Hollywood descended on New Haven on Monday, as the cast and crew of a new movie starring Uma Thurman took over Vanderbilt Hall and Chapel Street in the first of two days of shooting on campus.
During Monday’s filming for the thriller “In Bloom,” which lasted for 12 hours, Branford freshmen had to wait for a few minutes during each take before entering or exiting their rooms. The filming, which continues today, posed minor inconveniences to Vanderbilt residents, who were still allowed to move relatively freely around the area.
Katrina Landeta ’10 said she and her friends were shooed away from their suite window by the crew, who said they were interfering with the shot. But she said most people she knew found the event very exciting despite having to occasionally follow the crew’s orders.
“I had people telling me, ‘I don’t care about the work I have to do,’” she said.
Yale Police Department Lt. Michael Patten said Chapel Street will be closed for today’s filming. He said the New Haven Police Department will be controlling the traffic on the street, while the YPD will be handling the crowds.
While some students said they knew the basics of the production and the scenes being shot at Yale, others only knew some basic details about the filming.
“Uma and a girl get hit by a car,” Logan Glickfield ’10 said. ‘They were talking about stunt doubles.”
Before shooting, the crew transformed Vanderbilt to make the building look like part of another university: The squirrels representing Branford’s mascot on the doors of each freshman suite were removed in Entryways A and B, and the Vanderbilt sign was replaced with a crest. Kathleen Borschow ’10 said the campus was supposed to be set in Maine.
Some students were recruited to be extras during the day. Marta Hodgkins-Sumner ’10 said she had to rehearse her part four times prior to filming.
“We were given a set path to walk on,” she said. “They filmed it three times.”
She said she did not get to meet Thurman or Gabrielle Brennan, the child actor starring with her. Although none of the freshmen interviewed said they had met the star, Landeta said she had spotted cameras, cell phones and even Web cams trained on Thurman.
“I bet there’s going to be 20 new Facebook albums about this,” she said.
But Milda Kulla ’10 said she could not understand why everyone was so intrigued.
“I was surprised that people cared,” she said. “It’s just a celebrity. We’re not seeing speakers and other important people that have something substantive to say.”
In today’s scene, Uma Thurman will be running down the stairs of Entryway B from the second to the first floor, Landeta said.
“I think it would be really awesome as long as it didn’t restrict my movement,” Catherine Kastleman ’10 said.