Retro Notes: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.
(5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.)

 

It was not so secret this afternoon on 5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Ben Stiller brought his forthcoming film adaption of James Thurber’s short story to the block and, in the process, drew hundreds of star-struck passers-by to the set. And when I say “star-struck” I mean STAR-STRUCK. And when I say “passers-by” I really mean they were HARDLY PASSING. Here’s my shot of the chaos that ensued: 

 


 

5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.
(5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.)

 

Stiller and co-star Kristen Wiig were actually being filmed on the other side of the street in front of that huge lighting rig. As they walked down the street, the rig moved slowly with them. And what did the crowd do? Well, it moved with the actors too! Here’s the view from above:

 


 

5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.
(5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.)

 

As Stiller and Wiig walked under my window, so many people went with them that some even maneuvered through traffic from the other side of the street to catch a glimpse! It’s amazing filmmakers ever get totally clean takes from locations like this. With all the horns blaring, bystanders leaning into the shot, flashbulbs bursting, and buses hurling their exhaust, I had to admire them out there on this one.

 


 

5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.
(5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets. Photo by Rick Stachura. May 17, 2013.)

 

Author’s Note: This story was originally posted to my old Tumblr site on May 18, 2013.

 


 

 

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