AD on the show. "Toys," the debacle with Robin Williams, was shot here as well. I've seen the wannabee Foster Farms chickens ads that were shot along El Rancho Road. A pilot for a show about horses was partially filmed here at a riding class I was taking. With 400+ acres and buildings which range from mid-century to brand new, it's a fine place to shoot in L.A.

Of course, the call I took from their production head this morning wasn't a happy one. We're busy trying to get our fire alarms tested during the few days between sessions and they were making noise where the crew was filming. Could we put it off or move it? No. We can't. It's not like it was going on continuously. I didn't hear a one as I walked across campus or talked to the head of the English Department. They definitely could shoot around it.

I wonder how long they'll be here. With a TV movie, it shouldn't be too many days.

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