As soon as I arrived in lab last Friday (late, I'm afraid), Pei said, "Linda, we need your camera!" I took out my camera and gave it to her, then followed her to the windows where everyone was looking out at something below.
Ok, there's only three of them in this photo, but the other 2/3 of them are just further down, I promise.
So, what was everyone looking at?
People were shooting a movie! (Or a TV show.) It's a little hard to see all the camera gear from this picture, but you'll see it later in this post. They blocked off the parking lot next to our building, in the very direction our lab's windows were oh-so-conveniently facing. I found the whole setup incredibly fascinating.
And are those guys seriously sweeping the parking lot?
Apparently water on the ground is a big no-no, thus the poor guys sweeping water to the side. This wasn't the only glad-it-isn't-me job we saw. There were people who had to wipe down an entire car with paper towels between each take. Yeah, that sucks.
Meanwhile, the big shots were all just chilling under their bright blue tents:
We (the lab spectators) got really excited when this fancy-looking car showed up:
Unfortunately, they didn't do any crazy stunts with that car. They parked it on the side after a while, and since nothing exciting seemed to be happening, we all drifted away one by one. Before I left, I asked James, whose desk is right next to the windows, to keep an eye out and call us over for anything interesting.
Only a few minutes after I left, I heard James call out, "Quick, everybody look!" We all rushed over, but we'd missed seeing a white car attempt to drift. They did a retake in a few minutes though, and I captured it on video, but it wasn't the best run. And the driver totally messed up the box it was supposed to back up into. And once the car went back to its starting place, it was rushed by several guy with paper towels (but that part didn't make it into the video).
I couldn't stay by the window the entire day, but I did walk by and peek at the set every once in a while and photograph anything that looked cool. Yeah, that wasn't the most productive day ever, but what do you expect when 1) it's a Friday 2) right before the biggest holiday of the year 3) and there's a film set outside the window?
Look, you can see the camera in this shot:
Wonder what the movie/tv show is about. Anyone have any guesses? Seems weird to have that one racecar next to all the other normal-looking cars, huh?
During lunch break I tried to get closer to the action, but most of it was blocked behind rows of parked cars, fences, and tents. It turns out our vantage point from the lab was way better:
Apparently what happens on set is that there are a ton of people milling about. Most of them aren't doing anything except standing around. Some people are moving equipment, some people are doing stuff like wiping cars and sweeping parking lots, but things move super slowly, that's for sure.
Seeing the set reminded me of being an extra for a film shoot I went to this past New Year's Eve, actually. I was going to write about that in this post but then it ended up being super long, so I decided to make it into a separate post.:P