"Harvard Man" - Filming, Cambridge, MA, July 30, 2000Out of respect to the producers of the film, as soon as I realized they REALLY didn't want pictures of the proceedings, I stopped taking them. I figure these are low enough quality that they won't care. If you're associated with the film and I'm wrong about that, email me and I'll remove them.
I went Sunday, July 30 and hit the jackpot (though I didn't get to meet her), Sarah was right across the street from me. I arrived at 9:30AM, saw some shots early of other cast (more on that below), and then around 10:30 Sarah arrived and I had a front row seat and saw about 20 takes of a scene played by her with 2 other actors (Adrian Grenier and Ray Allen). Sarah wore black leather pants and roughly 4 inch heels, and a beige top with sparkly stuff along the top edge. It was AMAZING to see. Her hair looks so long and beautiful, kind of light brown with some subtle blond streaks. She is every bit as beautiful in person as in pictures, and I really couldn't believe how good she looked. I also got to hear her voice a few times since she was so nearby, asking for a review of her lines, and other things I couldn't quite make out. She did seem a little tired, I felt bad that she was going through such a grind starting Buffy again, then flying cross country for the weekend to work one grueling schedule, then fly right back into her "daily" grueling schedule. All in all I got to watch her work for about 2.5 hours, from possibly the best view in the whole area.
This all took place in the middle of Harvard Square. Sarah's scene was shot on the corner of Dunster Street and Massachusetts Avenue. (see sidewalk.jpg). That little blond dot with the beige top, black pants and sneakers on is Sarah. (Another from-behind shot of Sarah, Adrian and Ray is discussingshot.jpg). You can see James Toback facing the camera in that one, he's wearing the maroon cap, and the guy with the guitar is front is a scene extra, he'll be in the movie. My only shot of Sarah where you can see her face, and not too well, is sarahincar.jpg. Notice you can see both of her bodyguards (the guy on the bike is unconnected.) Right after I took that one, I learned it was one guy's job to walk in front of Sarah so you couldn't take pictures. He bagged me right after that one, and had his eye on me from then on. He loosened up after a bit when he saw I wasn't trying to take anymore pictures, and I got to enjoy the whole show.
Reese Witherspoon also showed up, and so did Freddie Prinze Jr. (though he took off with a friend shortly after arriving). Can I just mention that Reese Witherspoon is also gorgeous to behold in person, she caught my eye as she was walking down the street towards the crew upon arriving, before I recognized her. I thought at first she was a wayward pedestrian. She appeared to be a visitor on the set, and I don't think she's in the film.
Reese was sitting in one of those director's chairs set up in front of the Ford, maybe 40 feet from me, James Toback (director) sat there too, monitoring the scene as it was filmed. I was slightly elevated, there's an "au bon pain" coffee shop right there and I sat in a seat right by the street, outdoors (see aubonpain.jpg, I was at the corner table with the yellow umbrella, which was directly across from where the director and the blue Ford Explorer were parked. In between takes Sarah would sit inside the Ford. I was about 25 feet from the vehicle.
One nice thing, since I was sitting in the restaurant area, I was above people on the street (by a foot or two) and a few times they told the people on the street to please move out of the way so they weren't in the shot. They didn't ask me though. So this left me with a nice clear view!
I also saw some other establishing shots done with extras. When I first arrived, I was trying to figure out the scenario, where the shot was going to be, who was around, etc. - I saw a camera on a really large boom (see boomcamera.jpg and notice I arrived from the opposite direction of filming, and didn't realize it). And suddenly a crew person came over and asked me to move across the street. I really had no idea but apparently I was standing next to some cast members who were getting ready for a shot, and I was smack in the middle. I was next to a really interesting piece of modern sculpture (see sculpture.jpg) in the middle of the square, and they were using it in their shot, which makes sense. The Harvard Gates (or at least one set of them; not my alma mater) were behind it, too (harvardgates.jpg). I felt a little dumb. No wonder they don't tell people about these things. You can see some of the people from that shot sitting in front of the Harvard T stop (subway) in castbyT.jpg.
At one point a really big, well-groomed dog was pulled out of another SUV, it looked like a cross between a great dane and a dalmation. It looked like a model dog, gray with spots and probably will end up in the movie. One guy was using the pup to keep the crowd at bay, like a gentle, friendly enforcement dog.
A little after 1PM they finished, and Sarah jumped in the car and they drove off, and everything was broken down and brought to a new location. I didn't follow, but apparently they filmed well into the evening.