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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.
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.
“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!”
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