Indiana Jones 4 in New Haven Day 5
Like father, like sons.
Today, I asked the boys if they wanted to go to the movies to
see Transformers or Ratouille. To my surprise
they asked why we weren’t going to watch them make movies.
I was shocked, as I thought they had written this off as boring
but to my surprise today they had more fun than ever. The kids
wanted to bring our dog, Indiana, to play downtown. But I figured
if I took any pictures and posted them as photos of “Indiana
on the New Haven sets”, someone at Genre Productions might
have a conniption.
All the streets were open, a sign that things were ending. In
fact, I had heard the crew was had finished up yesterday and moved
to another part of the state. Sadly, the majority of the facades
and store fronts on Chapel Street were reverting back from 1957
to 2007, Gone already was the newsstand, Bedford Grill, pawn shop
and Marshall College pamphlets. The kids climbed into an old phone
booth and were amazed to use a rotary phone (talk about feeling
Elodie with Spielberg.
Now that I have become, “New Haven Mitch”, in the
past few weeks, I also have received a great amount of emails
and calls from folks telling me about great meetings and autographs
with Shia LeBeouf, Steven Spielberg and some other “big”
names. I heard yesterday a bearded, gentleman was walking onto
College Street and was told that they were filming. The gentleman
replied, “That’s O.K., I know
my way around a movie set.” Yes, I am told it was
none other than George Lucas, one of Indiana’s co-creators,
and the director of a few movies himself you may have heard of.
To validate this, a few other fans were lucky enough to get a
few photos with Mr. “Star Wars” near the catering
tent on the Green. Another story that made the papers was Elodie
from Switzerland, who made a quest of meeting Steven Spielberg
– one that she achieved
yesterday. It made the New
Haven Register, along with a mention of mio fratello, Antoni,
from Bologna, Italy who came in to New Haven. He missed Indiana
Jones in Venice as a boy back in 1988, but made up for that by
watching the filming of Indy IV. Even tonight on the
way home, NPR had a piece on Indiana Jones fans coming to New
The boys had fun playing archeologist as they found tons of tags
that said thrift store, with $1.99 and $7.99. We figured the tags
might be scraps from extras authentic 1950s clothing. The best
was walking across the Old Yale campus, the scene of a lot excitement
on Saturday and Monday was back to normal life. Groups of modern
day Yale students were enjoying the summer day, totally oblivious
of the scraps of the filming that were scattered all around. The
kids were playing with “anti-communist” propaganda
leftover from the filming. A man walked up to me and said if I
knew what that was, I said props leftover from shooting. He replied,
they were an “eBay goldmine”, to which my youngest
looked up and corrected him that it was just trash. We walked
over to the statue and the kids soon found scraps of it lying
around and used it write some sidewalk graffiti. Ironic isn’t
it, one day a pricey movie prop the next day sidewalk chalk –
that’s Hollywood. The boys started playing a quick game
of baseball with students and stumbled across a set that was somewhat
of a spoiler. But as this blog is about movie making coming to
our neighborhood, we’ll just keep it to ourselves and you’ll
have to see it next May.
Outside Phelps Gate, the vintage cars and buses were still parked.
The highlight was the New Britain Bus from the 1950s was open
for the curious. The boys and I sat inside the same bus we had
just seen barreling down the street last Friday. And to the delight
of the boys, and irritation of the adults, discovered everything
worked – especially the horn! Owen had a blast pretending
to drive the bus and now wants to be a stunt driver. We found
out the buses were from a museum and the Genre rep there said
depending on where I had taken as a kid, I might have ridden on
that bus as kid. Gee, did I feel old!
Our friend who was an extra on Saturday came by during his lunch
break and was playing with the kids. They asked him about all
he had seen during filming but as he didn’t want to spoil
anything all he said was the film was in color, and quite possibly
a “talkie”. Again, you’ll have to wait until
next year. I did point to a car we saw on Saturday and said that
must have been the bad guy’s car. To which Owen said it
couldn’t have been because it wasn’t painted black!
Mitchell's sons posing in front of the Marshall College
We walked pass those beautiful wooden doors, now exquisitely
painted to look as if they had been there for 100 years rather
than just a week ago. The boys posed for a picture at the Marshall
College sign nearby. Bravo – set designers!
We went to grab some pizza at Naples on Wall Street, and got
caught in a sea of extras headed down the College Street. It is
very surreal to see modern day cars driving by dozens of college
students that look like they are going to a pep rally in 1957.
We watched them go by, only to see Stephen Spielberg climb out
a car, wave and blow a kiss to the dozens of fans calling his
name and taking his picture. Owen asked who he was and Spencer
said he was the man who made Jurassic Park and Goonies
and had billions of dollars. Owen was amazed by that, and said,
“Wow, I bet that Spielberg guy can
buy a lot of ice cream and video games if he wanted to.”
We waited with the crowd as the rumor was that Harrison Ford was
next to show up, another car but it was crew and make-up people.
Who were greeted with instant excitement followed by instant disappointment
– you could hear the groans. We waited a while, but heard
that Mr. Ford was already inside filming – so much for the
rumor that they had moved to another part of the state. It was
getting late and we changed our mind to grab a quick pizza to
go from New Haven’s famous Wooster Street Pizza Parlors.
You can keep your New York, Chicago and California pizzas –
New Haven is where real pizza is made! Besides it was getting
late and we wanted to go home and hit some golf balls and light
That is all for now – thanks for letters saying, “thanks
– for making me feel like I am there” or “these
have been great, and thanks for keeping the secrets under wraps”.
I had the time off so I figured this a once in a lifetime opportunity,
so why not. In return, I thank you for all the emails and reports
with so much of them I can stay home this week!