THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 523 OF "ONCE UPON A TIME". Do not continue reading or viewing the photos or article if you do not want to see/know anything about the episode prior to viewing it and have not yet seen the episode.
Once Upon A Time shot their final location day of season 5 in their most well known location, downtown Steveston. As you probably saw in the previous blog posts here, here, here, here or here, there was a lot of stuff happening in the final couple days of location shooting for OUAT.
On this day, they shot a scene earlier in the day with Sam Witwer making his first public appearance on set with Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills and Jared Gilmore. In the afternoon/evening, scenes were shot that consisted of a majority of the cast.
Lana & Jared were joined by Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Colin O'Donoghue, Rebecca Mader, Olivia Steele-Falconer and Hank Harris.
The scene saw 2 cars full of cast arrive after their journey from New York City. The first car emptied out, then shortly after the 2nd car arrived and emptied out. Regina and Henry head 1 way, while the rest of the group head into Grannys. Of course, if you read my previous blog post you know what happens at the gate of Grannys, if not, to summarize, a captain swan moment.
Now, for some non-scene related comments....
This was the final location shoot of the season, so i will take this chance to thank a few people and make some observations.
Being the last day of the season for location shoots, many fans went there hoping to meet the cast. Colin O'Donoghue didnt disappoint his fans. He came over and met them (although the pushiness of many prevented many others from not getting to interact with/meet him.). This is a problem most of the regulars at set noticed that got SUBSTANTIALLY WORSE this year, rude & pushy fans. I'm an autograph hound, a subsection of the entertainment industry that generally are seen as "the problem" by fans/security alike, and yet this season I had 2 different times a security guard apologize to me for how the fans acted, and not once or twice but at least 3 that I can recall times a fan tell me it was rude how the fans pushed past me. This isnt all about ME, a 6'0 230 lb adult male that was getting pushed around, this was a problem for almost everyone who showed any respect/patience. Mainly, the regulars (although there were a couple regular/semi-regulars that were problematic.... and everyone knows who they were for the most part.. and not every tourist was pushy, MOST were fine.). I cant recall a set where I saw so many completely inconsiderate people as OUAT had this year. SOME of this I will put on security, who COULD come up with a more fair, orderly system for things....but seem to just "go with it" with the chaotic, everyone coming from all sides way things often end up. But that is still not the whole problem, pushy people will be pushy EVEN WITH an orderly system.... although it would minimize it.
Another observation, how disrespectful the crew were this year with pushing fans away from even SEEING the shoots. As the show has gone on, the crowds have gotten bigger, but instead of embracing them like Emmy award winners like SHERLOCK HAS DONE ONLY 50 FEET FROM THE CROWD, the shows decision makers on set have tried to alienate them. As you have seen from shots I get, as opposed to many fan shots, the fans are usually being screwed. They are put in 2 or 3 locations, and told they CANT go anywhere else to watch. Which by the way, is untrue. But this production has used every lie, excuse and trick in the book to convince fans that if they DONT just accept what they say, they are bad fans/people. It used to be "your in the actors sighlines" then they moved on to "you are in the shot" NOW, since too many people have realized those were BS excuses, they have moved it up to "youre in the reflection". Youve watched the show, is there any point in a shot of downtown Storybrooke where you NOTICE things in the "reflection" on a pane of glass that is taking up less than 1% of the TV screen? No? Neither has anyone else, ever.... and even IF that were true, the fans are far enough away that their "reflection" is going to be 0.1% of the 1% of the entire scene, and for so quick you couldnt even be sure you saw anything at all. Its just the locations people trying to prevent fans from seeing anything. Theres a reason I heard a fan last year on set go "**** this, they want to treat me like this? I dont need to watch the show, I'll go back to watching ********* where they dont act like the fans are a problem". That wasnt the ONLY such statement I heard like that this year, just the one that stuck with me the most. No wonder the show keeps hitting series lows when they alienate fans, and then those fans tell others how they were treated & so on.
What was good? The cast were. For the most part, still pretty good considering the size of the crowds at times. MOST times, if you went to a set, at least 1 cast would come over during the day. On some days, you could even get a few. Granted this is WAY down from years past where they would almost all come over, but the crowds were also much smaller back then.
Security, although I feel they need to work on how to organize the meet & greets, they were great besides that. They understand the difference between an actual threat to the entertainers safety, and someone just trying to get a selfie/autograph and are pretty good at communicating with the regulars if they feel they are doing something they maybe shouldnt be. They arent pushy, or verbally rough and still get the job done. This has been something OUAT security has usually (with a couple minor exceptions) has done well from the time they first got security back in season 2 (RIP Rick).
The crew. Not the guys sitting in a room somewhere trying to think of ways to screw the fans. I mean the ones on the front lines, mostly PAs who have to ask fans to do things they know are unfair, and at the same time, do it in a way the fans will accept. There are always going to be SOME disagreements with these people at some point. After all they are doing something they know deep in their hearts isnt right sometimes, so when you disagree with them, they dont usually take offense to it. The few that DO, arent the norm, so if you go to a set and find a crew member you feel is being unfair/rude, just know, thats the minority. They are just doing what their higher ups are telling them to do... sometimes, they know its not fair... but they still have to TRY and do it.
The businesses in Steveston. People seem to be under the impression that when Steveston turns to Storybrooke the businesses there are raking in massive piles of cash. This is actually the opposite. MOST fans will stay at set till there is a lunch break, THEN will go to get food. They rarely do "shopping" there. So outside of a handful of food places (which are only getting that boost during the lunch breaks) many businesses there suffer & tolerate the filming. Major chunks of the downtown are closed to traffc, and lots of parking is taken up for the crews equipment trucks, including places several blocks from the actual set. This is a deterrent to someone who wants to come and many check out Steveston or do some shopping. So for the local businesses there, Once Upon A Time is rarely a joyous endeavour.... so if you DO ever go there, take a few minutes to check out a store or two, especially non-food ones... because they are probably not getting any of the spoils of the fans coming in most times. I know I personally try to go into 1 store each trip now.... I may not buy anything, but at least I gave it a look and see what it has. I still have my regular stops there, but as I pointed out earlier, like most that go there.... its for food. Theres maybe 4-6 businesses in Steveston that actually GET a boost from the filming...and it isnt a full day boost, its a temporary 1-3 hour window. The rest of the day, they probably are losing $.
The people at set who have kept me in the loop. Lots of times I would get to set after they have already started, and have relied on a few people to keep me in the loop on what has been going on, and even once at set, theyve let me know if something from their side has changed. Kat, Ed, Sean, Julie, Ken, Justin and probably a few others I am forgetting. Thanks for all the times youve kept me in the loop on something or given me a ride there or back.
The people who keep the world informed of when filming will happen out in Steveston (and elsewhere)
OLV twitter account Website
Whatsfilming twitter account Website
Tourism Richmond twitter account
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The blog posts in here are about the interactions & set reports for the ABC hit "Once Upon A Time".