I was walking a friend from out of state one day, and we saw a line of unmarked, white trucks along the side of the road. My friend said, “It looks like there’s a circus!”
Did I mention my friend was from out of town?
To an Angelino, those trucks are the surest sign that there’s a film or TV production going on. If you see a couple cops on motorcycles, then you know for sure.
You’ll often see security personnel around, too. Productions like to think they’re keeping the public out, but it’s surprisingly easy to get onto a set. All you have to do is wander up, and pretend like you have somewhere to be. No one ever asks where you’re going.
I learned this on the set of Daredevil. I was walking to the bar, when to my surprise, Bullseye sped by on a motorcycle.
I was excited about the movie at the time (and later very disappointed), so I tried to see if I could get closer. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was wearing the PA’s uniform– baggy shorts, T-shirt, tennis shoes. All I needed was a walkie on my belt.
I saw a table full of food, and, being a poor college student, made a bee line straight for it. I introduced myself to the craft services guy, who told me of the endless glories of food on set. I told him who I was, and he let me hang around all night. He introduced me to Ben Affleck’s stunt double (Affleck himself wasn’t there), and later on I saw the scene where Bullseye kills Electra’s dad.
It was a pretty awesome experience for a kid in film school. I’ve even done it several time since, with My Name is Earl, Swordfish, NYPD Blue, and others. If you’re bored and looking for some cheap entertainment, I highly recommend it.