SO. To finally conclude my thoughts on Judy Moody taking over my hometown, the first two days were rather uneventful. HOWEVER. Days 3 & 4 were much more exciting.
Early morning of day 3, I got to work early (mostly just to find a parking space, secondly to scope out the set - I'm curious, not a stalker. Promise.) and explored a little. I talked to one of their security guys, and apparently I was missing out because MEGAN MACDONALD WAS IN MY SHOP!!! (Again, it's not really mine so much as my place of work, but I feel a sense of pride and ownership sometimes. Get over it.)
So, I ran in, tried to be cool about it, and there she was, standing next to my boss chatting like they were old buddies. She doesn't look like I expected, for starters. She was a little older than I expected, and wore glasses and had curly, slightly frizzy hair. She reminded me a bit of Mrs. Frizzle from Magic Schoolbus. To give you an idea. But a completely different body type. If that makes sense. Her husband was there, as well, and introductions were made. I have to admit, I was a little shy (to those that don't know me IRL, I am NOT shy), not because I was afraid or intimidated, but because I have this thing about meeting famous people that I don't want to make them feel self-conscious or more important than they are. I guess it has to do with getting a vibe that they want to be treated normally, and are just as excited as we are about things, so I try not to treat them like the Queen but rather like special guests from a foreign country who you want to feel comfortable instead of awkward. That was a really long sentence, I apologize.
Anyway, she shook my hand, and we exchanged pleasantries, and then I mostly continued opening the store as normal, turning on lights, speaking when spoken to, commenting on the book and otherwise keeping my mouth shut for fear of babbling like a baboon who wants her manuscript published. Ms. MacDonald was a very pleasant woman who seemed excited to be visiting, and promised to come back and sign our books for sale, which was exciting, but was needed on set.
Shortly thereafter, a small ginger kid was seen bopping around outside wearing the most ridiculously mismatched outfit I've ever seen. Yet it worked. She was wearing a blue shirt and brown shorts and blue-and-green striped knee-high socks and penny loafers. Did I mention she has bright red hair and an Australian accent? Meet Jordana Beatty, the 9 year old Australian bookworm who was cast to play the lead as Judy Moody herself. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet her myself.
Shortly after that, a small boy with blond, spiky hair came buzzing into the store with several adults tailing after them, wearing a t-shirt with bugs on it and khaki pants and asked me if I had any Star Wars books. Guessing at who he was, I led him over, and pointed out some promising titles. Then he turned to me and said, "I'm Parris, by the way. Or Stink. I like both names." I laughed, shook his hand, and then met his mother and several handlers. He seemed like a super nice little kid, and offered to sign all of our books as well. As himself. It was pretty entertaining.
After that, BlueChair became the regular hangout for some key members of the cast, specifically the kids. They were all completely polite and really sweet, not to mention fun to be around. Ms. MacDonald eventually came around and signed all of our books for us, and overall we were pretty busy pulling books and helping various members of the crew find things for their children and other small relatives. I found it very interesting that next to no one on the crew had read the books or even knew the film was an adaptation of a children's series. Disappointing and surprising and generally a bit disturbing. But maybe that's just this bookworm's perspective.
The next day the crew got a really late start, and the temperature climbed even higher (passing sweltering and going straight to Saharan), and the kids (Jordana and Parris, especially) spent almost all their time off-set in the store. Unfortunately, I worked night-shift that day so I missed the afternoon excitement, but instead got the evening surprise.
Zombies. Is that what you think when you think children's movie? Me neither. Yet zombies we had, and copious amounts of them, too. No, they didn't use any locals (that I know of, though they should have and I believe perhaps intended to), but they used our streets. I was very surprised to see quite a few really well made-up zombies hanging out outside the store once the sun started going down, and took up a stake-out position across the street as soon as I closed. I still don't know what the zombie portion of the film is about, only that there is a part in the Judy Moody movie that features the making of a zombie film. A movie within the movie, if you will.
And then they were gone. The next day (Friday), all that was left was clean-up, and they did it rather quickly. The cameras were packed up, the giant lights were shipped off, and the painting and sidewalk chalk was washed away or put back to its original condition. And life went back to normal. Didn't it?
Some people have asked me if my tiny town was changed by this event. I don't think it really was. We were starstruck, to be sure, and a little dazzled by the fact that a very large film was shot in part in our humble village, but we're the same people. We're still quaint, we're still tiny, and the only changes we expect is that they'll be back next summer to film the sequel.
And that's all this reporter has to say. So. What's your mood on the matter?
Love all, trust few, do wrong to no one. ~ William Shakespeare