I was trying to think of what to write and I drew a blank. Not that it is unusual for me to draw a blank, in fact, drawing blanks is my most acute artistic statements. Miriam suggested that I attempt to write a bit about when they shot some of the Johnny Depp movie, "Public Enemy", in Oshkosh last spring. Gees, I don't know why I didn't think of that.
It was early last April when Hollywood came to town. The film details the infamous bank robber, John Dillinger, played by Johnny Depp, and directed by Michael Mann. We are an old mid-west town with many of the downtown store front very much unchanged from the 1920's. There various scenes shot around town, a bit out in the country and then some in Milwaukee, Madison and at the actual scene of a shoot out at a resort further to the north.
Johnny Depp as Dillinger
Most of the scene shooting in town took place about a block from my apartment with some of the cast and crew trailers parked about half a block away and right behind my favorite bar stool atOblio's. I got to know a few of the scenic designers rather well as they were in town a few weeks before the filming started and had found Oblio's to be a nice spot for a beer. There was also a significant amout of activity around the coffe house where I go for weekend morning brews. It is conveniently located across the street from one of the old banks Mr. Depp gets to rob. Bank with fake cobblestone
For two weeks prior to the actors showing up there were stage hands, electricians, painters, carpenters and folks of all ilks running around tow
Johnny Depp in front of Oblio's on his way to rob bank
The bar was swarming with gawky tourists, extras and folks who had leased antique cars to the film studio. Now I had to navigate the film area daily and all in all it was kinda fun. I don't know how many times I was stopped by rent-a-cops until I started wearing my work badge on a lanyard and carrying a leather back pack so that I looked a bit like some of the production people.
The tourists in town were the worst. Made it real difficult to get a beer or a cup of coffee. Some were so eager to meet a "movie star" that they would erroneously assume everyone they didn't know was connected with the filming. I had one old lady ask me if I was Steven Spielberg ( the glasses, nose and beard MAY be somewhat similar, but that's it.