Indiana Jones 4 in New Haven Day 3
Indiana Jones helps us discover the Fountain of Youth.
A beautiful sunny, summer Saturday out with the family, and a
trip to New Haven, to meet up with old co-workers and their families,
walk around the park, the shops, get a bite to eat, visit to the
Yale Peabody Museum to see the dinosaurs, and oh yeah,. see how
the filming of Indy IV was going. But, the big star that
we all knew and loved was working today - that's right, my pal
from college was an extra today and we wouldn't miss that for
You see, this blog isn't a testament or how to guide to be an
obsessed fan. It is a report on how the filming is really just
an attention-getter, or novelty in the background that brings
a lot of curious folks out to see their first ever glimpse of
a film production. It has become the equivalent to going to our
local Bridgeport Bluefish baseball games, they are being managed
this season by legendary New York Yankees pitcher, Tommy John.
We take the kids to the games and the parents just talk, the kids
run around, we watch the game peripherally. The mid 30s-40s dads
perk up if Tommy John comes out and gives a wave - and instantly
we are all teenagers again and Tommy is in his prime and 20 years
ago go away in what seems like a blink of an eye. This is what
Indy IV has become - nostalgia come to life, as old friends
meet up and remember when we were all younger back in the 80s.
Sometimes it is the years and not the mileage.
Plus, today, my wife wanted to see what all the "big to
do" Indy IV was about, as the kids had told her
about it, and I mentioned seeing Ford and Spielberg. Although,
I worry if she ever saw Harrison Ford close-up, she would say
"why would the bloodthirsty, murdering crooks in "Firewall"
ever kidnap the family dog"? But, honestly, my dear wife
could care less, she is not impressed by Hollywood - and as we
are in both in marketing - know it is more often, if not always,
about business than artistic expression. Also, back in college
in New Haven she worked at Scoozi's restaurant, near the famous
Yale Repertory Theatre, where she waited on actors or actresses,
and never knew who they were. Many a night she would call me up
and say at her table was "the guy that was in that "Incidental
Tourist-thing", William Hurt? Jason Rhubarb? Stacey Peach?
Mertyl Strep? Paul Redford? Robert Newman? I would always correct
her and she would say - "whatever". My next question
to her would always be - did they tip well?
We arrived in New Haven at noon, walked around Chapel Street.
The boys were excited to see the new "old" store dressings,
like the old fashioned Bozo Fun Phone, the mechanical horse, (which
sadly Owen couldn't ride as it was a prop), and read flyers. It
was fun to watch them play with the scales and gumball machines.
Wait until next May 22nd, they will be them pointing at the screen
and "hey that's our Bozo Phone Indy walked by". Questions
came up from Spencer, as he read the pamphlets. What was a "commie"
or "atomic bomb", and who were the Marshall Patriots
and when were they playing football against Northern Connecticut
University? Note: There are three directionally named universities
in Connecticut - Eastern, Western, and the one I graduated from,
Southern - but none called Northern). I explained that it was
materials from the fictitious Marshall College that Indiana Jones
It was quiet today, no Shia LaBeouf sporting a pompadour that
would give Elvis a run for his money. No Harrison Ford or his
stunt double zooming by, either. We looked around and saw that
there was some Indy IV filming going on inside the Yale
courtyard (where we used to crash Yalie parties back in college)
and the Green (where we went to dozens of free summer concerts
that had such greats like Ray Charles), and old cars were parked
along College Street (where we once found a knocked over parking
meter and thought if took it home we'd be rich - but it weighed
a ton and we were 10 years old). This filming has really become
a big tourist attraction, so much so, we saw bus unload a huge
group of tourist nearby and they quickly came towards the roped
off filming area with cameras clicking. I kid you not!
We met up with our friends and their kids and played catch with
the boys, only to stop to watch the extras come by dressed like
students, teachers and regular towns folk in their 1950s clothes.
We looked amongst the group and spotted our friend in his costume,
complete with shoes - he looked cool, like a picture of my grandfather.
The kids were excited as he waved to us, they told all their friends
at school, they knew a real movie star. So what he will be a fuzzy,
image on screen for less than a nanosecond - today he was the
man! He was standing around women who looked like Lois Lane from
the old, black and white, Superman show with George Reeves.
During a break he came over to say a quick "hi" to the
kids. Twenty years earlier, he would be playing in bands at clubs
across the street from where we stood, and I would do stand-up
and film public access comedy shows, both dreaming about fame,
fortune and glory. Now, we stood there as my kids asked if even
his socks were from the 50s - he said they probably were- but
everything was authentic, pipes, lighters, glasses, cigarette
packages, newspapers and all the women were wearing real 50s style
underwear, so they fit the costumes properly. My wife wanted to
know how he knew what the women had under their dresses - to which
he replied with a raised eyebrow that would have made John Belushi
proud and made a quick exit back to the Indy IV set.
Authentic underwear: just another example of the painstaking detail
that these Lucasfilm/Paramount folks put into this film. We left
for lunch at the Black Bear Grill and my son asked a crewman how
much did all this cost - he laughed and said that we will probably
never see a film of this large scale so close up, again. To which
Owen replied, does "large scale" mean everyone was fat
who worked there? Oh, to be a seven-year-old.
When we came back we noticed one of the old car drivers was really
a local high school principal. Then started talking with a fellow
(who I soon discovered sat near me at the Billy Joel concert on
October 30, 1996, during which Joel kept stopping the show to
give the crowd updates on the Boston Red Sox/ New York Met World
Series) said Steven Spielberg had just come out and not only stopped
to wave to the crowd, but turned the cameras on them literally!
As they all snapped away with their various cameras at Mr. Spielberg,
he pulled out a camera and started taking their pictures. Now
they could all go home with a great story - they had the same
thing in common with Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Richard Dryfuss and
Harrison Ford - they had just had their picture taking through
the camera lens of an Academy Award-winning director! I mentioned
that I had a great photo of Spielberg and Ford yesterday, but
had to delete it - the "old concert acquaintance" said
no problem, and emailed me the shots (they look great) it was
like being a kid trading baseball cards.
Seconds later Harrison Ford made his through Yale's Phelps Gate
(where I asked my first girlfriend out), he stopped and waved
at the crowd twice, as they cheered and snapped pictures. This
time, I let my son Owen, who sat on my shoulders play cameraman,
and he took a few somewhat blurry shots of everyone's favorite
Everyone was having a good day, as we made our way to the car
and some ice cream at the Tasty-Di, across from the British Art
Gallery. We watched them film more cars driving down High Street
and then we headed over to the Yale Peabody Museum . If you are
ever in New Haven, you must stop there, its our version of the
Museum of Natural History, and where every kid went with their
parents or third grade class. It has meteor rocks, a vast collection
of dinosaur fossils, and a mummy - the kind of place you could
imagine Indiana Jones looking for a wayward Marcus Brody.
The last few days have been amazing, as we met old friends, met
new ones, learned about movie making up close from the best in
the business, and about promising, upcoming filmmakers. Truly,
what an adventure it has been.
Driving away, I looked back and thought about how Indiana Jones
was somewhere around these streets getting himself into all sorts
of trouble like he did in the old days. And somewhere in our memories
we were also running around the same streets, just like we did
in the old days.
With the big Indy-pendence Day approaching, cookouts, fireworks
at the beach, and getting going on finding a new marketing/public
relations job (I wish writing about movies would pay the bills
- but this is just something I have been doing for fun for my
friends - both old and new) I am taking a
break from the New Haven filming.