I live in a suburb of Cleveland, and work in the city proper–that’s probably the first time I’ve mentioned that in this blog. Anyway, parts of downtown are blocked off because a director of whom I have formed an opinion is shooting a quirky little indie film called (checks IMDB) “The Avengers.” Today, I ducked out of my internship early to check out the set on Prospect and East 9th Street where they’ve been blowing up cars all week (surreally enough, about two blocks down from the insurance company at which my father works). I saw some cool stuff, but saw nothing happen.
Most of the set on Huron was obscured by a white screen for moderating light, and platform for equipment I’m not going to guess the function of. It’s the sausage making-machinery of movie magic.
A security officer told us gawkers that the real action was happening at the other side of the street, on Prospect. A small contingent of us then set down a freakishly and nonthreatening clean alleyway (way to be on your best behavior, Cleveland!), and past some catering trucks. I was afraid crew would look at me weird if I took pictures of their food trailers, so I didn’t.
But when we got around to Prospect, there was no one close enough to give us weird looks; onlookers were sequestered a couple hundred feet from the staged wreckage of a Times Square battle involving Captain America (Chris Evans) and a foe yet to be confirmed, but which everyone who knows The Avengers comics* assumes are the Skrulls.
Here is my Sasquatch hunter-caliber photo of two men in contemporary Army fatigues walking away from the wreckage site. I saw several more on the Huron side of the set earlier.
Here are a few vehicles on site with New York-y markings. Thoroughness!
Nothing was happening, and my meter was running out, so I headed back down the nonthreatening alley. It was occupied by some extras in FDNY firefighter and EMT costumes. Some hipsters were engaging them in conversation; my social anxiety and the specter of a Meter Valkyrie kept me from doing the same.
I hope to make it down to the set again before Whedon wraps the Cleveland leg of filming at the end of the month, and file another report. With good fortune, the next one will have a more exciting takeaway than the fact I WAS WITHIN ONE CITY BLOCK OF JOSS WHEDON. We probably breathed the same air at some point, and if I were a superstitious man, that would mean something. But I’m not (my own views on heroic object veneration are close to this essay), and it doesn’t.
*I am not such a person. The only title I ever read as a kid was The Amazing Spider Man. Granted, it took place in the Marvel universe continuity–the same occupied by the Avengers–but there was never a crossover in the few years (months?) I followed it.