The Filming Diaries

March 31

Adam and I are driving home from the carpet store, looking for parking. There's plenty of spaces, but when we pull up to the curb we see the telltale red and white POLICE NO PARKING signs.

"Dammit," Adam mutters. "What's going on?"

We take a closer look and see yellow signs. "A new movie called IN HER SHOES will be filming in your neighborhood tomorrow."


April 1

My goals for the next few weeks, while IHS is filming in Philadelphia, are modest. Basically, it's just one goal: not to make a total ass of myself.

A partial ass, I could live with. But I'm not going to make a total ass of myself. I will be friendly, not effusive. Welcoming, but not stalker-ish. Generous, but not, you know, scary.

The Daily News says that filming will commence at Mario Lanza Park, which is very near my house, so at eight in the morning Adam and I leash the hound, load up the girl, and head on over.

We find set dressers clucking over the mulch. I introduce myself. They're happy to meet me.

"Thank you for setting the story here!" says one.

I feel weird saying "You're welcome." I mean, I live here, so the books have to be set here. This is the only city I'm intimate with. Won't my mother be glad to know that.

Shooting won't start for a few hours, and we're out of biter biscuits and wipes, so Adam goes to work and the girl and I head to Babies R Us.

3 p.m.: Back on Second and Queen in the baby in the backpack and my mother-in-law accompanying us. The streets are lined with police cars and trailers. Extras are picking up their costumes. Cables snake across the sidewalk. People pace back and forth, talking into headsets. We sidle down the street, next to a guy pulling off yellow rain gear.

"Do you know what's going on?" I asked.

"Well, they're filming a movie..."

"Yeah, I know that. Do you know what scene?"

"Look," he says, with thinly veiled impatience, "I got in from New York at six o'clock this morning...."

Fair enough.

We make our way past more cameras and people in headsets, and spot Mark Feuerstein, Toni Collette and Brooke Smith in a car while people fiddle with lights, and we see Curtis Hanson, the director, talking on his cell phone. Then I find the publicist I met in Los Angeles, who's very happy to see me. Curtis stops over to chat. My mother-in-law feels it's important to tell him that Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods. I smile. Lucy squeals. Somewhere, a Hadassah lady winces reflexively.

The line producer tells me it's the scene where Rose and Simon drop Amy off after Rose's bridal shower. "See, this is where Rose lives," Curtis says, pointing. And that's how I learn that Rose Feller's best friend lives around the corner from me.

More tomorrow...