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On-Location: Cabrini Green

Filming at Cabrini Green was a bittersweet experience.  On the one hand, as you can see from the rundown buildings in these pics, the ill-fated housing project certainly needed to be torn down.  Truth be told, it never should’ve been built in the first place, at least not as giant buildings that often felt more like prisons inside than public housing.  There is an elaborate story on how these types of housing projects ever came to be, and although I won’t go into it here on our PICTURES pages, I certainly will later in the H27 Blog.

As for all of these pics here, filming at Cabrini connected us to Robert Winston, and then Macnard and K-So.  It was an experience that in and of itself broke down a few barriers.  Again, that’s for a blog post, but enjoy these pics… some of the last ever taken at “The ‘Greens.”

A few short comments…

For the pic where I’m fixing the net, we figured it really wouldn’t make for a good shot with the net nearly completely torn off the rim.  In hindsight, we should’ve left it exactly as it was… that pretty much reflected the state of Cabrini Green at the time.  Hindsight right?

In the pic where Traci is yelling at Harold, that’s a B-roll camera shot for sound, as we never shot from this angle in the film (obviously, since we’d be seeing the Boom Operator).  That was intentional, however, because this angle not only pointed to the white buildings of Cabrini Green (residents referred to the two sections simply as the whites and the reds), but also into traffic.  We wanted to convey more of the isolated vibe, which was very real at the time for residents, and we also wanted to focus on the state of the signature red brick buildings.  This particular building ( the red building, left of frame), was half-closed up, and the wrecking ball wasn’t far off.  The white buildings were slated for a bit later.

And lastly, in the shot where Traci is about to slap Harold — not an easy slap, and not an easy shot.  RJ went handheld to follow Harold, and then circled around him quickly right after the slap.  On the take that we kept, Traci actually got a little overzealous and smacked Harold spot on!  Ouch!  Like Harold said though, “Hey, whatever it takes!”


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