Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Grey's Anatomy

Well, well! The newish TV medical show, "Grey's Anatomy" is set in a fictional Seattle hospital though it seems to kind of obviously be UW Hospital and Medical Center. They had done no filming here until now. It just so happens the director, Peter Horton, is from Bellevue and he is anxious to show us off. This type of thing always worries me because we do not need anymore people to move here.

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of movies and television shows being filmed here. It is good for our economy. Unfortunately, Vancouver gives the industry a better deal than we do so a lot more of this type of thing is happening up there. It bugs us, though, when something filmed in Vancouver is supposed to be Seattle like that movie, "Double Jeopardy" with Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. The best is when we have filming here but the setting is elsewhere. This happened right here in Mukilteo a few years ago with the TV show, "The Fugitive".

Four of five years ago, they tried to revive "The Fugitive" by having Tim Daly be the star. The thought was that each episode would be set in a different place in the country but all of it was filmed right here in the Mukilteo/Edmonds/Everett area. The headquarters was only a few blocks from my house. Actually, it was kind of exciting for a while.

They asked for a lot of extras and I think I sent in an application. They never called me but they did call a good friend of mine. The clincher was she is about a size 4. If I recall, she had to do a lot of waiting and standing around in clothing that was not terribly warm in and near a seedy old hotel in Everett; she did not like the other extras or the food; and when it was all said and done, you could barely see her in a split second in the background in one episode. The most exciting part for her was she was having make-up applied in the same room and at the same time as Tim Daly. However, he refused to look around or acknowledge anyone in the room.

The most exciting part for me was that the headquarters was on my walking route with my then Golden Retriever, Jeb. At times, filming was going on in the lots and fields surrounding the headquarters. You know, the fugitive was always running away and being chased and frequently, blood hounds were needed to sniff the fugitive out of his hiding places. As Jeb and I were walking along innocently, a truck with several blood hounds in the back slowly drove by us on the way to the set a block away. They let loose with barking, proclaiming to my Jeb that they were famous TV and movie stars and he was just a nobody. Jeb responded with enough growling and barking for all of them obviously telling them "to get their sorry pampered behinds" out of his Mukilteo. A few weeks later, we saw those mean dogs on TV. I do believe the show was canceled before the first season even finished.

So anyway, they are filming some scenes of Grey's Anatomy in and around the Puget Sound area. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/241344_tv20.html (some good photos there of the star Patrick Dempsey who plays Dr. Shepherd--Mmmm!) And a quote:

"The difference with "Grey's" is that Horton hails from Bellevue and saw an opportunity to show off the region he loves. This season we'll see characters engaged in heavy conversation on a pier, strolling downtown and chatting on a balcony at Fisher Plaza, the stand-in for Seattle Grace. Mount Si, North Bend and Queen Anne, all places that Horton says feel specific to Seattle, will guest star at some point. (Friday's ferry scenes should show up around Thanksgiving.)

...That's one of the great things about being up here. It's not just the Space Needle. There are a lot of markers that are specific to the city."

That showed during Friday's ferry trip, as Horton rushed around the deck with a smile on his face. First he placed shots that captured the skyline in the background, then filmed aerial takes from a helicopter circling the vessel as Dempsey sternly walked past extras and smiling passengers hidden behind smoky glass again, and again, and again. A lot of television, he explained, is about the "hurry up and wait."

From his point of view, there are worse places he could be doing that than a ferry on Puget Sound.

"We need to spend more time here," Dempsey said. "If the show is about personal relationships, we need to expand that and show what their relationship is to the city. I'm certainly lobbying for that. I'm falling in love with the city, and I want to spend more time up here. ... There's nothing that makes you feel like Seattle in Burbank." "

All I can say is--I know Seattle puts smiles on peoples' faces. You can't help yourself--especially on a ferry on our water. But please don't look too happy!!