Pacer Wagon and other toys filmed TODAY

Discussion in 'Station Wagons in the Movies and other Media' started by 81X11, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    This movie "car search" was passed through my local car club. Kinda neat! I sent them pics of the toys, and they wanted the Buick, Pacer and X-11 in the show. Filming was today.

    Well that was a long but fun day. I got a ton of pics...I'm sure you'll get bored of them....but wanted to share.

    Eddie and I left the house at 7am and went and cleaned the already pretty clean 79 Buick....wanted it spotless. Got on I-35 and headed down into Austin.

    The filming was to take place at the old Ramada Inn on I-35 down in Austin. The movie is supposed to take place in 1980 and the hotel has not been updated since the 80's....so a good choice!

    The working title is "Computer Chess," and it's about a computer chess tournament in 1980. Here's an article; at the end of that you'll find a couple of links to more information about the film and the filmmaker. http://motoraustin.com/buzz/topic.aspx?topic-id=136

    We pulled in just after 8am and were directed to park with the other two cars that had shown up, a gorgeous 67 Olds 442 and a CLEAN 68 El Camino,
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    The movie is supposed to take place in Phoenix, and the premise is a group of chess players are pitted against a group of computer programmers and their new computers, man against machine.

    The Ramada is called the Southwestern Lodge in the movie...and they had put up fake signs at the enterence to the lobby
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    They were thrilled with the 79 Buick....until Laird showed up with his 79 Pacer wagon and 81 Citation X-11. The main folks in this movie are...well...nerds.....and the director fell in love with the Pacer and X-11.. The 79 Buick went from being a car to be used in many scenes both inside and out to being used in only two external scenes.

    Laird's cars are THE cars in the film.
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    The first order of business was license plates. They had a ton of vintage 80 plates, from all over.
    Here they are fitting the X-11 with Arkansas plates
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    And they had to cover up the Texas 2012 inspection and registration stickers...with paint!
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    The Pacer became one of the main character's cars...and was fitted with Arizona plates:
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    I was a little upset with the Texas plate I was given for the Buick!
    Who you calling fat?!?!?!?
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    But it got better. The Buick's role changed to a programmer from New York, and it was fitted with some spiffy vintage orange New York plates, that I thought looked awesome on the old mafia car!
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    In the first scene the Buick is in, an actor pulls up, gets out, pops the trunk, pulls out a computer, and walks in the lobby. The fun part here is the key kept getting stuck in the lock. I've been meaning to lube that lock...had no idea they'd need to get in the trunk...it took about 5 shots to get it right...whoops! The actor did say that the car was "smooth". Ha!
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    At this point some other cars were showing up. The first scene was to be some contestants pulling up in front of the lobby in the rain (!) and unloading computers and taking them inside. The Elky and 442 guy and myself were all a little flustered about our spotless cars being in a rain scene to start the day. Thankfully the rain scene cars were a Toyota Land Cruiser and a BMW 2002.
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  2. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    Followed by a hippie van
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    Eddie was having a good time hanging out with the "Star Cars". Ha!
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    The first of "our cars" up for filming was the X-11. The funny part here was almost none of the actors knew how to drive a stick shift! The driver of the X-11 tuened out to be a skinny guy with red hair and a mustache wearing a plaid shirt, polyester pants, and loafers, and the passenger looked like a hippy Santa Claus. The nerd clothes were great! They had to drive across the parking lot and come to a stop...the funny part was the driver kept stalling the car....and they had to do about 6 "takes" so the had to drive up, film, then get back in the car....back up....pull forward....film...get out...cut....get back in...stall....back up....drive forward. Ha. Laird may need a new clutch now.
    Here they are fiming driving the car toward the lobby:
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    And filming in front of the lobby:
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    The final Citation X-11 scene is a group of guys coming out with their computers, they load them all in the rear (X-cars hold a LOT) and all four guys get in the X-11 and drive away. This scene was fimed from both outside and inside the car...and the car was full of filming wires.
    Laird being a dork as they pulled the wires out....trying to get them not to film the "dented side" where the 1/4 panel is kinked. He was having fun. Ha!
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    Had some fun while they were filming looking at the props. Flaskbacks from my childhood!
    I told Eddie those computers were really advanced in 1980, but I had more power in my cell phone now. He asked is that meant they were slow getting on the internet, and I told him the internet was still 13 years or so into the future. :D
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  3. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    Next up was filming with the Pacer....everyone LOVED the Pacer.
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    Here they are filming. See the "clicker" ?
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    A good story here. The car is supposed to belong to the guy in the red shirt. He is supposed to drive up in the Pacer and park behind the X-11, grab his computer from the front passenger seat, and open the door and run inside the lobby.
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    So here's the kicker....he pulls up, grabs the computer, throws open the door, and it bashes into the building column right there....which he parked too close to. The look on Laird's face was painful...and the actor had to keep going...they were rolling....as soon as they cut the movie prop folks came running out with towels and polish to "rub the dent out"? Oh well. Laird took it in stride.
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    Eddie with the Pacer after it's moment of fame!
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    All the "prop cars" lined up
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    Eddie in front of that awesome 442. This car was BAD...400 with a 4-spd.
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    The final filming happened in the parking lot on the side of the building. And older actor gets out of the red 442, pulls clothes out of the trunk, walks in front and beside of the 79 Buick and shakes hands with a "nerd" near the door, and they have a conversation. The 79 Buick is in this entire scene from start to finish...very cool! Can't wait to see the film!
    Setting up:
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    Filming...older actor walking from the Cutlass to meet the kid in front of the hotel door
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    More filming. The guy to the right is the director and he is just out of the frame they are filming
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    This was the final scene of the day, a close-up, the Buick is on the other side of the actors there, and we're watching the filming behind the cameras
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    Lots of fun! That was a neat experience Eddie, Laird and I all had a good time. And our cars are "movie stars" now. Ha!
    I'm done with the movie, but they loved the pacer so much they asked Laird to film again tomorrow. He has to be downtown in Austin at a coffee shop at 7am in the old AMC, and they are going to film some external scenes with the car, and then set up a camera in the back and will film some scenes with the main characters driving around Austin.
    I can't believe that goofy car we saved from the salvage yard 15 years ago is in so much of a movie now. Funny stuff!
    The really funny part was they used our goofy cars a lot more than they used the 442 and the 68 El Camino. Our cars were considered more "80's everyday" cars...and I'm sure their "nerd" factor fitted the film better. It was nice to see the underdogs get their day for once!
    Hope you liked the pics!
    -Mike
     
  4. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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  5. GN300

    GN300 Tipmaster G

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    Nothing says nerdy like a x-11 and a pacer!
     
  6. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    Laird is downtown now and they are filming scenes inside the Pacer as I type this. He just sent me the below pic and comment:

    "It's full of people and filming equipment. The nose is pointed to the stars. My poor car!"
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  7. 1964countrysedan

    1964countrysedan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting. Interesting.

    Do the car owner's receive compensation?
     
  8. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    They didn't pay much. They fed us breakfast and lunch, we got to meet everyone, laugh at the 70's-80's outfits the actors had a wear, and everyone treated my kiddo really well. He got a kick out of it. It was not a big budget film or I would have asked for more money, ha!

    Looking forward to seeing the film once it's finally released. The last day they are filming is this Sunday.

    It was a neat experience and I met some neat people. Such fun!

    -Mike
     
  9. Jim 68cuda

    Jim 68cuda Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it was a fun day (except for the dented door on the Pacer). Hope their insurance covers that.
     
  10. Fat Tedy

    Fat Tedy Island Red Neck

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    That must have been fun, except for the dent. Great pics, great looking cars.
     
  11. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    The Pacer was fine. It has a Maaco-style 3-inch-thick paint job on it, which covers a lot of old dents and stuff....it's just a toy for Laird. I took a look at the door and after they rubbed off the tan paint it looked the same as ever.

    We sure had a lot of fun. The movie is supposed to show up at all the independant film fests next year, and then will hit DVD. They should be playing it at the Austin Film Fest or South-By-Southwest. I'll be in the theater when it's here, if only to laugh at our goofy toys.

    Such fun!

    -Mike
     
  12. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    Hahahahaha! Just got an e-mail from my buddy Laird, the guy with the Pacer and my old Citation X-11. Check this out:

    "Hey Mike! So I got an email last night from a director. He wants to use my Pacer and maybe my X-11 in a music video they are shooting in Austin on Feb 2nd. My sad cars are stars!!! "

    That's classic! Nobody contacted me about the '79 Buick dangit!

    -Mike
     
  13. jmt455

    jmt455 Well-Known Member

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    Great story, Mike!
    I always liked the Pacer wagons.

    Looks like your son was having fun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  14. 81X11

    81X11 Well-Known Member

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    It was a fun day for sure. Now I'm waiting for the movie to come out!

    I wonder what video they want Laird's Pacer for. That'll be neat to find out about.

    -Mike
     
  15. PassatMama

    PassatMama When is a wagon not a wagon?

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    Very cool! I love period movies and seeing all the details - the cars play a huge part, along with hair and clothing styles, pop culture details and way of speaking.

    Looks like a fun day!
     

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