Though Alamo Square isn’t technically the Lower Haight, any time a major motion picture shoots within walking distance, we happily extend our borders a bit.
Such was the case yesterday, as a new movie called The Five-Year Engagement filmed on the eastern slope of Alamo Square Park.
The film features Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), both pictured above and below:
Also in the cast are Chris Pratt of NBC’s Parks and Recreation…
…and Mindy Kaling from The Office. (You’ll just have to take our word for it on this one.)
The film’s plot is summed up on IMDB thusly (and vaguely):
“A comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple’s relationship.”
Tuesday’s filming involved a scene in which Segel and Blunt apparently get hitched with the San Francisco skyline in the background. We heard Emily Blunt yell, “We did it!” at the end of each take, so presumably this was the five-year culmination. Or maybe it’s all a dream? Not having read the script, we can’t say for sure.
The level of walkie-talkie coordination on set was pretty impressive — a bit of a must, considering the level of wind that blows over the hill. Across the park, almost in unison, we’d hear the commands: “Quiet!” “Roll Sound!” “Action!” “That’s a take!”
At the conclusion of each take, Segel (also the movie’s co-writer, according to IMDB) would hurry back to the monitors to watch the raw footage, and often Mindy Kaling, who wasn’t in the scene, would drift over and evaluate with him. Emily Blunt spent time between takes making conversation and getting makeup touchups.
Getting photos of the scene proved something of a challenge. Besides having to endure the same Van Morrison song over and over on the loudspeaker during the repeated takes, security was tight.
A German man, for example, tried to take a picture of his wife in front of the Painted Ladies and skyline. We watched the couple wait until filming was done to pose for the shot. Their efforts were thwarted, however, when an assistant came up and told them to get lost.
“I just want a picture of my wife with San Francisco in the background!” the German said, fairly flummoxed.
“No! You want a picture of our set!” the assistant barked back.
An apparently-senior crew member, perhaps with a better mind for P.R., jogged over and told the assistant to relax and let the couple take their picture.
Not your everyday action in Alamo Square.
Yesterday, director Nicholas Stoller tweeted that this would be the flick’s last week of shooting — but whether they’re done filming in Alamo Square remains to be seen. If you spot ‘em, let us know!