Saturday, 12 February 2011

Torchwood: Week Four/Five Filming (US)




As work continued on the first block of filming in the UK, production resumed in Los Angeles, with prep-work on Monday 31st January taking place in readiness for director Bill Gierhart to oversee the second block from Tuesday 1st February.

The fortnight saw more of the cast assembled to play their parts, with scenes featuring Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes), Dichen Lachman, Lauren Ambrose (Jilly Kitzinger), Arlene Tur (Dr. Vera Juarez), Alexa Havins (Esther Drummond), Daryl Crittenden, and Rachel Leah Cohen (Laurie). Having finished their UK scenes, Mekhi Phifer returned to the States on Wednesday 2nd, with John Barrowman flying back on Thursday. By the following Thursday (10th), the BBC Production Office had reported: "EVERYONE IS BACK IN LA! The UK shoot was outstanding. What honor to collaborate with the original TW Crew."

Filming during the two weeks saw much activity on set at the Warner Bros Studios, though the production did venture out to a number of locations, with a return to Los Angeles City Hall, filming at the Title Insurance & Trust Company Building, the Golden Gopher bar, and an 'alleyway' Frank Court for location work. The crew also 'checked into' a 'seedy' motel for other scenes!

The US version of the on-location base signs has now been spotted at filming - a completely different design to the 'traditional' UK "BM" style!


Times cited within the reports are in Los Angeles local time.
 

Monday 31st January - Wednesday 2nd February

Monday saw prep-work get started for episode three of Miracle Day, with the crew re-assembling after a week or so off thanks to concentrated action in the UK. Not that everybody was happy with the thought of more early mornings!

11:09 ST  Back home and back to Torchwood
          Everyone well rested ready to rock n roll :-)
11:46 BBC Julie is back! The US crew is prepping.
15:19 AS  Back to the grind at 4:42am
17:33 BG  Torchwood fans....we start the US filming of the 2nd block tomorrow.
          Starting off with an easy day then it'll get crazy!
19:27 BG  6am crew call on Torchwood tomorrow. 
          Which means 4:42am for hair, makeup, wardrobe and 2nd A.D. Yikes.
          4am for catering.

Tuesday saw day one of filming begin, though you'd think the chairs were the stars judging by the crew!

07:11 JE  We've got sweet chair backs at Torchwood!
08:24 JE  names are on the other side
08:29 JE  Here's one with a name...
08:41 JE  mine just says "producer". So boring!
12:14 DL  By @BillyGierhart Torchwood


Photo: Jane Espenson
via Twitpic

Photo: Jane Espenson
via Twitpic


Photo: Dichen Lachman
via yfrog

Meanwhile, Bill Pullman was on set today, impressing everybody with his acting!

14:05 AS  Dear Mr. Pullman, how do u act so creepy when u are actually a
          nice NOT creepy guy? I know that it's 'acting' but where does it come from?
15:43 AS  (What sort of costume is his character wearing...?)
          he has had like 5 changes so far...
          For the most part they r what u would expect/imagine.

Another early morning on Wednesday, with Shawna Trcpic finding herself around 6:00am back on the stage where she worked on Doctor Horrible and Angel, a set she termed "The evil league of evil :-)"


Photo: Shawna Trpcic
via Twitpic

Photo: Shawna Trpcic
via Twitpic

Photo: Shawna Trpcic
via Twitpic


The day also saw costume fitting for both Lauren Ambrose and Rachel Leah Cohen, whilst Mekhi Phifer was on a flight back to L.A. alongside Russell T Davies (both of whom had been on location the previous evening). As the Production Office noted:

09:31 BBC RTD and Mekhi are on a plane back to LA! Not going to lie, 
          the US crew wants RTD back can you blame us? Safe travels gentlemen.
09:35 BBC Currently we are shooting EP 2/3 together. We've got a seriously great cast 
          and crew (UK/US) pulling this off, very well may we add.
09:38 BBC With the time change we just realized that Torchwood is shooting
          AROUND THE CLOCK.

Thursday 3rd February


"Doesn't this make u wanna take a nap?"
Photo: Alana Stone (via Twitpic)

The Torchwood production hits the streets once more, returning to Los Angeles City Hall, with a day shoot running from 7:00am to 10:00pm; documentation revealed they are filming under the name Bad Wolf Productions LLC! (See our previous article for more details).

The Production Team indicated that today was the first day that Lauren Ambrose (Jilly Kitzinger) would be on set with Arlene Tur (Dr. Vera Juarez).

Shawna Trpcic reported that she wouldn't be able to reveal details on costumes like Jack's new coat until after the press photos are released (they were taken in the UK the previous Friday), though she did clarify that the lining of the coat was rayon in order to accomodate the heat in California!

 

Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic
Made another trip to an on location filming of Torchwood. Again they were at City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles which is SUCH a great location; the building and the city are really beautiful. Today wasn't quite as eventful as my last trip out, but of course anything Torchwood has me excited!

So here's the rundown. Last week I got a message from a friend saying he heard they were filming this time and location. And the details of the filming were HILARIOUS. It said: "Bad Wolf filming in L.A. Thursday, Feb 3, 2011 Bad Wolf Productions" Ha, Bad Wolf, that's amazing. Of course he saw this and knew it was Torchwood, especially since it was at the same location as last time.

I was actually considering not going because I didn't have anyone to go with but this morning my friend Jenni said that she and her husband Jeff could come. I jumped at the chance and we were off! When we got there we saw the set up shown in the picture. And that was pretty much our view the rest of the night. The only recognizable cast member on set was Lauren Ambrose who is playing "PR guru" Jilly Kitzinger. Let me tell you guys, she is GORGEOUS in person, her hair, her wardrobe was adorable, I bet this is gonna turn into a cosplay look. Heck maybe I'll grab a wig and try it sometime. Good on her being so pretty and well done to costume, hair and makeup, just aces.

The scenes filmed outside were rather uneventful. Mostly just walking and talking with some woman, couldn't tell you more if I wanted to. That being said, we had fun it was great being on the set none-the-less. They also spent about 2 hours filming inside the building which we couldn't watch so it's POSSIBLE other cast members were there, but we didn't see if they were. Also, we got shushed at one point, from across the street! I think maybe we were having too much fun, but can you blame us? It's Torchwood!


Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic

Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic


Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic


(with thanks to Dana Shukartsi from Barrowman Day - read her full blog entry on-site)


Friday 4th February


Photo: Alana Stone (via Twitpic)


Photo: Daryl Crittenden
(via Twitpic)

Today's filming took place at a motel, somewhere in the Los Angeles county area, as Alana Stone teased, "So tell me... Where r we shooting today?"

The night shoot involved Lauren Ambrose and Bill Pullman, plus another character played by Daryl Crittenden (Heroes, Days of Our Lives). On-set gossip included:
16:03 DC  on Torchwood today.... going to be a BLAST!
16:44 ST  Just getting started on set after long day in the
          office. Probably shoot till 7am Sat.
          Just as long as I'm up for Superbowl :-) Go Steelers!
17:40 BBC We've got a wonderfully long night ahead of us here
          in the US with Bill and Lauren.
          Gotta love night shoots.
          Coffee is your life partner!
20:44 DC  Here we go...
02:53 DC  Phone died while on set... :(
          here's all I'm going to show you...
          amazing night!
 

Monday 7th February - Wednesday 9th February


I've got straight hair!
Photo: Rachel Leah Cohen
(via Twitpic)



My Trailer
Photo: Rachel Leah Cohen
(via Twitpic)

After a weekend off(!), it was back to work on set at Warner Bros Studios for the production team. From Monday the cast were joined by Rachel Leah Cohen (Laurie), and also Alexa Havins (Esther Katusi) - the latter was reported to be accompanied by a special guest who's intimated to be Jurassic Park's Wayne Knight (see our earlier article for details).

10:20 AS  back to school... and work...
12:20 BBC We've got Alexa Havins here with us today with a
          special guest, here's a clue 
          "uh uh uh didn't say the magic word".
12:59 RLC I got straight hair! !!!
13:28 RLC with an hour to kill.....
          just walking around the Warner brothers lot
15:30 RLC still waiting to shoot with a super fun guest star!
16:22 RLC just waiting to go to set
16:44 RLC great set. great people!
20:37 AS  "Dodgson! Dodgson! We've got Dodgson here!
          See? Nobody cares. Nice hat!"

Tuesday continued with more intrigue happenings on-set:

13:04 JE  Oh my! Sexy happenings on the Torchwood set today
16:00 BBC Go team Torchwood !

22:54 RLC the hair a tad wind blown...but by my trailer.

And finally on Wednesday it seems a wrap for Rachel, at least for now, whilst the cast and crew hit the streets once more for the following day ...

20:45 RLC Had a blast. Great cast and crew!
22:43 JE  Back on location for Torchwood tomorrow.
          And it's a creeeepy scene. Can't wait!
          Sleep now!
 

Thursday 10th February

The cast and crew were back into Los Angeles today, using the Title Insurance & Trust Company Building (former government offices) on South Spring Street, which has been closed for a while now and up for sale. Filming was scheduled to run between 7:00am and 10:00pm, so not quite such a late night for a change!

"TW-Spy!" saw writer Jane Espenson present us with some doughnuts! However, as she pointed out, "Don't eat them; they're working". She also confirmed that in general writers are usually on-set during filming for shows in the States, though her writing commitments had meant that she hadn't been on the Torchwood shoot as much.

Meanwhile, costume designer Shawna Trpcic reported that she'd had an interview on the re-design of Captain Jack's costume with AOL's television critic Maureen Ryan: "asked if I was nervous changing it but I have experience with great Captains coats". She also responded to a question about the series, saying that it is a "US continuation of BBC".

As one might expect, access to see filming wasn't likely with an internal shoot.
 
Torchwood - Face of Building

Get it? Face of Building? Like Face of Boe? I really struggled with a title on this entry. Filming tonight was in an office building so I thought about doing a play on the "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" office scene...I almost went with "don't want you getting over-excited" but it seemed a bit wordy. It would have been fitting though because honestly I have very little to report. My friend Jenni and I made the trek down to Downtown LA where we saw the outside of a building! Very exciting I know. The picture there is from across the street but really we didn't see anything. I assume they were filming indoors and there was security at the entrance. Tomorrow we're going to check out two locations as well, maybe we'll have more luck. I'll be sure to keep you updated.


(Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret, via Twitpic)

(Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret, via Twitpic)

(with thanks to Dana Shukartsi from Barrowman Day - read her full blog entry on-site)

00:47 BBC Our apologies for the suspense. EVERYONE IS BACK IN LA!
          The UK shoot was outstanding.
          What honor to collaborate with the original TW Crew.
00:54 BBC Gave RTD a grand welcome back hug on set today, we missed him.
          Our call tomorrow is late at a night club, break out your dancing shoes!


Friday 11th February


Mystery man with me and John Barrowman
Shawna Trpcic
(via Twitpic)
Friday saw a long day's filming in not one but two locations in Los Angeles! Scheduling showed that the crew were filming in the Golden Gopher - a bar that holds a licence hailing back to 1905! - on West 8th Street between midday and 3:00am; later, filming took place in/around an alleyway called Frank Court behind South Spring Street between 3:00pm and 6:00am.

John Barrowman was back on set for today, flamboyant as ever, as caught by Shawna Trpcic during a break in filming.
11:45 AS  Trying to prepare for another Fr-aturday...
18:07 JE  On Torchwood, it's still three hours until lunch. 
          I'm staring at food truck anyway.
18:31 BG  Gratzia!
20:09 ST  Hey what Torchwood fans r watching our production meeting :)
20:49 JE  (we call a food truck in Texas "the roach coach")
          We call them that too, but this is actually the truck
          of the on-set caterer. Delicious hi-qual food! Yummy!
 

Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic
The best thing I saw today was THIS cone, the cone right there, I cannot tell you the amount of joy I got out of the TorchCone. To be fair by the time me and my companion (ha) Jenni got to the TorchCone we had already walked a couple of miles, searching locations and generally getting lost. We were exhausted and I am inclined to believe the TorchCone was more amusing to us than it actually was.

Filming today was...uneventful for the observer. As far as we could tell all the filming was taking place indoors so we didn't get to see anyone, but I had a bit of fun in seeing the buildings and imagining Jack atop them.

We did actually have some exciting fan moments. We were in viewing distance for part of a production meeting. We couldn't hear anything but it was cool seeing certain faces like RTD and Jane Espenson. We saw a lot of emphatic gesturing but nothing to be given away certainly. it looked like a fun group and Jane was kind enough to come mingle with us mere mortals; she was very sweet. Oh and we got a twitter wave from Shawna Trpcic who does the costumes and earlier tonight tweeted a pic of her and John on set, which I'm sure has made rounds by now.

All in all we had a lovely time, which was, as always, enhanced getting to talk to the lovely folks on set. We met a particularly kind security guard who chatted with us, Danny I think his name was. He did a fine job, hopefully we helped make his shift a little more enjoyable. As for spoilers to share, afraid I don't really have any and you know from past reports how I am about that.


Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic

Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic


Photo: Jenni Cole/lilferret
via Twitpic


(with thanks to Dana Shukartsi from Barrowman Day - read her full blog entry on-site)


(via Twitpic)
Meanwhile, back at the studios, Russell T Davies goes beyond the call of duty once more ...
11:41 BBC Russell went up to greet a fan who was fixing our
          air conditioning here at Warner Bros. AWESOME!
 



Key to initials: AS - Alana Stone (fashion designer); BBC - BBC Torchwood (production office); BG - Bill Gierhart (director); DC - Daryl Crittenden; DL - Dichen Lachman; JE - Jane Espenson (writer); RLC - Rachel Leah Cohen (Laurie); ST - Shawna Trpcic (costume designer)

The filming schedule for the next week or so is currently unknown, though - with Kai Owen and Tom Price having been cited as pulling out of next weekend's Gallifrey One convention due to the "UK filming schedule on the next series of Torchwood" - expectation is of more sightings of the cast and crew in action in South Wales soon!