February 8, 9 and 10 were extraordinary days for the Marikina Government and some of the market people because the shooting of the upcoming Hollywood espionage thriller “The Bourne Legacy” was held in Marikina City, yes, in the shoe capital of the Philippines. Upon hearing the news on the afternoon of February 8, I decided that I would go to the shooting location on the following days (Thursday and Friday) to make a blog entry about this rare Hollywood experience. I jumpstarted February 9 with my usual push-ups and sit-ups exercise routines then took a glass of warm water, brushed my teeth and headed straight to the shooting location with my sleek and classic Sony Ericsson C902 (the phone used in the James Bond Film “Quantum of Solace”). I decided to skip breakfast because I was really excited to document the event for my blogsite. Since it was just a 20 minute walk from our house to the location area which was in the Sto.Nino Market Area, I had the time to picture out the possible scenarios on the location. Besides traffic jams, security guards and staff of the movie could be strict that observers would not be allowed to go near the shoot; or it could be the other way around. When I reached the Marikina Sports Center just across the Market Area at around 9:30 am, I immediately took a picture of the “set” direction sign. To my surprise everything was organized, there was no traffic, and normal people doing their daily stuff. The Marikina Sports Center was temporarily closed from February 8-10 because of the shooting. There were about 20-30 huge utility trucks parked inside the Marikina Sports Center were the tech and unit bases of the film camped. There were many foreign set designers, production staffs roaming around the sports park, busy getting this and that, buying foods and drinks from Mc Donalds etc, they were Americans and Europeans. There were also local marshals helping and assisting them out as well. I crossed the street to get to the Sto. Nino Market Area where the actual shooting took place, I saw this traffic advisory sign. I thought they would be strict but still, I managed to enter and observe. When I took out my camera phone, a security guard noticed me immediately and told me that it was forbidden to use cameras on this area. However, his remarks just unleashed the inner spy in me and so with some sleight of hand routines, I managed to take some pictures of the location clandestinely. I was actually caught twice, but it still didn’t stop me. Three streets inside the market area were closed for the shoot, meaning, it was hard to buy fruits and vegetables in those areas, and only during break times that buyers were allowed to enter. I saw the go mobile, the make up artists and the expensive motorcycles that were used for the chase scenes (I presume) for the movie. I think I also saw the director (if I am not mistaken) consulting with the storyboard artists and screen writers about the scene. I was not able to see any of the main actors or actresses only the actors with secondary roles. Even some of the market people made a profit (Php 500) for being extras in the film (bloody lucky them). Most of the buyers were congested around the shooting area, perhaps waiting for the actual shoot (which started in the afternoon) and the main actor. I decided to go home at around 11 am and decided just to come back on the last day of the shoot, February 10.
The following day, it was super strict, they started at around 4 am and ended about 6 pm for the final day of the shoot, this time, buyers and observers were not allowed to enter or go near the shoot. It was useless to hang out just wasting my time observing from afar so I went to The New Broadway Centrum for a while for my gesture drawing. When I came back to the Marikina Sports Center at aroung 7:30 pm, it was open to the public. Yehey, I took close up pictures of the go mobile and even chatted with one of the set crew who was an American. The 20 plus huge trucks which carried the film’s equipments also left on the last day of the shoot, around 8:20 pm. Also you might want to visit www.gostunts.com, to see how the go mobile was used in the past Hollywood blockbuster films.
Overall, it was a memorable observation for me, because it was really rare to have a Hollywood film shot in your city or should I say in the Philippines. Even though I wasn’t able to see Rachel Weiss, I am still happy to see the expensive Hollywood equipments that were used. I also felt that there was a special moment, upon seeing the set, you know a “moment” in which when executed well would forever be imbedded in the hearts and minds of the viewers. Since I also get involved with acting sometimes, I really envy these guys for not being “projectless”. Hahaha. I guess everyone is pumped up and excited for the premier of “The Bourne Legacy” in theaters here in the Philippines, watch out for it on September 2012.