SAAB Sighting is what we say on the Turbo! List when we spot a SAAB in a movie or TV show. Some directors/writers have an affinity for these cars, for example, a SAAB seems to get destroyed in most Terminator movies and TV shows.
Some of you may have seen a spring 2012 posting on Saabnet looking for a pre-93 SAAB 900 for use in a movie trailer. What the director really meant was, they wanted a classic 900. I thought it sounded like fun so I responded to the posting.
When I first spoke with them, they wanted a classic 900, not white and not red. I worked up a pictorial of Fantom, our well-worn 5 speed ‘91 base hatchback in Edwardian Gray with peeling clear coat and lots of honest northeast rust. They were thrilled to have such an old car with authentic patina, especially since the character is a school teacher. Then, in the weeks before the shoot a glitch occurred when it was discovered the actor could not drive a manual. ”Do you have an automatic car?” ”Well, we have a white convertible.” ”That’ll do!”
So then, on May 20, daughter Anna and I and her white ‘93 ex-Jerry Sweet convertible spent the entire Sunday in front of a Brooklyn brownstone, where we provided Anna’s car as a prop for a movie trailer being shot by some independent film makers. The trailer was being shot as a proof of concept which the film makers hope will lead to funding to make an entire movie. The call sheet called for a 7am to 7pm shoot, we were asked to be on the set by 8:30 and the car was expected to be on-screen for around 30 seconds. I asked why then, if the car would only be shown for 30 seconds, did we have to be there for nearly 12 hours, and they said it probably would take that long to get the light just right. As we drove down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn at about 8:45, they called and asked if we’d be arriving any time soon; we were just about four blocks away. As I pulled up and executed a perfect, first try, New York City parallel park, I asked, “would you like the top up or down?” “Down, of course!”
They were thrilled with the convertible which was used in virtually every shot the entire day. They attached the camera to the passenger car door with a suction mount, shooting into the car in profile as the actor drove up and down the street, then they mounted the camera on the hood looking into the windshield as he drove some more. Then they mounted the camera onto the trunk of the director’s car, shooting the front of the convertible as it drove down the street, complete with a fake Kansas license plate. They even went up onto the elevated subway platform so they could shoot down into the open car as the actor drove underneath.
I’m not sure of the plot, but in the scene, the actor parks in front of a brownstone, adjusts his tie in the rear view mirror, grabs some flowers out of the back seat, and goes inside to see a girl.
In payment for our providing the car for a day we received a small stipend, a full tank of gas and lunch with the crew. The director promises to share the footage with me when it becomes available. No wonder film making is so expensive when they can burn an entire day shooting a single scene!
Please send comments (esp. dead links) to: carlsont (at) ptd.net
Thor's SAAB Portal | Thor's SAAB Owners' Convention Pages | Thor's Carlisle Pages | Thor's Past Events Pages