Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cooper Union's New Bldg Gets Ugly (Betty)

Exclusive pics from the Thom Mayne-designed New Academic Building at 41 Cooper Square for The Cooper Union in New York City will follow up soon, but this just could not wait. Ugly Betty, played by America Ferrera, started filming today in and around the building. Guest star Dylan Baker was also on hand. Here's how it all went down...

Along Lafayette St and Cooper Sq by Astor Place, loads of trucks and trailers were parked on the sides. One trailer, which I had previously seen before, had the words, "Lucy" and "Desi" and "Stunt Driver" on a few doors. It also had the sign with the word, "Daybreak" on the side.
Trailers on 4th Av
As I approached 41 Cooper, I saw two white sheets set up with lights directed at it in front of the building, on 3rd Ave. Entering the building, I then realized that my own school was going to be the star of the ABC TV show, Ugly Betty (their staff had name tags with the show's name on it.) How often does something like this happen? - I was pretty much elated for the rest of the day...
In front of building
Boy was it hectic the entire day. Coming out from class in the basement, where the director and staging was setup involved encountering a large amount of crew and hurrying quietly to the next class. At first, they were filming in the Basement's Ladies bathroom. They then moved onto the grand staircase/entry. This is where most of the publicly-seen action took place. Dylan Baker didn't look too pleased at us students moving slowly through the set-I saw and somewhat heard him muttering, "Come on, come on." Description and dialogue are in the video links (on Youtube). Although the first video was shot at around 1 PM, they setup a huge bright white light at the top of the 4 story staircase, making it look as if it was morning - probably explains the name of the episode taped to the trailer: "Daybreak"?
Shot locations (as of today): Lobby/Grand Staircase, Upper atrium, Alumni Terrace (which would explain why there was a scissor lift on St Marks Pl with some blue lights directed at the Terrace-for a morning glow?).
Dylan Baker standing on Grand stairs
Although I did say hi to Baker later in the day, and he said, "Hi, how are you?" I would've asked for an autograph but I had no pen or paper with me at the time and he was on his way to his next scene up on the 8th floor Alumni Terrace. Good thing I didn't-I thought he was William H. Macy after someone else said she saw him earlier. Shortly after, my fellow classmates and I also saw Ferrera waiting for the elevator...with two huge, Black bodyguards. I barely recognized her in her black dress without her glasses until she turned around Good thing I'll have plenty of opportunities to get a signature and a picture: according to a source, the crew will be here for 3 days, each day for a fee of $20,000...I'll be bringing my better camera tomorrow!

Link to album:
Link to Youtube clips-be sure to rate!: Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3

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