The Fortune…

This long awaited exterior set is finally ready. The studio tore down Stalag 13 to build this set here… so it better be good. Hogan’s Heroe’s is one of my favorite TV shows!

Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson will be starring in this Mike Nichols production. I love Bonnie and Clyde, so I hope this show is also a shoot-em up type film…

MGM has sound stages committed to this film and now I hear the MGM train station will be needed for a few scenes. Work has begun on Lot 2 in preperation of the Fortune’s visit here.

Lot 2 is busy, we have a set being scouted at our New York street. It is a 20th Century Fox production. A van with the Fox logo is full of a production personnel. You can tell  when the lot is being scouted. Just the way the creative types exit the vehicle, like in a happy daze…looking, pointing, laughing. Lighting gaffers, the director of photography, transportation, special effects usually take this ride.

Their imagination is needed to decide if this street or set can create the needed ambiance that the production is looking for. All seems well by their expressions. We may have another customer wanting to film here on this not so washed up movie lot. I watch approvingly from a rooftop above them as they seem interested in the entire  N.Y street.

My first year of public school just ended and I passed with flying colors…and very long hair. If St. Augustine’s could see me now!

Summer is already off to a busy backlot schedule.

The Fortune set at Desilu is getting some filming in as we switch lots…often we do both studio backlots in the same day.

Production Never Sleeps is the saying in Hollywood!

The Fortune set at Desilu is a bit difficult to acess, it requires bravely walking across open space in complete view of the film crew. This is dangerous since we look too young to be technical employees. This set is devoid of kids also, so that disguise is not applicable.

Jimmy and I do not feel urgency to even push the envelope today. Instead we watch from the same hilltop I was rescued from inside of… most recently.

From this vantage point we are entertained by vintage cars driving around as background on this set. We can see the bright arc lights smoking away. But the actors, Beatty and Nicholson are out of view. The homes built for this show block us from seeing the street scenes being filmed inside this corridor.

Quickly…we become bored.

We have more fun tumbling in the high grass on this warm summer day. My friends, the Sullivan brothers, have installed two hammocks, centered between a clump of trees with a view of the village and filming that is taking place.

Great job Sullivan boys!

When it gets warm we know where to turn on the sprinklers to cool off as we lay suspeneded in the air. If you tumble out, the tall grass will catch ya… anyhow.

On my transistor radio Vin Scully directs the Dodger game on my radio. They are looking awfully good this year. Hammocks, baseball, and filming, my way to spend the day!

We can hear the movie director’s voice, Mike Nicholls, over all the other stuff of going on here.We catch glimpses of Warren Beatty walking and talking with the director…

This is how the summer looks going forward at the Desilu backlot. Filming, filming, filming…








A security gaurd mentioned this to me in a fact finding mission earlier at a guard shack on Ince avenue… “this is a really good director!”

This is just part of his resume…above.


A security time sheet, above.

Yes… there is security at my playground!

Written and lived by Donnie Norden…

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