Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Treme Filming Today in VA Hospital Footprint

Crowds of people were scurrying about along the streetways of the VA Hospital Footprint today, filming HBO's Treme.  Some stretches of road were actually reconstituted for the filming after being torn up.

This bit of S. Tonti, for example, between Banks and Palmyra, had been recreated.

I had mixed feelings about the whole affair.  I learned that the scenes being shot were not actually depicting the demolition of the VA Footprint, but rather some general scenes from 2006.  That's not surprising, but it did make me wonder a bit more about the propriety of filming on the site.

For example, as shown above, Ms. Gaynell and company were trying to move things out of her house on Palmyra today (she departs tomorrow).  She said she didn't know anything about the filming until this morning.  An officer in a car blocked off access initially while the crew was filming, although the truck for moving was later able to pull up.  Most absurd, though, was witnessing crews shush Gaynell when she was talking out in front of the house.  While I normally wouldn't have a problem with a film crew causing some temporary inconvenience for neighbors, I don't think the crews recognized who they were dealing with - someone who's been through a lot.

Still, I'm a huge fan of the show.  And a visit with one of the writers, Mr. Tom Piazza, provided a few interesting views of things as they played out in front of Outer Banks.

It was a strange scene.  Below, you see several of the fake demolished houses brought to the site.  The excavator operator, serving as backdrop, just kept going through the motions with the machine, sort of "air-demolishing."

Meanwhile, not far away, real, loud, destruction was still very much underway on the old Tate building:

I'm not certain who, if anyone, is getting paid for providing the location.  If any of the developing parties or their contractors a getting paid, though, I would request that they use any revenues from the filming to assist those being displaced from the VA or LSU sites, or to move homes off the LSU Footprint, preferably with their owners, if possible.

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