Thursday, March 17, 2011

My favorite location spotting story

Yesterday’s post on location shooting unlocked a lot of memories for a lot of people. Thanks for sharing yours. I have one more story. This is my favorite.

There’s a large indoor shopping mall in West Los Angeles called the Beverly Center. Along with chain stores and a bad food court is a multi-plex theater. One afternoon, with nothing to do, Sam Simon (co-creator of THE SIMPSONS) and I decided to kill time by going to a movie.

As usual, twelve theaters – nothing good. We finally settled on VOLCANO.

VOLCANO  was a ridiculous movie that came out in 1997. Apparently a volcano erupts in Los Angeles. You’d think some geologist sometime would know that there was an active volcano brewing under a giant metropolis. When they started digging the Metrolink subway wouldn’t at least one worker say, “Y’know, it’s awfully warm down here”?

And usually volcanoes erupt out of mountains and not flat residential areas but why quibble?

So we’re watching this atrocity. There must’ve been ten other people in the theater. The volcano goes off. There’s mass panic and bad special effects. Anne Heche and Tommy Lee Jones try to save the city. Former talk show host and Oprah-wannabe, Mother Love plays “traffic cop”. The great actor, Harvey Levin even appears.

The molten lava is oozing down major streets, melting everything in its path. Storefronts are obliterated. Frozen Yogurt stands offer little resistance.

Finally, there’s a shot of the red hot lava fast approaching the Beverly Center, to which Sam cries out, “Hey! We better get out of here!”

That was maybe the biggest laugh I (and everyone else in the theater) ever had during a movie.

Location is everything.

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