David Cronenberg Reveals How He Lit the Hollywood Sign

Cronenberg shot the Hollywood sign from afar on Aug. 20.
Cronenberg shot the Hollywood sign from afar on Aug. 20.
 

This story first appeared in the Sept. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 

David Cronenberg, 70, recently wrapped his first Los Angeles-shot film, Map to the Stars, about a limo driver played by Robert Pattinson.

PHOTOS: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's Red-Carpet Romance

The Toronto-bred filmmaker had a mixed U.S.-Canadian crew. "One of the Americans said it was one of the most civilized working conditions he'd experienced in 17 years on set," he says. But that north-of-the-border politeness didn't stop them from rebelling -- just a bit.

Needing to illuminate the famously unlit Hollywood sign for one scene Aug. 20, but not wanting to deal with the bureaucratic hassle and the NIMBYism that would come with a permitting request, they devised a novel way to irradiate it from a mile and a half away using powerful 4K HMI lights.

STORY: Emilia McCarthy, Jayne Heitmeyer Join David Cronenberg's 'Maps to the Stars'

"It's no different than shining a light from a helicopter," says Cronenberg. "I was frankly just surprised to learn the sign wasn't lit in the first place. If it were Paris, it would be lit at night!"

comments powered by Disqus