Gotham City Intern

Article posted on Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2011 at 1:22 pm by Dr. Nancy Berk   (No comments)

Gotham PD on the scene

It’s true. This week Batman showed up in my city. Pittsburgh’s been buzzing ever since director Christopher Nolan decided The Dark Knight Rises would be filmed in The ‘Burgh. Once the Caped Crusader landed, he brought Hollywood with him, turning my backyard into Gotham City.

While I’ve never been a production stalker, as the parent of a film editor and an upcoming film school freshman, I figured it was time to get up close and personal with the industry. After all, I’ve financed my share of small student projects and coughed up cash for lighting, props (from fake blood to stethoscopes), and the “free food” that thankfully entices struggling actors and crew to donate their time. This was my opportunity to see how the industry worked and where my boys could land with their talent, determination, and school loans. Armed with a camera and obliging husband, I chatted up a few security peeps and wound around blocked streets and sidewalks to find an authorized location for viewing the shoot. We didn’t get close enough to spot Christian Bales or Anne Hathaway, but enthusiastic parents realize there’ll be plenty of time for star sightings when their kids hit the big time. It was fascinating and I loved every second, until The Mom Gene took over. That’s when I started critiquing the project and obsessing as only a mother could. Below are my 3 panic points…

1. The set involved a lot of cranes. Not cranes as in long-necked birds, but cranes as in enormous industrial machinery. It never came up in conversation, but does a film school curriculum cover how to rent a crane? What if a conscientious child tries to cut production costs and operates it himself? And what? Can’t you film a great movie without complicated and dangerous equipment?

2. Timing and scheduling are everything. Holy Toledo Batman! It’s been 95 degrees every day of shooting. Batsuits are made of latex, so what were you thinking? Plus, you’re staging a winter scene and paying for fake snow that would have been free in February. I’m in knots here trying to stay on budget and hoping there are enough hydration stations to keep everyone from heading to Gotham Hospital for IV fluids.

3. This project is freaking huge. It’s clear this is a well-oiled machine designed by someone brilliant. I believe in my kids, I even think they’re brilliant, but they can’t unload the dishwasher and make it to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament on time. How on earth are they going to become the next Academy Award-winning directors?

Right around the time I started hyperventilating, their father calmed me down.

“Don’t worry, our boys have talent.”

I knew he was right, but I’m also drafting an email to Christopher Nolan in case he needs an intern. I can get him at least one. From the scope of the project, he might need more help and I’m thinking he could teach my boys a thing or two. My only contingency– if driving is required, let it be a Batmobile, not a crane.

© 2011 Nancy Berk



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