Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"West Wing" Shooting in D.C, , March 3 - March 5

Any reports from the filming are welcomed at this blog or at "Television Without Pity"!

Don posted at the DCist:
"I saw [Allison] Janney and [Bradley] Whitford at Charlie Palmer on Saturday night. They arrived around 9:30, and shared the shellfish platter. They appeared to be having a good time, though not *that* good of a time, if you know what I mean."

Photos by Nata (possible spoilers)

The DCist
also has some photos.

Diana posted at WWSpoilers:
"On Saturday took the family down to the Whsie House and saw Brad Whitford shooting the solo walk & talk. So many people looking at him. My husband videotaped him
talking on his cell phone & generally hanging out before doing the scene. Twice he did this awesome split jump in the air, the extension was amazing. Did he do gymnastics or something in high school? I guess he was either playing to the crowds or relieving tension or both. We got both jumps on tape but the first one had my kids making faces and jumping in front of the camera.

I saw Chris Misiano up close & snapped his picture - recognized his face and voice from dvd extras. I was thinking, wow, it's Chris Mis! I like Chris Misiano. He seems cool.
Allison Janney was doing her scene with the man and little girl. They looked very happy. I was walking along the iron fence by the White House grounds and the extras start walking doing their scene and I'm squinting and looking for the camera and there it is pointed toward my general direction and I was thinking why didn't they tell me to get out? But then I saw another take and someone is taking a picture of them and he was in the shot. Were they getting sloppy? Seems unlikely, but who knows.

....and across from American History there are a
bunch of trucks. I pulled over and asked a crew guy (boy, really) if they were still shooting. He said yes but were finishing and getting ready to go inside, and it was a closed set. Sorry, he said. Well, I found a nearby parking place anyway and we went up to that alleyway where they were getting ready to shoot a motorcade leaving.

Finally, after a LONG time, the motorcade exited and I saw Martin Sheen (Martin Sheen!) in the car and they got it in the first take and that was that. So the crowds dispersed and they packed up the equipment.

I decided what the hell, and ventured down the alley with my daughter and her toy dog figuring all they could do was ask us to leave. But they didn't. So we go down by the staircase where they're filming inside, there are crew people going in and out, and all of a sudden, wow, it's Ron Butterfield! And he's cute! He looks out the door and looks at my daughter sitting on the top of the steps and says quietly that she's wearing a cute hat. (It was a lamb hat with ears, several crew people had commented on it and asked her about her toy dog.) So I kind of mouthed to him "Could we please get a picture?" and he said he'd come out after rehearsal.

And he did. He was so nice. He talked to her and said, "My name is Michael, what's yours?" And stupid me said something dumb. And he commented on her toy dog and I got a picture of the two of them. Wow! Super nice, genuine person. I had my WW book and a good pen but didn't have the presence of mind to get an autograph.

Then I saw Jimmy Smits standing by the door with I guess his wife and a girl about age 5, and he was holding her up in the air and hugging her.

Okay, so a few more people are standing out there in the dark trying to peek in
the door from the bottom of the outside stairs and a production lady is out there and says, "Are you all still here?" Kind of a tone of, you know, get a life. And I asked if we could please go inside if we were super quiet. (Why not ask, right?) And she said not if she wanted to keep her job. And she was saying that the actors need their "down time." And while half of me agreed with her, cause I want to be respectful and decent, the other half thought that for the obscene amounts of money they're making for play acting, it's not too much of a burden to have their hands kissed by the adoring crowds (or an adoring dozen, as was our case).

I said something to the group of college students like, "If I can see Martin Sheen, then I'll die happy." I always say dumb things when I'm nervous. Then the production lady said, "Martin is gone, he's left, he's done for the day." So I thought darn, I really don't want to stay for Jimmy Smits, so was thinking about going but still stayed a bit longer.

Then a little while later she came out and says that Martin [Sheen] WILL come out, BUT we have to do it quickly as we don't want to bother him or something to that
effect. So he comes out. Okay, I "worship" Martin Sheen as much as I worship
Aaron Sorkin. Not only is he a brilliant actor, but he's an amazing human being. I was a bit disappointed, though. I guess real life never lives up to the nticipation. His make-up was pasty looking, maybe due to the darkness. But I got a picture of him with my daughter and then the three of us, and he was very nice about it. I don't remember what he said to us cause I was in such a daze.

He had at least a dozen people to get to so I didn't want to bother him and ask him to sign my book or keep him too long. But he made sure to shake hands with everyone, including those standing behind others, and introduce himself to all. Very nice and considerate. Oh, and I saw about three people get on cell phones immediately afterward and "guess who I just met?" :)

There were men in suits standing behind me, so I turned around and said with a smile, "Are you the handlers?" And the first man said that he was Martin's attorney and the other guy was his good friend Joe. I said he looked familiar, and it was Joe Cosgrove. I said I saw you in the episode (duh, er, duh, I wasn't being very articulate). I was thinking of the death penalty one from Season 1. And he said he's been in three episodes and I said he had done a very good job acting. He joked about it, saying he just showed up and did what he was told. And he joked that he made em laugh & mad em cry. I wish I'd gotten a picture of or with them. Both seemed like nice, decent people.

I said to them, referring to Martin, who was still signing autographs, that with people watching your every move & eyes always focused on you I could actually understand how people could get haughty about it. (Really, it was something I saw with Brad Whitford and Allison Janney too. People just stare. The only place celebrities must get privacy is in their houses. It's kind of bizarre, really.) Anyway, they both remarked that Martin liked meeting people, and we all know that's true. He's a nice person.

So then he finished and took off and I thanked the production lady and talked with her briefly before leaving. I think she just got Martin out there so she could rid of us, but at least she did it. And now I can die happy. Ha ha."

Thanks to Jen for submitting photos - they were uploaded to the West Wing Wiki.

Ed posted at his blog:
"I did, in fact, drop by the set of the "West Wing" yesterday, and got a few pictures. They were shooting a scene outside Eaton Elementary on Lowell St. NW, with Jimmy Smits and Terri Polo as Rep. Matt Santos and his wife, Helen. I also saw Secret Service agent Ron Butterfield (actor Michael O'Neill), who, in the scene, was having a discussion with the Santoses. Here's a picture. Polo is standing behind Smits in this shot.
They had a "motorcade" lined up on Lowell Street, complete with the black limos, SUVs and cop cars, all with flashing lights. Extras dressed as Secret Service agents mulled about. I'm not sure what, exactly, the scene will be, but I did overhear a production assistant saying something about [POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT] how they'd be filming inauguration events here. So maybe Santos does win. I don't know; I haven't watched the show since Aaron Sorkin left. [SPOILER OVER] You can see additional photos over on my Flickr page.

Inci posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"A friend and I happened upon the filming today. They were shooting in an alleyway of the EPA on Constitution and 12th Streets. We were strolling around the area wondering if we were in the right location when Jimmy Smits walked by wearing a huge black parka. Basically, we followed him to the shoot location. Martin Sheen, the guy who plays Ron Butterfield and Terri Polo were also there.
The scene consisted of Jimmy Smits and Martin Sheen walking out of limos parked in the driveway and going up the steps into the building. The guy who plays Ron Butterfield followed Jimmy Smits inside. We speculated that the EPA entrance was a stand-in either for the White House or the Capitol. It might have been the Capitol since I believe the actor who plays Haffley was standing on the steps to receive them. They re-did this scene about a dozen times while we watched and a crew member remarked to us spectators that he guessed we knew who won the election now. After about an hour or so, Teri Polo showed up and stood right next to me and my friend. She also was completely bundled up in a coat and thermal underwear underneath a blue suit. She was laughing and wondered whether the director would kill her if she ran across the street to buy an "I love DC" t-shirt. She then rehearsed a scene with Martin Sheen and Jimmy Smits. She was very animated, yelling alot and dancing around. At one point, Martin Sheen pretended to fall off the curb and did this little dance. So I'm thinking this is the inauguration episode with Bartlet and Santos performing the transition . It was tons of fun to watch."

Stacy posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"I went to Cleveland Park this morning and bascically had the same experience as everyone else. I did not get any autographs or pictures with the cast since they packed up all of the equiptment and left quickly. I stayed there until it ended (about 1:10). Martin Sheen did walk out of the school, but he did not film anything. I then went to the Mall and Capitol to see if anyone was there. I walked around a while and did not see anything until I was walking back to my car. They were at the Environmental Protection Agency building, filming something in this tunnel type of thing. It was probably suppose to the setting of another building. I did not stay
long, but did see Martin Sheen from the distance. The were filming Jimmy Smits walk out of the limo and into the building. Then the crowd was told to move and that's when I left.

It was a very exciting day, although I did not get to actually speak with the cast or see any of the main cast."

baked goldfish posted at Television Without Pity:
"To add to the confusion (or possibly help clear things up - I'm confused about what this post will actually do), I was also there, and the impression I got was that it was her final White House scene, not necessarily the last scene she'll be in in the series."

cincyjess posted at Television Without Pity:
"Hey, I'm one of the people who was there yesterday when Allison Janney was doing that scene. I didn't speak TO her about it, but it's one of those things that you hear from people in the crowd. So I would say that yes, it was most likely meant to be among the last scenes for CJ on the show. I know for sure that the scene is going to be in the very last episode because one of the crew guys said so. It definitely wasn't Allison Janney's last scene because I have a feeling there would have been some sort of celebratory/sad indication when they yelled cut for the last time. I think it's also a safe assumption that it's CJ's last White House scene considering that it's in the last episode and also considering the emotions on Allison Janney's face throughout the scene. I can't quite explain why, but I do have a strong feeling it's meant to be CJ's last White House scene. I hope that clear up something rather than furthering the confusion!"

Lloyd Russell posted at Television Without Pity:
"The scene described in multiple posts where Josh is on the cell phone talking in front of the White House is a conversation between Josh and Sam. He is telling Sam to "just get on a plane!"
Bradley Whitford told me he was talking to Sam."

cuveeamericain posted at his Livejournal (includes photos):
"Did you know that when you see Marines guarding the President on The West Wing that they are real Marines and not actors?

Had a long day on the set of The West Wing today where I played the role of Senator Wirth in the inauguration of the new president, which I think will be in the final episode of the series. The production company has been here in D.C. this weekend doing on location shooting for the final four episodes, so there's no telling how long they will drag out the inaugural events.

My scene today was pretty simple. I'm in a small group of dignitaries waiting outside the east Capitol plaza for the presidential motorcade carrying President Bartlett and the new president-elect. When they arrive, we have a little scene on the steps, the President shakes my hand, and then I lead him off to another area while the president-elect goes up the steps into the Capitol. Nothing terribly exciting or difficult.

It took two dozen takes to do this scene, though.

The first six takes were showing the presidential motorcade pulling in and stopping. Then, the cameras switched to the other end of the set and we did six more takes of the motorcade from the opposite direction. Then we did six takes of our "action" scene with the President and President-Elect, then the cameras flip-flopped and we did six more takes of that business from the other direction.

I would have liked to have gotten some pictures of me with Martin Sheen, but we aren't allowed to take pictures on the set or to ask the principal actors for pictures. So, you'll have to make do with this picture I took in our very dark canteen and holding area of Martin [Sheen] eating lunch with some visiting entourage with the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. This is an enlargement of an already blurry photo, but you can see Martin [Sheen] sitting in the middle of the frame.

Martin [Sheen] is, I think, one of the friendliest "name stars" I've ever met. When he came on to the set after the scenes were blocked and rehearsed, he went around and introduced himself and shook hands with all of the local cast. He has this wonderful charisma about him and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he were to become a politician and be very successful at it. He's also surprisingly short, coming up to just above my shoulders.

When I first met Jimmy Smits in the canteen during lunch, I was surprised to discover that he's an inch taller than me! I had no idea that he was tall. If you've ever watched M*A*S*H or recent West Wing episodes, Alan Alda is exactly like his characters in real life. And during actual filming, Teri Polo has to wear five inch heels so she's tall enough to walk beside her "husband," and the second the cameras stop rolling, she kicks off those shoes and puts on a pair of booties. We didn't see any of the actors who are White House staffers, and the rumored appearance of Rob Lowe in the final episode didn't materialize in today's shooting.

Now, what kind of senator would I be if I didn't have two Senate staffers? Interestingly enough, the guy on the right is a real-life Senate staffer for a Democrat from the Pacific Northwest.

We started at noon and my scene was over before five, so the rest of the day (we weren't released until ten) was spent chatting with other cast members and eating both lunch and dinner from the excellent on-location caterers. While both meals were completely different, they had in common a huge selection of salads, two or three simple vegetables, three or four pasta dishes, entrees of beef, chicken, fish, and something vegetarian, and several desserts and fresh fruit selections. Lunch included a carving station with a roast baron of beef and two different types of shrimp salads. In addition to the lunch and dinner buffets, in another area they maintained all day long multiple tables of hot and cold beverages, all kinds of snack foods, nuts, dried fruits, bagels, muffins, and even the fixings for simple, self-made sandwiches. Out on the set, assistants wandered around bearing bottled water, espresso, and even trays of grapes, berries, cheese cubes, and tiny pastries. The cast and crew at these things certainly never go hungry!

Here are some more [photos of ] fellow actors, including Mike the "Capitol Policeman" on the far left and Elizabeth (who was recently in the movie Syriana) the "distinguished guest" on the far right."

lefant posted at Television Without Pity:
"I attended the shoot at the Melrose Auditorium on Sunday. This was the hand-off from Martin Sheen to the president-elect at what was supposed to be the Capitol. I was able to watch a few minutes of the key players' rehearsal outside from about 15 feet away before someone figured out I was not part of the crew. There was a motorcade arrival that was filmed several times without the characters in the cars. Constitution was shut down for this. Then they filmed the characters getting out of the car several times and then greetings with other characters were filmed several times. One take was filmed of Martin Sheen leaving the building in his limo with the Presidential flags removed and him looking sadly out the window of the car. The President elect walked in and out of the building to a trailer a couple of times but disregarded the spectators. One funny thing was the battery dying on the main limo because they were leaving the flashing lights on all the time (DC police came to the rescue). One of the nicest guys you will ever know is Michael O'Neill, who has always played the chief of Sheen's Secret Service detail. While wwaiting for some of the motorcade rehearsals to finish so he could go back in, I spoke with him a few minutes about the show, what he had been doing in DC and what he is doing next (he's moving to a new show on Fox). Later that evening he emerged from the building and greeted me by name and was again very friendly. For those of us who were patient, the big reward was when Martin Sheen was ready to leave, he stopped and greeted the 15 or so of us there and wouldn't leave until everyone confirmed they had gotten the pictures with him and autographs they wanted. As much as I have loved the show, it is only right that it end with his "Presidency" - the new guy doesn't have near the class. You could also watch through a glass door Marines rehearsing (they were real - not actors) for some scene honoring the new President."

oucode posted at Television Without Pity:
"My wife and I went over to Cleveland Park today after seeing the post about the taping. It was at John Eaton School on Lowell Street. Just a few blocks from the Cathedral. We only caught the last 5 minutes of it, but it was a scene with Jimmy Smits talking to Teri Polo in front of the school. Martin Sheen was there, but I'm not sure if he had been in earlier scenes shot there or what. Then they all got in the fake motorcade and drove off down 34th. The shooting ended around 1 PM todya, I guess. We then did a drive-by of the White House and Capitol about an hour later, but we couldn't see the trailers or any other signs of shooting. Don't know where they disappeared to this afternoon.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Having always been a big fan, and having never seen any of the cast members in person before, it was super neat, even if brief. Probably my last chance to, also."

whatsnext04 posted at Television Without Pity:
"Sure enough there was a scene being filmed in front of the Blair House which is where the President-Elect stays before the Inauguration.

There were police and crew doing crowd control and it was really funny to hear tourists asking, “What are they shooting here?” and also the range of varied knowledge about the show; “Yea it’s been running for 8 years…” “Isn’t that (insert wrong name here)?” “Oh I’ve heard of that, that’s Charlie Sheen’s show.”

At this point I was still pretty overwhelmed by actually being on set of The West Wing (!!) and didn’t really go up to any actors. However people were going up to them and getting autographs signed and pictures taken. The cast was very receptive to the attention and nothing but generous. While they shot, I bonded with fellow fans, (shout out to Carrie, Carly, Caitlin, Becky, Greg and David) and we discussed the scene that had been shot before I arrived and the joking and conversations that had gone on between the fans and the cast. We also discussed at length, the various goodies of spoilers and speculation- hee. When they broke for lunch around 12:45 we went up to the cast as they were walking to vans and such and I got my picture taken with two of them!!

After lunch we got to watch Brad shoot. Seven years of loving Josh Lyman and he does not disappoint in person heh. So I was waiting around for the shooting to start when this lady comes up to me and starts spraying my hair and fixing my ponytail and I realize I am standing with a bunch of extras!!! David, Caitlin and I play it cool while she touches us up and then we just follow the other extras over to mark the scene!! We get placed into position and then they start to tape Brad’s scene!!!! It was completely hysterical and surreal. If the scene doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor I am the one that walks right behind Brad [Whitford] wearing the black coat, Uggs, a messenger bag, with my fake father. They couldn’t tell us exactly which episode we were shooting but that they were various scenes from 19, 20 and 21. It took many takes in which random tourists ambled by getting in the way of the steady cam, and we got yelled at by security for blocking the driveway to the White House, and where one extra collided with Brad during his walk (not me!!) to finally wrap the scene.

While we were filming, Allison Janney arrived back on set and so while they prepped for the next scene they shot some long pans of the White House with the camera crane.
At this point I was making friends with the extras and trying not to blow my cover. (Sydney Bristow would have been proud) We ate snacks from the craft services cart and my extra friends reassured me that it was not against the rules or completely dorky to want a picture with Brad. One of them, obviously a fellow fan of the show, talked about how he had met Dule [Hill] and gotten his picture taken with his idol, Stockard [Channing]. They held my bag while I ran up to Brad [Whitford], who was being mauled by a group of eight graders, and asked very politely to take a picture with him. He agreed and put his arm around me!! It was a squee worthy moment indeed but I played it cool. I was pretty much in awe of the time he gave to the fans. He really loved the attention and was more than happy to talk to us and sign autographs and take pictures. He was great.

Allison [Janney] ’s next two scenes were CJ’s last which definitely made me tear up. I will talk about what actually happened in them in my spoiler post. As CJ is my fictional idol for a woman in politics, I was thrilled to get to me her!!! She kept changing into Uggs since her high heels must have been killing her so during one such switch I asked if we could have a picture together in our Uggs. She was like, “Sure! Don’t you love them, they are the only thing I wear.” I felt incredibly cool. She just exudes congeniality and like Brad [Whitfor] was so gracious to the fans, a very classy pair.

As nice as the cast was, so was the crew. They didn’t mind us lurking and watching the scenes as long as we were quiet and respectful. One of the tech guys, Jeff, found it hilarious that I had managed to become an extra. I made friends with the sound guys, Lenny and Paul who relayed some of the dialogue that we couldn’t hear, despite being relatively close. We talked about the ideology that the show has projected onto American Politics especially in the face of real life corruption and dishonesty. I reassured them that when I work in the West Wing, that thing will be different. Paul advised me on the documentary I recently received a grant to make, and gave me his number in case I ever needed a sound guy. Lenny was talking to me about his daughter who went abroad for a semester while in college in Boston and was trying to convince me to do the same. He also wanted me to convince the Colbert Report (where I intern) to have him as a guest Most of the crew was part of the east coast team and don’t work on the show regularly when it films on the Warner Bros. lot in California. The director also was sweet, and even took a fan’s picture with Allison during filming!! His son was running all over the place bonding with the crew and cast and singing the ABC’s. It just was one example of what a relaxed atmosphere the entire production had.

We did one more set of shots before I left. We moved down to the corner of 15th street to film the President Elect getting into a limo with the extras across the street shouting his name and cheering.

Overall it was an amazing day and once in a lifetime experience. I am so sad the show is ending but I feel it has brought a new generation of hope and renewed ideology to the image of American politics. I am so glad that I acted spontaneously and ran away from school to DC for a Saturday. The four hour bus ride each way and the $46 round trip ticket were well worth this priceless experience!!!"

Shooting information
for extras in D.C. Sunday

Posted by Miscellany at Television Without Pity:
"I live in Cleveland Park in DC, and someone on the Cleveland Park list-serv had this to say:

"They are filming on Sunday in front of John Eaton on Lowell between
33rd and 34th. It seems that they are pretty much shutting down 33rd
between Macomb and Woodley, and will be parking their production
vehicles on Macomb. "

The Washington Post looks back past Washington location shootings:
"Before "The West Wing," Washington was a town full of wonks. After the show debuted in 1999, it was a town full of sexy, witty wonks. This weekend, the cast and crew are shooting here for the last time -- in Cleveland Park, at the White House and in Baltimore for Leo's funeral. It's the first time they've been back since spring 2004, when much of the storyline moved to the campaign trail, but for the first five seasons we saw them three or four times a year -- about 20 visits that pumped an estimated $16 million into the local economy. And so Mayor Tony Williams has declared today "The West Wing Day."

"When we first started, everyone in D.C. was very skeptical -- entertainment types had generally not painted D.C. with a positive brush. Then Aaron Sorkin created this world in 'The West Wing' where public service was treated as a noble cause. The cast were like rock stars by the middle of that second or third year. To have D.C. give us that respect back, out of appreciation for showing what they do in a good light, meant a lot."

-- former co-executive producer Llewellyn Wells

Memorable D.C. shoots:

· A massive funeral scene, and a blistering Martin Sheen monologue, at Washington National Cathedral (second season finale).

· The burial at Arlington Cemetery of a homeless vet whose story haunts Toby.

· President Bartlet and staff playing basketball at a hoop set up on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. Wells: "With some coaxing, [officials] said yes."

The show employed about 500 local actors on each visit.

Extras: $116 for eight hours union, $100 a day non-union.

Principals : $716 for eight hours.

Biggest challenge : Casting 20 Israeli and 20 Palestinian extras for a week of shooting in Thurmont, Md. "These are working professional men who have to look the part and can take off that amount of time," said local casting director Betsy Royall .

Brush with fame: Christine Dell'Amore , at the time a University of Maryland student hired as an extra for the Season 2 opener, got to walk past Sam Seaborn in a shoot at the Newseum. "I always tell people I was thrilled to be in Rob Lowe's short-term memory."

A motorcade passes the National Cathedral on the way from the White House to the State Department.

· Mrs. Landingham is killed by a drunk who "ran a light at 18th and Potomac" -- actually a quiet intersection in residential Southeast with no traffic light.

· CJ shops at a nonexistent Barney's on Connecticut Avenue.

Real: The Hawk 'n' Dove pub on Capitol Hill.

Fake: The owners and regulars, replaced by actors and extras.

Sorta real, sorta fake: The real outside sign was moved so the camera could get a better shot of the Capitol. The 16-hour shoot resulted in a 90-second scene."

whatsnext04 posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"There are no words to say how nice the cast and crew of the West Wing were today!!! I will post more, including my pictures tomorrow since I just got back from DC and am soo tired!! Will give you some teasers of the highlights...
-Meeting the cast: Teri Polo, Jimmy Smits (Sp?) Michael O'Neill (sp?)
Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney (!!!)- came too late for Josh Malina though :(
-Making friends with the amazing tech crew (shoutout to Lenny, Jeff and Paul)
-Being an extra despite not actually technically being one or going to the call at 5:30am

Honestly too much fun, met really fab people and can't wait to post
the whole story (and even some spoilers)"

Jenna posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"I just got back from freezing and watching Bradley Whitford freeze too hehe
Bradley [Whitford] walked out of the White House gates, sighed as if he'd just escaped being grounded, and walked....east!

Stop, rinse, repeat for several takes =) There was another scene being blocked when I left, maybe there was someone else who hung in longer? I was just too cold =(

Bradley [Whitford] was very gracious and seemed happy to meet anyone who came close, he
took several photos, and stopped to talk individually to a lot of people.

As for the shoot tomorrow, I dont know if the Capitol or not, I drove by last night and I didn't see any indications of outside shooting ( scaffolding, chairs for speech listeners, ect ) but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The Extra's call sheet doesnt give any hints either. The only thing I heard from one of the techs is that Martin Sheen would be in those scenes."

These are Jenna's photos.

lingy31 posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"Ok, so I got there around 9am and saw Allison [Janney] and Josh Malina filming a scene in front of OEOB. You could not really hear what they were saying. I can tell you they are both extremely nice and took a lot of photos with us and signed autographs. Next, Teri Polo and Jimmy Smits filmed a scene. It was of them walking out of Blair House (which is where the President-Elect always stays before inauguration) and over to the White House. After they were done filming I went over and got a picture with Teri and her autograph. Someone also asked what it was like to be First Lady and she laughed and said no different then Second Lady. It was at this point they
all went to lunch.

After lunch they came back with Bradley Whitford and shot him walking down the street on his cell phone. All you hear him say on the phone is "Do you want me to beg, I am not below begging... GET ON A PLANE". He was really nice as well and I talked to him for awhile. Next another scene with Allison Janney. It turns out that this was her last scene as CJ. It was really sad. As someone alse said it is of her walking out of the White House gate and walking
down the street. As she is walking down the street she is stoped by a man and his daughter. The man says "Excuse Me" and she walks past a little before turning around. The man asks if she works in the White House and she says excuse me. He says "I thought I saw you come out of the gate and was wondering if you worked here". CJ says "No" and the man says "I bet its something to work there". CJ then says something like "Ya" and then looks at the White House
before walking away. This was her last scene filmed as CJ. Everyone clapped for her when it was done.

After this was a scene with Jimmy Smits walking to the limo on the corner and the crowd standing along the streets cheering for Santos. It was at this point I got to be an extra cheering for Santos."

Jessica posted at the J/D Talk Group:
"Hey everyone! I decided I'd go this afternoon even if it was only for a little bit, and I'm really glad I did. I got there when they were shooting Allison [Janney] walking away from the White House and I took a bunch of pictures. Most of them are of her doing her thing, but I also have a
few of Jimmy Smits with who I think is Chris Misiano. I didn't see Jimmy's scene that Greg mentioned (Greg, how did I miss it? Was it during Allison Janney's last mins. of filming?), but Jimmy [Smits] DID walk right in front of me...literally, 2 ft! That was pretty exciting.

A little more info about the scene Allison [Janney] was shooting:
They were directly in front of the WH on PA Ave. and the only dialogue involved was with a man and 'his daughter'. CJ is walking past them and he says "Excuse me" and she walks a few feet back toward them. I don't know exactly what the dialogue was from this point on but witnessing the same scene 10-15 times gave me a good overall idea...I think they ask her if she works in the WH and she responds no, I don't. When she turns and walks away she looks like she's having some serious introspection. That was about it (at least, what I could hear from 15 ft. away on a windy day).

So afterward myself and girl who I met there went up to ask Alison Janney for some pictures, and she was very gracious. I told her (in more words and in a very jumbled, star-struck way I'm sure) "from all the liberals in southwestern Ohio, I want to say thank you. It's because of you guys that we've kept some of our sanity". She was cute, saying really excitedly "Are you from southwestern Ohio?! I grew up there!"...as if I didn't know."

Jessica also posted photos here.

glad2bdun posted at the J/D Talk Group:
"I've been a lurker for awhile but went to the shoot today - and it was amazing. I met Allison Janney and Brad [Whitford] and they both were the nicest people in the world - they really stopped to talk to you and everything. Esp. since me and another girl practially chased after
Allison to get a picture with her when she was being whisked away at the end of the shoot...ok not chased cause we were both kinda nervous, but she was great and I told her that I'm a government major in part because of CJ, and she loved that. The atmosphere on the set, with the crew and everything, was so warm and friendly - I'd work there any day =)"

Greg posted another report at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"I went back after lunch, and saw a scene with Josh (Brad Whitford) walking and talking on his cell phone outside the OEOB. I didn't catch all he said, but he yelled into the phone at the end "Get on a plane, I'm not beyond begging" (perhaps he was talking to Sam?!) After that scene broke Brad [Whitford] was nice enough to talk to everyone, pose for pictures and sign autographs, and even talked a little about the episode he wrote on the Darfur crisis in the Sudan.

After that there was a scene with CJ leaving the White House for what appeared to be the last time, we saw a nice scene where a man and his daughter ask her if she works in the White House , and she shakes her head and says no. When that scene wrapped, AJ turned to the crowd and told us that was CJ's last scene in the show.

The last scene we saw shot was one of Santos getting into a limo and waving at the crowd. After that they wrapped, but I'm told that they are doing some night shots with Brad [Whitford].

As for tomorrow, I heard that the filming they are doing at the Capitol will actually be inside the Capitol, so I doubt anyone will be able to get in. My money is on the filming going on in Cleveland Park, I plan on being there around 8:30,...."

There are photos from the shoot at the J/D Talk Group here and here.

Lloyd Russell posted at Television Without Pity:
"Sorry it took so long to write more. Alright - here is my day in a nutshell. Watched Jimmy Smits and Teri Polo film some scenes. If you want to read about the actual scene they filmed, I would direct you to the spoiler page. After they were done I got my picture taken with Jimmy Smits while Teri Polo graciously signed autographs and took pictures with a group of kids and their families. Ms. Polo was wearing shoes that she described as very uncomfortable so in between takes she wore slippers.
After Mr. Smits took his picture with some of us he started off towards the vans they had waiting to take the cast and crew back to the hotel. However the van did not know that he was getting a ride with them so they started to drive off. I immediately realized what was happening so I yelled "Hey wait for Jimmy!" There was some debate as to whether or not my yell stopped the vans - but I am pretty sure it did. So I saved his ride (according to me).

Next up was Bradley Whitford's scene as Josh Lyman. I'll post in the spoiler section what took place in the scene (hint: it involves a one Sam Seaborn). I'm not exactly sure, but somehow I ended up being an extra in the scene. Very cool experience although I'm not sure if I have a future as an actor.

After the scene was done they started getting ready for Allison Janney's scene. Whenever there was a lull in the action the actors could not have possibly been more accomodating with all the people coming up to them for autographs, pictures, etc. This was never more evident than when an entire class of 8th graders stormed Bradley Whitford. The mob scene attracted even more tourists and many of us "extras" also joined in on the fun. Mr. Whitford literally stood there taking pictures, giving autographs and engaging every single fan for over 30 minutes. At one point a security guard tried to usher him into the protected area and he sort of waved him off and said he wanted to stay. It was a pretty classy move.

It is funny being around famous people because you can tell there are some that appreciate what they have and some who sort of don't. Bradley Whitford was without question the former.

Next was a scene with Allison Janney. Again, I will post in the spoilers what took place in the scene. But I will say that according to Ms. Janney it is actually C.J.'s final scene in the show's story.

Then I went to my friend's apartment for a bit and came back at the time I had heard they were going to film the night scene. When I got there it was clear that basically everyone had gone home. The scene they were doing was just a solo with Bradley Whitford. Again, the content of the scene is in the appropriate thread. In between takes I chatted with Mr. Whitford for a while. We talked about a few things WW related. I pitched the idea I had years ago of eventually Hoynes being elected to the presidency.....He responded in a polite manner (like Corbin Bernsen responded to George Costanza backstage at The Tonight Show on Seinfeld when George suggested a plot for L.A. Law). Thankfully we quickly moved on to some other topics - including his new show Studio 60. He seemed pretty excited about it. I gave him my business card (I always wanted to do that) and told him I'd stop bothering him. I could have talked to him for an hour but the problem was he was so cool he probably would have let me. So anyway I asked him to sign my script book (I was waiting for him to explain the difference between being a fan and having a fetish, again thankfully he didn't).

And that was pretty much my day. Again at some point tomorrow or Monday I'll post some stuff on the spoilers. I am not going to write about everything I saw. I am sure it will get out but I have some philosophical qualms with spoilers.

Hopefully this was enough for some to enjoy."

Katie posted a long report from the filming at J/D Talk:
"So, I got there around 9:30am just in time to see them finish shooting a scene between Will and CJ right in front of the OEOB. Both Allison [Janney] and Josh [Malina] immediately bundled up in coats because it was very cold out. Poor Allison was wearing a skirt. She later put on some pants and UGs with her West Wing Wardrobe coat.
Jimmy Smits and Teri Polo emerged from a blue van both bundled up. They rehearsed their scene for while before their stand-in’s finished blocking the scene for them.....[They] were holding hands....The scene was small and short and has Santos and Helen exiting a lovely yellow building, thanking the staff on their way down the stairs and then walking a short ways into the street where they stop, talk and look at the White House. They did this scene all morning and where just wrapping it when I decided to head home a little after noon. They did it from several angles and used two cameras during every shot.
Poor Teri [Polo] was wearing a knee length blue skirt with a nice cream coat that ended just below her knees and insanely high heels. There was no need for a box for
her to stand on today b/c her heels where so high. It was impressive to see her wearing them all morning. In between shots she would either bundle up and sit in a chair or stay where she was and wrap her legs in what looked like a very worn Mickey Mouse bedspread. It was cute. She was very lively and played around with the crew. Jimmy Smits on the other hand was all business and did [not] seem interested in anything beyond the shot. He looked over at us a few times and honestly seemed a bit whigged out by us. While neither he nor Teri [Polo] came over I got the feeling that Teri [Polo] would if given the time but Jimmy never would have. But I don’t know him and was a ways away so…I could be full of it.
But here’s the really good part. When Josh [Malina] and Allison [Janney] where done for the day they came over to the group and spent a good 10 minutes chatting with us,
signing things and taking pictures. Allison up close is stunningly beautiful. Of course she’s pretty on the show and lovely whenever we see her on the red carpet or the Emmys but in person she’s just beautiful. And tall but she wasn’t wearing heels so she didn’t see oddly tall. She was very kind and laughed with Josh when he made fun of her picture on the DVD cover, smiling and mouthing ‘f*ck you’ to him while he just laughed. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture with her b/c a) I was taking pictures for everyone else and b) the guy that was handling her was a bit of an a**. I was taking a picture of her... and he very rudely said that was all, no more and led Allison [Janney] away. I didn’t want to be annoying and “one of those fans” so
I didn’t ask. But I did get several wonderful shots of her....
I did however get a picture with Josh [Malina]. He was incredibly kind and generous with his time and just amazingly great. He gave us as much time as we needed and
made sure that everyone had gotten a picture or a signature from him before he left. He told us a cute story how someone asked him to take a picture and he said sure and started to put his arm around the person only to be told that no, they wanted him to take the picture not be in the picture. Someone asked about Studio 60 [on the Sunset Strip] and he said there’s talk about him joining but maybe later. One of the girls asked him why Ellie hated Will so much and he said he wasn’t sure but there was a time when everyone hated Will. He said that when he worked for the Vice President he had people tell him they hated his character all the time. Someone else asked after Brad[Whitford] and totally joking around he just rolled him eyes and laughingly said ‘yeah yeah yeah, that’s what everyone wants to know.’ The answer is that yeah, Brad [Whitford]’s here but he wasn’t sure when he was shooting. Immediately after that I asked where they stayed when they were in town and he immediately answered the Ritz Carlton before catching himself and jokingly saying ‘I don’t know’ he then goes
‘no, the Ritz Carlton and Brad [Whitford]’s room number is…’. Of course he
didn’t finish but he totally knows that Brad [Whitford] is the most beloved from the show and was a great sport about it. All in all he was just incredibly wonderful and
I now have no choice but to like Will again b/c Josh is just so great.
We were able to find out that they’re shooting again tomorrow morning on the Mall but no one seemed to know where or exactly when. I think we were a) asking the wrong people and b) the ones who knew weren’t volunteering thatinformation. If Brad [Whitford] doesn’t show up later he’ll probably be on the Mall tomorrow."

Another fan posted photos from the yesterday's shoot.

Greg posted at the Josh/Donna Talk Group:
"I just got back from the WH shoot. Josh [Malina] and Allison [Janney] were super nice,
signing autographs and posing for pictures, Teri [Polo] was so short! Jimmy [Smits] was in a
hurry, and almost got left behind when they broke for lunch! It looked to me that they shot 2 different scenes, one with Allison [Janney] and Josh [Malina] and one with Jimmy [Smits] and Teri [Polo] . Word on the street was that they are shooting in Cleveland Park tomorrow, but I also learned that they are doing so Inaguration shots at the Capitol tomorrow! ok, back to the shoot!
Yes, they are still shooting down there. Allison Janney said that they would be shooting till dusk, and that she still have a scene to shoot and Brad Whitford would be there later also. As for the shoots tomorrow, it's my understanding that both shoots are going on at the same time, and as far as I can tell, The Santos's are the only ones who will be shooting scenes at the Capitol. I think
they just going to do exterior shots around the Capitol. Cleveland Park sounds like it might be a better shoot."

syasrobi posted at the WWSpoilers Group:
"I just got back from the Penn Ave. side of the White House (OEOB) where Allison Janney, Josh Malina, Jimmy Smits, and Terri Polo are filming. Josh [Malina] and Allison [Janney] came over and talked to us, and while it was Josh [Malina's] last shot of the day, Allison [Janney] said she would be there until at least sundown. Josh [Malina] also said that Brad [Whitford] is definetly in town and filming. He said that today and tomorrow there would be Mall and Capitol shots, too.
It looked like some sort of inauguration scene because there were US and DC flags lining boths sides of Penn. Michael O'Neill (Special Agent Butterfield) was there as well!"

The call-time for extras Saturday has passed, but you can still read information for the extras here. (includes phone numbers)

From WBAL:
" Baltimore became one of the last backdrops for NBC television drama "The West Wing."

If you saw the presidential motorcade driving down North Charles Street on Friday, you were right -- well, sort of.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Melissa Carlson reported the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen held a mock funeral for the television show.

"Today, the scene is about the funeral of the chief of staff, Leo, John Spencer, who died in real life," said Hanna Byron, of the Baltimore City Film Office.

The 58-year old "West Wing" actor died from a heart attack last January. Spencer played the Democratic vice presidential candidate. His running mate, played by actor Jimmy Smits, was among the actors in Baltimore on Friday.

Carlson said the shoot looked like the real thing, replete with the Secret Service and the police presence.

"(Baltimore is) playing for Washington, D.C. They shot the interior of the funeral in Los Angeles, but they're shooting the exteriors here in Baltimore. So, we're really happy that they're doing that here," Byron said.

Actor Rick Cane, a Maryland native, has worked on "The West Wing" for the last five seasons. He said it's great to see his town on TV.

"It's always great to be able to work on these shows and see how it is edited together and see how seamless it is," Cane said. "I've worked on a lot of productions where they pieced it together, a little in D.C., a little in Baltimore," he said.

The show shot in Baltimore is set to air sometime in May"

You can also watch a local news report at this link.

From a poster at the Josh/Donna Talk Yahoo Group:
"Greetings from Baltimore. Just got back from watching the filming
here - details in a minute. But first, the important news: they'll be
filming in front of the White House tomorrow morning."
The same poster then posted a report:
"OK. Just got back from The Cathedral of Mary our Queen. (highlight) (A very modern, 50's Gothic building, btw.) People coming out from Leo's funeral. Episode 18, "Requiem." Only cast members present were Josh, Santos, Mrs. Santos, and the guy from the DNC who tried to get Josh dumped. Josh exits cathedral, walks over to the other three, has a brief conversation about going over to the White House, and maybe something else, but that's all I could hear.

Everyone looked great. Bradley Whitford not wearing shades, so hence all squinty in the bright sun. Squeeeeeeeeeee. Teri Polo is REALLY short - they had her standing on a box just to get up to Jimmy Smits' shoulder. It was quiter cold and windy, so at one point they wrapped a comforter around her legs (out of frame).

I took some pics, not that good (couldn't get very close), but will try and post. Not more what else I can tell you, but feel free to ask."

karaok posted at the "West Wing" livejournal community:
"My sister just got back from the shoot -- she said it was amazing. She's heading back in a few hours, they're still doing some more stuff this afternoon."

From the Baltimore Sun:
"Hot tip for motorists: Avoid the 5200 block of N. Charles St. this morning.

Hot tip for West Wing fans: Head for the 5200 block of N. Charles St. this morning.

I have it on good authority - a Catholic church secretary - that the TV series is shooting at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

From about 8 a.m. till noon, cars in that area won't move half as fast as walking-and-talking actors stride through the show's faux White House corridors.

The city's Department of Transportation sent out a news release yesterday urging motorists to skip Charles and take Roland Avenue or York Road instead because of unspecified "filming" at the church. DOT officials wouldn't say who'd be shooting what. Ditto for state film office folks.

But the nice lady who answers the phone at the cathedral confirmed the rumor I'd heard: that West Wing was coming to shoot Leo McGarry's funeral. (John Spencer, the actor who played the presidential chief of staff-turned-vice presidential candidate, died in December.)

Not clear why the show chose that church for the funeral, but if it was good enough for Johnny U and Chuck Thompson, why not Leo?

The secretary - I didn't get her name because, after briefly chatting with me, she said she'd patch me through to the deacon - thought the shooting would just be outside the church. Don't know any more than that because the deacon never called back. Maybe he was getting ready for his close-up."

That location is also very near to National Cathedral, incidentally"

Any reports of this are welcomed by e-mail at this blog or at the above thread at Television Without Pity!

From the Washington Post's "Reliable Source":
"Washington, D.C.: I heard that West Wing is casting extras in D.C. and Baltimore for this weekend (March 3-5). Any idea where they're filming?

Roxanne Roberts: They're scheduled for Cleveland Park Saturday, but we're guessing they'll be all over town. It's the last Washington shoot before they go to the big presidential house in the sky.

"Please more detail on West Wing: How can we find out more about the D.C. location shots? I think my husband and I are among the few remaining fans and I'd love to see it.

Amy Argetsinger: Apparently they're shooting exterior shots at the White House over the weekend, according to the show's publicist.

There is more info about the casting notice at the website of Betsy Royall Casting.

Clemens posted at Television Without Pity:
"I just got an email indicating that "The West Wing" will be filming in Baltimore and Washington on March 3, 4 and 5. If anyone wants the information on how to submit yourself as an extra, email me."

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