As someone born and raised in Los Angeles, this news is flipping me out. I’ve never seen The Hollywood Sign lit up. It’s rarely-to-never lit up so to have it shine for David Cronenberg’s film is pretty epic. It’ll go down in history since the times are so rare that bulbs are flashed on and angled at the historic landmark.
It was a mystery that LAist investigated. Here’s the excerpt from their update when they discovered the sign was on for Maps To The Stars:
And there’s another twist to this story. Although the Shields camp indicated that they were filming near the sign on those nights, another source insists that it was a different production responsible, a very hush-hush, high-profile one.
“A.A.” emailed us and let us know that a post on Vintage Los Angeles had the right answer, it was actually David Cronenberg’s new film Maps to the Stars, starring Robert Pattinson.
Nick Roth posted this to Vintage Los Angeles on Facebook, giving a location almost identical to one that our jogger tipster, Adam Boardman, supplied earlier:
“David Cronenberg is shooting a picture in the vacant lot just past 6105 Mulholland Hwy (an A-frame almost directly below the the sign—I used to live there). They built the set for a destroyed house and were shooting most of this past week. I know this because I still live nearby and walk past the vacant lot nearly every day.My brother and I were walking at the top of Mulholland Hwy when we ran into a production coordinator my brother has worked with in the past. She was putting up notices about the shoot (warning residents that there would be a film shooting that week) and she told us it was a Cronenberg picture. She probably wouldn’t have told this to someone she didn’t know and wouldn’t have identified the director, but since she knew my brother, she told us. It’s possible she was mistaken, but it’s not likely.”
Why didn’t the Film LA office just let us know, since Cronenberg would surely get permits? “You will probably run into dead ends trying to get any info on Mr. Cronenberg’s film. Everyone is legally obliged NOT to discuss any details of the film or its making,” writes A.A., who says he was there. “The Cronenberg film used code words for everything (title, talent, locations) to confuse nosy outsiders. Paparazzi still hid in the bushes.”
We do indeed have several paparazzi shots of theTwilight star on location on August 20 and 21, although none of them show the Hollywood sign. It also lit up gossip columns for the lip lock between Pattinson and his co-star, Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska. In the film, Pattinson plays a limo driver obsessed with Wasikowska, a pyromaniac.
So which is it: Rogue production? Top-secret Hollywood film? A.A. tells us that he never saw theOutlaw production and he didn’t clarify whether the Cronenberg film shot into the night.
My friend who’s a location manager told me it’s “very likely” that more than one production would be shooting near the sign on a given day, but said that he “can’t imagine” shooting without a permit.
We’re going to put in calls to Film LA when they open on Monday but if A.A. is correct, or it was a production without permits, they won’t be any help.
When we started looking into this, we expected to hear that the sign was officially lit up for its 90th anniversary, but it seems sort of fitting that it ended up being far more complex and mysterious than that.
TheLAScene also pointed out other classic locations for the Los Angeles portion of production:
— Los Angeles Scene (@TheLAScene) August 26, 2013
— Los Angeles Scene (@TheLAScene) August 26, 2013
Another cool shot of the sign lit up! I like this one because it’s more real:
This rarely happens ..the Hollywood sign lit up ! pic.twitter.com/S2dItZ4dV9
— Ross King (@TheRossKing) August 22, 2013
Quick history and facts about the lighting of the sign in the last 30 years via HollywoodSign.org:
- The sign was built in 1923 to attract home buyers to a new neighborhood, Hollywoodland. The lights were temporary in the beginning years and went decades without being lit again. They didn’t expect the sign to last but through demolition (late 70s), to rebuilding and renovations, the sign is a historic landmark today (made official in 1973) and has definitely lasted.
- The sign was last lit New Years Eve in 1999 for a millennium celebration. I was out of town.
- The sign was also lit for the 1984 Olympics. I was four and obsessed with E.T. and ewoks.
The sign was lit in 2013 for David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars. AWESOME.
Not gonna lie. I’m telling a whole slew of fellow LA-born-and-raised friends that Robert Pattinson’s (they know I’m a major fan of his) upcoming film got the lights turned on for The Hollywood Sign. I also hope LA Magazine or LA Weekly pick up the story in an upcoming issue. Can you tell I’m a proud Angeleno?? Thank you, David Cronenberg! I only wish I got to see it with my own eyes. Once in a blue moon, man….
Filming has since wrapped. Look for Maps To The Stars (and the lit up Hollywood sign!) in 2014!
Photo: Source | Thank you PJ & C for the heads up!