Cage film shoots near GW

GW got a taste of Hollywood Monday night, as production crews shot scenes for an upcoming Nicolas Cage movie at the bridge on 23rd Street and Virginia Avenue near campus.

Stunt Coordinator Chris Tuck said the crew was working for a few hours to shoot a “filler scene” which, after editing, will consist of 10 to 20 seconds of the action movie “National Treasure.” The film is set to be in theaters this summer.

“In the movie, (the characters) will just be coming out of a big (car) chase scene, with cars sliding around and a girl flailing from the trunk,” Tuck said. “Nick Cage has just rescued her, and now we’re shooting a filler shot to show we’re in D.C. The camera will tilt up to see the (Washington) Monument in the background.”

Tuck added that the location was specifically chosen because the car needed to come through a bridge and filmmakers wanted to get a monument in the background.

In the movie, Cage plays an archaeologist looking for an 18th century treasure, following clues in the text of the Constitution.

Production Assistant Josiah Akinyele said members of the “first unit,” including lead actors such as Cage, were not in D.C. for the taping, but the second unit crew of about 50 to 60 people was filming scenes with stunt doubles.

“(The second unit) shoots chase scenes, scenes that help the story move along, and we shoot establishing shots,” Akinyele said. “(Our crew) is not focused on the main scenes.”

Crew members said the majority of the movie, including large-scale action scenes, is under production in Los Angeles.

“It’s too expensive to film here,” Production Assistant Bob Smith said. “We were supposed to film in Dupont and they wanted a half million dollars to shoot for three days. We could do that for $50,000 in L.A.”

Smith said they had been filming scenes throughout D.C. since last Monday, but production crewmembers had been setting up for filming one to two weeks prior.

Despite preparations to do so, crew members said they were not shooting special effects on campus.

“We did some bullet hits the other night, but here we just have some smoke to look like a street vent,” said Special Effects Technician Rick Reeder. “It’s pretty easy … just a steam machine and three technicians.”

Crew members said they also filmed scenes at the National Archives, 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street and Constitution Avenue. Filming wrapped up on Tuesday, with footage taken at the Lincoln Memorial in the morning and outside the Watergate in the evening.

Throughout Monday’s taping, students watched from the steps of the International House.

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