Second Day: October 8th

I never got near enough to the lead actors to get good close-up pictures. You can see those courtesy of New York Post staff photographer Douglas Healey. Nicole Kidman is terrified of paparazzi, so much so she reduced the production assistants to Keystone cops, robotically yellin' "NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!!!" in broad daylight to a crowd of onlookers with not much conviction. The head PA, a bald headed Vin Diesel type with a real chip on his shoulder, kept chasing people off the Red Cross lawn and getting in their face saying "It's private property" when it fact, dude, it isn't! But why argue, right? The publicist promised me a group shot of the non-SAG local extras, but then at the last minute, when the opportunity clearly presented itself, she only tolerated me for a total of 3 minutes, refusing to gather them around because she claimed she didn't want to help the paparazzi and I was paying for it! Then she had a NCPD cop tell me: "OK, you're done!" I've been on happy sets where the lead actors take the time to come out and greet the crowd, sign autographs. There was such a disconnect with this crew, it was chilling. I was more interested in the local folks who got cast as extras anyway, trying to get their stories for the regional social scene, over hunting down stars. Rather than treating me like a scourge, this publicist should have welcomed my attention, since I made my intentions clear from the very beginning, weeks ago on the phone. But she didn't know or care to know who I was, or who any of the other local press people were either. It was one big blur to her. She just lumped us all up as Ted Nugent stalking celebrity deer. She even showed her ignorance by telling me I wasn't real press because I didn't have one of them big long telephoto lenses around my neck! I explained I didn't work like that. I'm up close and personal. When I told an extra the publicist had my web address, to save a little time because I was being rushed, this publicist didn't even have it. She'd never even bothered to check me out. She had no clue as to how to benefit from local interest to generate positive buzz for the production. Something also tells me this movie is really going to need all the help it can get, because from the looks of it by the costumes, they didn't even have the sense to update the visuals. Nobody's worn bouffant hair and flowery polyester since the 70's! And this movie is NOT a period piece. The original put Westport fashion designer Laura Ashley on the map. Stepford Wives today would be wearing Gucci, Prada and swinging Louis Vuitton bags. This production on the other hand has absolutely NO fashion sense. Instead the budget seems to be spent on an excess of fake trees and over-sized trailers. I will be very surprised if this movie fairs much better than the Brady Bunch remake at the box office. It's sad because these are such great actors. This must be Chris Walken and Glenn Close's fourth project together, and my suspicion is that they took these parts because it looked good on paper and would mean they would be able to go back to their Connecticut home every evening. It wasn't a happy set. You could feel it. The only thing Director Frank Oz seemed concerned about was the balloons not streaming down the facade of the town hall properly. Everybody was just going through the motions, eager to get it over with. Result, us little local peons got the brunt of it. The publicist didn't do her homework. She could have used the opportunity local good will could afford her rather than resent our presence. Is that any way to run a railroad? Hell no! Anyway... enjoy the shots. All we really care about here at Greenburbs is that the fembots are solar powered!

(photos: Remy Chevalier)

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