A story that sums up my relationship with L.A.:
One night, a few years post college, a couple of friends, my wife, and I ended up on the second unit set of the first Tobey Maguire Spiderman after a night that included: a concert by my friends’ group Friction Bailey in the basement of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, an aimless spin through the Hollywood Hills resulting in little more than making two sidewalking stoners paranoid, and a few hours in the BonaVista lounge, spinning like a record on the needle of the Bonaventure Hotel to watch the skyline twirl below us.
I know; the tourist whiff is strong. No worries, though. It’s about to get stronger.
Returning to street level at well past midnight, we walked straight out into the aforementioned movie set. They were playing out the same traffic sequence over and over, later transforming it into the backdrop for a daytime scene set in New York that would act as green screen fodder for a famous bit of spider agility.
Gotta love that Hollywood magic.
I did, so much so that I convinced my friend to reproduce something he’d done in college, you know, as an audition for the crew. I mean, this is Hollywood, right? Every moment could be the moment, right? So spontaneously, or something like it, we dropped down in the street and performed a perfectly frenzied stop, drop, and roll technique for the nearest crew members. It was, you’ll have to take my word, an award-worthy effort.
They were, of course, unimpressed and we were, of course, *asked* to leave the area. Who knew that filming background footage was not an open casting call?