Antique Cars And Classic Cars

Classic Cars Classic Cars in the Movies

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I recently got around to seeing the 2006 movie that I was paid $300 to have my 1956 Continental Mark II parked in a street scene for. The movie is "Infamous," the bio flick about Truman Capote. The film, which was in production at the same time as the better-known movie about Capote, was in progress at the time with the working title "Every Word Is True." Both films deal with Capote's activities while writing his best-seller "In Cold Blood" about the murder of four family members in Kansas by two malcontent drifters.

My Mark II was one of a dozen circa late 1950s vehicles used to dress a street in front of beautiful old brownstone homes. The $300 for about five hours work covered my Hagerty insurance for the year, and I was never more than a few feet (out of camera range) from the car. Ditto a few of the other first-time-in-the movies car owners. The old pros were familiar with the process and most wandered off or spent a lot of time around the food service trailer with the play-on-words name "Cecil B. DeMeals."

Actually, I happened to be at the counter myself getting coffee and a sub sandwich when actress Sandra Bullock came by for a bottle of water. She was in costume and so heavily in makeup that I failed to recognize her at first. Toby Jones plays Capote, and I saw him as well (but don't have a clue who he is). Gwyneth Paltrow, Sigourney Weaver, and Isabella Rossellini, are also in the film, but not in the Brooklyn street scene shot that day.

The site in Brooklyn was a good day's' work for the production company since then not only shot two different street scenes, but also shot three scenes in the beautiful park across the street. In the movie these five scenes are shown at different times in the film, with costume changes so they appear to take place independent of each other, but it was all done the same day.

I thought I had lucked out since my Mark II was the first car in the row of parked cars. For sure it would be seen.

But no such luck, for me or the other cars. In the final cut, the shot the director picked is a side view of a solitary 1958 Cadillac, with only the rear portion in frame as the actors get out of the back of the car when it pulls up in front of the brownstones.

Not a single one of the other 12 vehicles, mine included, made it on camera, though the producers paid $3,600 to have the scene dressed' with period classic cars.

Much of the other shooting was in a scenic rural area and circa 1950s- looking Texas town (which was a stand in location for the actual Kansas crime scene area). The owners who rented old and classic cars for those scenes fared much better as they were on camera several times. I spotted a 1959 T-Bird; a two-tone red and white '57 Chevy; and a '56 Olds 88; in more than one of those scenes. I was a little surprised that the '57 Chevy kept popping up in shots that were supposed to be days or weeks apart.

Elsewhere on this site I have an article about "How To Ger Your Car In the Movies." There is also a detailed article about my Mark II. If this article perked your interest you may want to check them out as well. At least I covered my insurance for the year.

More about this author: Timothy Benford

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