Monday, July 13, 2009

James L. Brooks shoots on location in Philly

Brooks (left) with Judd Apatow

PHILADELPHIA -- The writer-director-producer of As Good As It Gets and Terms of Endearment – and my memory erased all but the title of Spanglish – is shooting his latest project in Philadelphia until October.
The untitled rom-com, initially known as How Do You Know? in pre-production, stars Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Michael Klein, the crew is shooting exteriors outside City Hall all week. Meanwhile, soundstages have been erected at the armory at Drexel University and Philadelphia International Airport. Filming in Center City commenced last week after several weeks in Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C., where the crew apparently ate "everything" on lunch breaks.
KYW reports that the production expects to create an estimated 250 full-time and 1,200 part-time jobs and $60 million to Pennsylvania.
It’s not often Philadelphia attracts a certain star power beyond the dimming wattage of M. Night Shyamalan and the lowbrow gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Brooks’ strengths as a visionary veteran filmmaker and astute screenwriter - and the only guy who knew how to turn those Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show into a series - make him a welcome visitor.
On a gossipy side note, an employee at Merion Golf Club, a privately owned country club in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said he spotted Nicholson and Joe Pesci playing a round of golf Saturday in the Philly burb.
In the past year, the city has seen a significant boost in moviemaking action thanks to the state tax breaks for filmmakers.
The necessity of which has sparked debate in Harrisburg this summer as the issue took a backseat to a pile-up of state budgetary concerns.

Last month, the Pa. Senate voted to eradicate the tax incentives and so the brief glory days might be nearing demise. Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, fears this is goodbye.

Pinkenson laments that the state's film tax credit program is in danger, due to current legislation that has already passed the Pennsylvania Senate to eliminate them. She urges people to contact their legislators.
For those in the area, there is a casting call for a “foreign diplomat” in the Brooks film. Producers describe this individual as gender nonspecific between the ages of 35 and 60 who owns their own national dress.
This includes saris, kufi caps, kaffiyehs, thawbs and turbans, as I’m sure many out-of-work actors have lofting around in their attic disguise kit.
Send a photo of yourself wearing said costume and your phone number to Heery Casting at
More updates on the A-list production will come your way as soon as we hear it.

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