And that's a wrap
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday night, the cast and crew of the Marley & Me movie filmed its final scene (John outside the vet's office, calling home to Jenny to tell her Marley's stomach had twisted again). Owen Wilson nailed the scene in four quick, heartfelt takes. And then the ensemble broke out into a huge cheer as director David Frankel lifted a megaphone to his mouth and pronounced, "Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the principal photography." It was a wrap. Jenny and I, with our (very sleepy) daughter Colleen, were on hand to witness the end of shooting, at about 1 a.m., and it was something to behold.
The set had a festive, yet bittersweet, vibe to it. It felt like the last day of summer camp with everyone knowing a really special time was coming to an end and everyone would be going their separate ways. It's so clear these professionals, many of whom worked together on Frankel's previous movie, The Devil Wears Prada, have real respect and admiration for each other. The entire time I was present on the set -- several days since filming began in March -- not once did I observe a raised voice, bad attitude or tense exchange. Even Jennifer Aniston, whose scenes wrapped up last week and was not present Thursday night, commented on it; she told me last week that she had never worked on a movie with such great positive energy nor with a cast and crew that felt so much like a family. Marley's infectiously good karma, which has blessed my book from the day I submitted it for publication way back in 2004, apparently has continued to bless the film version of this story, as well. Good dog, Marley!
In impromptu farewell comments, Frankel acknowledged the same thing. He called the experience of filming Marley & Me the highlight of his career and said words could not express the affection he felt for everyone who worked on it. It was a very sweet moment. And then Owen Wilson fanned through the crew shaking hands and giving hugs. When he came to me, he said something that meant a lot to me, something close to this: "I keep thinking that all of this began with a single thought inside your head. It all came from you, and the words that came out of you and onto paper, and look what it's become." That has not been lost on me, and sometimes I can only stand and shake my head, wondering if it is all real.
The movie has a release date of Christmas Day.
Here's a story that ran in the local paper in West Chester:
‘Marley & Me’ filming wraps up
FANS YELLED TO OWEN WILSON ON LAST DAY OF SHOOTING IN WEST CHESTER
By ANNE PICKERING, Staff Writer
WEST CHESTER — “Marley & Me” wrapped up shooting in the borough Thursday night.
About 1 a.m., after shooting Owen Wilson all evening outside a makeshift veterinarian’s office on North Church Street, the director yelled, “Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the principal photography,” and the crew erupted in spontaneous cheers.
Spectators standing behind the yellow crowd-control tape strung across Church Street at Chestnut Street looked on silently as crew members
who usually are serious whistled and hugged each other.
A crew member watching over the spectators said the three-month shoot that had started in Miami was over.
A black Suburban SUV pulled up to the curb, and the Wilson-watching spectators speculated that it was his car.
But moments after the director said, “Everybody, that is a wrap,” Wilson hurried across Chestnut Street in the direction of his trailer with his bodyguards trailing behind him.
Aggressive Wilson-watchers seemed to emerge from the shadows and pursued him, yelling his name.
Most of the spectators stayed behind the tape and frantically snapped his picture with their camera phones. It was completely dark, and Wilson was about 20 feet away.
The 20th Century Fox production has been shooting in Chester County for most of May. The film stars Wilson and Jennifer Aniston and is based on the best-selling novel by John Grogan about his family and their goofy Labrador retriever.
On May 20, hundreds of spectators stood in the cold for hours trying to get a glimpse of the two stars who were shooting a scene on West Gay Street.
On Thursday the crew was back to shoot a scene in which Wilson walks out of a veterinarian’s office after presumably leaving Marley.
Mireya Rengert, who lives on Church Street, started watching the shoot at 6:45 p.m. At midnight she was still there shivering in a short sleeve T-shirt.
“It’s cold, but it’s worth it. I love Owen. I got some good shots,” Rengert said.
At 1 a.m. nearly 100 people were still watching the shoot.
Three hours earlier, said Adrianne Senior, a real estate agent with ERA Excellence in West Chester, twice as many people were there. She was with her 9-year-old daughter, Rianna.
“She won’t let me leave,” said Senior, who had three cameras with her but the batteries had run down on each of them.
Senior said some girls had pursued Wilson earlier in the evening and the bodyguards and police had to chase them away.
At midnight, when Wilson emerged from his trailer to shoot the final scene, spectators yelled, “Hey, Owen, welcome to Philadelphia,” and others yelled, “Hey, Owen, do something.”
Presumably, they wanted the star to wave or better yet, come over and sign autographs or just get closer so they could get better shots. But Wilson was all business and ignored his screaming fans.
To contact staff writer Anne Pickering, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
posted by John Grogan at 6:07 AM