Behind-the-scenes look at Vanishing on 7th Street

Broadcast House ‘Goes Hollywood’
We have your front row seat to a big movie shoot right here at Channel 7. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Vanishing on 7th Street, starring Hayden Christensen and WXYZ-TV!

Good morning, Hollywood! This is Action News like you’ve never seen it.

At 4:30 a.m. Sunday, a crew of 75 took over Broadcast House with trucks, high-tech cameras, cables, lights, fog machines, and one famous face.

The star of the movie is Hayden Christensen, best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars movies. Now he’s a reporter in the movie Vanishing on 7th Street.

The film is being shot in Detroit, and all the newsroom scenes are at Channel 7.

“It’s a bit of a dark paranoid thriller,” said Brad Anderson, the movie’s director. “One night all the lights go out and there’s a big blackout in a big American city, and when the lights come on moments later 99 percent of the people have simply vanished.”

The shoot at Channel 7 is the first day of the production. The crew moves quickly to set up each scene in the building. While some crew members are from California, others are from the Detroit area, and they’re taking full advantage of Michigan’s Hollywood boom.

Sara Goller is one such “local.” She’s from Ferndale and is coordinating the locations.

“We essentially deal with logistics in filmaking, basecamps. Where are we going to park cars? Do we need security?” said Goller.

Sarah moved back to Ferndale from Los Angeles because of the film tax incentives and she now has a lot of work.

“Once you can get a job on a film as a production assistant and then you do a good job, people will recognize that and that’s what gets you rehired,” she says. “Just being a nice person and working hard are really the two main keys to success.”

The work is long. Crews set up the studio for a shot with Hayden, and then it’s on to the newsroom, which is transformed into a cold, deserted space.

Next, all the gear has to be dismantled and taken upstairs to the control room.

As Hayden gets his direction, you can see some familiar faces in the monitors. Carolyn Clifford and Stephen Clark shot their scenes as TV anchors a few days earlier, along with Erin Nicole as a weathercaster. Hayden reacts to seeing his “Action News team” disappear.

And, a mere 18 hours after it began, its a “wrap” on day one.

Vanishing on 7th Street will be shooting here for the next five weeks. Be sure to look for Action News in a supporting role when the film comes out next year.

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