A Misidentified Shooting

Let me begin by explaining that I do not work in the film industry, nor do I shoot animals. Having come from Toronto, it's hard not to have learned a thing or two about how movies are made. I expect coming from Nashville, most natives know enough about hunting (whether they do it or not). 

In the film industry, Toronto is known as Hollywood North. At any given moment you can see multiple film shoots occurring. The city can easily be transformed to appear as New York or Chicago because of the similar architecture. Filmmakers get a nice tax break and there's that weak Canadian dollar that helps seal the deals too. In fact, Chicago, the movie, was actually filmed in Toronto. 

After I returned to Toronto from backpacking Europe, I worked nights and some days at a international youth hostel. My intention was to stay connecting with fellow backpackers, but also save enough money to return to Ireland for a year (which I did, and then some). 

I used to work Saturday or Sunday mornings at the hostel. If things were slow and we had vacancies, I would drive over to the local bus station to find arriving, international backpackers. I would happily approach them, show them fliers for the hostel, and give them a free ride if they needed one. Most people eagerly took me up on the offer. 

Officers swarmed out of nowhere with their guns drawn!

Photo from Flickr by dtstuff9. 

Photo from Flickr by dtstuff9

I clearly remember one Saturday morning as I waited for future hostel guests to arrive at the bus station. The sky was blue, the sun was shining down brightly at the busy downtown intersection. Suddenly, unmarked police cars swarmed the streets. Undercover officers swarmed out of nowhere with guns drawn at a man crossing the road. They each yelled, "Get down with your hands up!" The bad guy dropped to his knees, he knew they had him captured. There was no point in resisting or trying to escape. 

As a Toronto native, I knowingly glanced around for the cameras. Yep, I spotted it. There was a large crane at the corner with a camera facing down on the scene below. An action-filled shot like that was presumably a major scene of the film. The director yelled, "Back to ones, people", and they began to shoot it again - and again and again. 

Each time the police takedown began, unsuspecting pedestrians would duck for cover thinking it was all real. The pedestrians were usually weary travelers having just stepped foot into Toronto from hours of travel. Welcome to Hollywood North. Soon after they learned it was a film shoot, the embarrassed people would laugh about experiencing a staged police takedown, right as they stepped off the bus! Now that is a story to share with your loved ones back home.

The part where I got embarrassed...

When I moved to Nashville, I was taking a walk around the surrounding neighborhoods. As I walked past a house, I saw a man outside in a camouflage jacket and scruffy beard. There was a large, Ford F-150 truck parked in his driveway with a huge apparatus attached to the trailer. It was a large steel crane that could be elevated with a stand at the top for the camera. I instantly got excited at the thought that movies were being shot in Nashville too. 

I smiled at the man and asked him what he was shooting. He looked dumbfounded and yelled, "Deer!".  I could swear he added a "duh" to his reply. When I returned home to Heather, I told her the story. She laughed out loud as she explained what a deer-stand was. What I thought was a camera crane, was actually a tripod for hunters to get above their targets to blast them to bits. 

I had clearly misidentified the hunting accessory. At least I was correct about something getting shot from that thing. In my defense, nowadays many hunters film their victims from their deer (or tree) stands and post them to YouTube. So maybe I wasn't completely wrong. Okay, I was. :) 

Has this ever happened to you? What object did you mistakenly take for something else?