~Jenn & Lori’s WFE Set Adventure~

~Jenn and Lori on the Water for Elephants Set 6/7/10 ~
© copyright WFEfilm blog. Images belong to Jenn & Lori

Since the start of filming on May 20th the WFE set has attracted not only the paparazzi, but countless enthusiasts wanting to catch a glimpse of either the steam locomotive, the train cars and circus wagons, various exotic animals and last but not least Rob, Reese, Christoph and any of the supporting actors as well as the assorted Roustabouts.

Best friends, Jenn and Lori, are no exception and when they learned that Water for Elephants would be filming in an area not far from where they live they knew that they had to make a day of it and visit the set. These two have had countless adventures together and decided that they would drive up to Piru and Fillmore, CA on June 7th to see what they could see. So, after arranging for their children to be looked after they made their way to the set, Lori writes: “When Monday morning arrived we made the necessary arrangements for our kids and set out for Piru. When we got close to the set off the 126 we could see the tops of the tents and “fandemonium” set in. Let’s just say we were very excited and leave it at that…”

There are actually two filming locations: the Big Top Circus Tent set up in Piru and the Circus Train set up in Fillmore. When Jenn and Lori got closer to the Piru set they realized that filming was not taking place at that location. Lori writes: “As we got closer it was looking like no filming was going on but it was still cool to see the set. We drove to the other street and found a security guard so we asked him if they were filming somewhere else. He was kind enough to tell us they were filming in Fillmore but he couldn’t tell us where exactly. So we set out for Fillmore and stopped at a gas station to try and look up any new location details.” After obtaining the location details Jenn went inside to ask for directions and she relates this funny bit: “I found a local, older man inside who was so nice and willing to give directions but he was one of those ‘direction givers’ that likes to tell you where not to turn and tell you what is on every corner of the streets we aren’t supposed to turn on. 5 minutes in, I was wishing I had brought in a pen and paper. After what seemed about 10 minutes later we finally got all the directions we needed and we headed out. When we turned onto the street where they were located, the first thing we saw was the train engine. That was an amazing site!!”

Of course the particular street that the film crew was using was blocked off and detoured, so Jenn and Lori parked on the side of the road and headed over to see what was happening. They were informed, by another set visitor, that the production company wasn’t allowing anyone to get too close to the set. Undaunted the two found a different vantage point where they noticed a man with binoculars (that later turned out to be a paparazzi) and struck up a conversation with him. Lori writes: “He actually turned out to be a really nice guy. We learned a lot about paparazzi through him and we figured he could help us find out where we could see things best and when we could see things so it was a good thing to befriend him.”

After learning that the film production would be breaking for lunch the pair followed the paparazzi (since they always know what’s happening) over to where the people on set would be exiting to head over to ‘base camp’ (that’s where all of the actors and extras trailers are parked) for their lunch break. Lori writes:  “Amongst the midst of film crew coming out of the woodwork going on break, we quickly realized the boys in work gear and dirt were our beloved Roustabouts we had come to love and learn about on twitter.  It was exciting to see the working boys coming out for a break.  A gorgeous blond made her way out and we quickly assumed it was Reese Witherspoon. However there was no reaction by anyone to her casually crossing the street and we thought that was kind of strange. We soon learned that it was her double, but let me tell you she had us fooled!”

She also added: “And when the actors & film crew take a break, the animals take a break!” “Rob & Reese go on break when everyone else does, but rather than walking across the street to base camp, they get driven in their cars. This was all we could see of them all day.”

More Roustabouts were heading over to ‘base camp’ and both girls recognized one of them (from his Twitter photo) and called out his name. Lori writes: “His reaction was priceless. He could not figure out why anyone was calling his name or how we knew his name. We told him we knew him from twitter. We really wanted to ask him to take a pic with us but didn’t feel like that was a good time to ask. So after lunch we waited for everyone to come back out and Jenn got up the nerve to ask him to sign our books. He is so NICE!!! He kindly signed our books and took pics with us. And we have to admit that this really made our day. We squealed like teenagers when he walked away. It was an exciting moment for us.” Jenn adds: “It was funny because I think when we called out Thor’s name I think it might have been  the first time any of “the extras” got attention. I think they all expect that everyone is there for Rob and Reese and even Christoph; so all the other Roustabouts were getting a kick out of it. Tommy looked a little different than his pic on Twitter so we didn’t realize it was him and I remember he walked by us several times and I kind of thought it might be him but he was so shy. Near the end of the day, he walked by and I finally said hi to him and he said hi back and smiled.”

While waiting for Rob and Reese’s cars to come out to return from break and back to work Jenn noticed someone walking out and realized it was Christoph Waltz. He was in a hurry to get back to set but he kindly stopped for another fan to take a photo with her. However, later on when everyone was taking another break from filming that’s when Jenn and Lori got their chance to talk to Christoph. Lori writes: “He was extremely nice about it. He waited for us to fumble through our things to get our books out. He asked us if we were hot standing out there all day and we told him he must be the one who is hot in the costume he was wearing. He said no, he was ok because he had a hat on, then pointed out Lori had a hat on as well so it must help with the sun.  You know, just a casual conversation with Christoph.  In the middle of this conversation we started realizing how surreal the moment was and got a little star struck and couldn’t muster up the courage to ask him to take a picture with us too.”

Lori writes: “We met and talked with a lot of great people that worked on set, including the dog trainer for the dog that plays Queenie. He was kind enough to bring him out for us to pet.  Little did that sweet dog know he was a movie star, lol!” Jenn adds: “Oh and then when we found out he was a boy we started laughing but he said the director liked the idea of Queenie being a boy since it’s a circus atmosphere and all.” (unfortunately the girls didn’t learn his ‘real name’) Jenn continues: “We saw Silver Star… It was funny because as the horse was coming out, some guy working on set heard us saying she was beautiful and he agreed and then proceeded to tell us it’s the one that dies. LOL! Thought it was kind of funny that he felt the need to tell us that morbid detail…They had all the horses, zebras and camels camped out on the street corner. It was the same corner we stood to wait for everyone to come out on break so we were hanging with the animals most of the time. It was a site to drive by on the street and see these animals just hanging out and the camels drinking water out of the big trough.”

Jenn and Lori also spoke to the train engineer: “We also got the opportunity to talk to the train engineer. He was a really sweet guy! He mentioned that some of the exciting things he had done was move the train back and forth for some action shots.  He asked us if we had any luck getting any photos or autographs. He had a view of us from where he was sitting on the train, and after he saw Christoph stop by and give us an autograph we heard him yell out at us and give us a thumbs up!”

Lori wraps up the day: “Before we knew it the day of shooting was coming to a close. At this point a few more fans had joined us and there were probably about 15 of us altogether.  Reese’s car was the first to leave (she must have been in a hurry), then the shuttle full of our Roustabouts.  Christoph followed shortly. Rob did not leave, and we actually saw Mark Povinelli (Kinko/Walter) being driven over to the set in a crew van.  We overheard one of the film crew members say that the shoot was over and they were running a rehearsal.  So we decided to stick it out and wait for the last hoorah of Rob’s car returning from set, as we knew it would be our last chance to catch any sort of glimpse of him.  After several attempts of trying to get him to roll down his window on one of his drive-by’s, one of the other fans made a sign asking him to roll down the window!  As we sat there and patiently waited, we saw Mark Povinelli walking back from set.  We stopped him and asked him for autographs and he kindly obliged, and stated that Rob was really great to work with. We knew Rob was going home for the day so we all waited by the gate for him to come out. But we think he snuck out another way because his car came out but he was not in the back seat.  It was a decoy and we fell for it! Even though we spent about 8 hours out there all day in the sun getting burned and dehydrated there was not one moment that was dull. So much goes on at a movie set and there is so much to watch and see and so many people to talk to. And even though we didn’t get to meet or even see Rob it was an extremely awesome  day.”

~~ I want to give a ‘Spectacular’ Big Top ‘thank you’ to Jenn and Lori for sharing their WFE set day adventure with me and for allowing me to publish all of their fantastic photos! You are amazing!~~ (Note: All images belong to Jenn and Lori and should not be used on other sites without permission! Also, as with all of my blog content,  this page is © copyright to WFEfilm blog and may not be copied to other blogs or websites. Link back only!)

Published on June 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm  Comments (5)  

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It was great working on set as a Roustabout, and can’t wait to see the movie.

  2. Great job! And SO LUCKY to have got to meet Christoph and get his autograph.. I would do anything to get that chance!!!!!!!

  3. Great story and the pictures are terrific. Loved the book and after seeing these pictures, I am anxious to see the movie.

  4. This turned out awesome! We had such an incredible day, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our story!! It will be fun to come back here and relive our day each time we read it! :)

  5. Gosh, I’ve never wanted to be in Cali as much as I do right now! Wonderful post and the pics are fabulous. :)


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