While blocking the double doors of an office building in downtown Los Angeles yesterday, a University of Southern California student film crew promised it would be out of the way in five minutes.
At around 9:30 a.m., film student Peter Tero begged employees of the Wilshire Kenmore Building not to alert security, stating, “It’s just two more set-ups after the DP figures out what’s causing this weird shadow and we’re gone.”
Tero stressed the importance of the film for his class, CTPR 385, adding, “It’s about a guy who’s late for work, then he meets the girl of his dreams, but she’s really a criminal. We’re going for a noir Tarantino feel.”
Despite Tero's plea that the waiting employees would be part of “something really great,” many were not convinced.
“While I totally get that many acclaimed directors started with student films, such as Stephen Spielberg's Amblin and Andrei Tarkovsky's The Steamroller and the Violin, they gotta get out of the way,” said Alan Molina, an employee in the building, as two students struggled to turn a rented dolly. “Some of us have real jobs.”
Producer Jodi Warren offered particularly upset passersby an associate producer credit on IMDb in exchange for their cooperation.
The student crew had already caused major disruptions by filming scenes in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, on the shoulder of the 10 freeway and in a dorm room. Danielle Walker, a spokeswoman for FilmLA, the nonprofit that handles filming permits in Los Angeles, said these disturbances could have been avoided with the organization's services. “All students have to do is pay $625 for every single location and in return we provide small ‘Notice of Filming’ fliers for crews to tape up near the shoot,” she said. “This would solve all the problems.”
CTPR 385 professor Jed Dannenbaum was unable to comment due to a group of students yelling for quiet in his office as they tried to record room tone.
At press time, grip Erik Hernandez was standing near his Honda Civic coupe parked in a nearby red zone while eating Market Pantry fruit snacks, ready to load all the equipment in what he estimates will be five minutes.
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