Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Streets of San Francisco

As a longtime admirer of the gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, I've been really looking forward to seeing his life brought to the big screen in the long overdue "Milk." (Hearing the director of the Oscar-winning documentary about the slain San Francisco supervisor, "The Times of Harvey Milk," give the biopic's director, Gus Van Sant, his vote of confidence only increased my eagerness.) Then last week my childhood friend Brad was in town from the City by the Bay and informed me that he worked as an extra on the project having been singled out by the casting director because he was one of only a couple leathermen in the entire crowd of extras (Brad says the Castro has become considerably more Mommy & Me since the last time I was there in the late '90s.) Although he was just an extra, he says he was right next to Sean Penn in several bar scenes so I'm really hoping he makes the final cut. (He also said being in the post-assassination candlelight vigil scene was incredibly moving as he was marching with so many others who had actually been at the original one.) As detailed in Brad's photo essay below, the Castro was turned into a veritable soundstage with every detail from the 1970s Milk heyday restored to its former glory (and note the price of gas!).

Brad explains: "Here are the other pix of the Castro store fronts remade to look like the original store fronts from the 1970's Castro. The pix of me are in front of Harvey Milk's original store front site. The current store is a gay owned retail store selling over-priced crap. The hollywood set designers spent a month remodeling the entire store inside and out to look exactly like Harvey's camera store. Many scenes were filmed inside the camera store as well as in the dry cleaner store where Raymundo and I take our clothes. Harvey used to go there. Every prop inside the camera store and every store and wall flyer and poster on Castro was period to the 70's. The Castro Theatre even was repainted to it's 70's colors. It's was like you stepped back in time ... too cool.

No comments: