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Indiana Jones 4 in New Haven: Day 5
04/07/07, 5:24pm EST

Local Indyfan Mitchell Hallock is back with his fifth, and last, great report from the filming of Indy 4 on the streets of New Haven!

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 ancient).

click for more
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 Haven.

eBay goldmine
Prop-aganda leftovers.

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!

Marshall College sign
Mitchell's sons posing in front of the Marshall College sign.

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 some fireworks.

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!

Special thanks to Mitchell Hallock for writing these very enjoyable set reports. We'll miss your writings!



 

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