Scoopers ‘Streaker_67’ and ‘Spiral’ are back with more photos and a report from The Dark Knight set in Chicago. First up is the report (spoiler alert!):
This report will only briefly mention the fire, because its been covered elsewhere. I was on set from 9am to 2:15pm.
At 9:00am they were filming on Van Buren in front of the bank! New to the set was a gray jeep with a small crane and camera attached to it. The extras were on the street, as well as regular vehicles, Gotham taxi cabs and… the grey suburban that is used by the Joker and his goons. As I watched: the grey suburban drives infront of the bank and comes to hard, fast stop. Out of the vehicle pops the Joker (and it was Heath Ledger) and his henchmen. Joker holds back looking around while the others charge right up the steps into the bank, and he joins them a moment after.
That scene was filmed about four times while I was there, and then they were done and the production crew moved down the street to the school bus imbedded in the fake wall. Since yesterday more work has been done on the fake wall by way of extensive set dressing: behind and beneath the bus are scattered bricks, dust and damage. A broken bank door is propped against the bus, and on the top of the bus is more debris.
While they finishing setting up, 7 to 8 yellow school buses come rolling down Van Buren and cue up on either side of the street. Heath Ledger’s stand-in is visible then: wearing a long black trenchcoat with a deep hood (think Jigsaw from Saw), and once or twice he pulled his hood down and his green hair was completely visible. He was wearing a suit and shirt identical to what we have seen Ledger wearing before, and no makeup. The shirt seemed a blue-green color, rather no descript truth be told.
The stand in (or perhaps a stunt driver) enters the school bus embedded into the wall and puts on his clown mask. See the picture of closeup just before shooting. This was seconds before the evacuation. With the clown at the wheel and everyone set, the scene begins. The school buses begin to drive down the street, and when there is a break between them, the Joker’s school bus pulls out of the wall and into the caravan, and the whole group drives down the street. As they are pulling away, five Gotham City police cars race down the street and stop infront of the smashed door that the bus came out of, and thats the scene. The buses circled around and came back in, the Gotham squad cars backed down the street and back into position, and the Joker bus backed into the wall. The scene was repeated about five times. The last run had JUST begun when the fire broke out: the buses and the extras were all moving, but the Joker bus did not move, and then the set was evacuated at 11:20 (See pictures just before and after the fire broke out).
By 1:00 they were setting up to film again, this time around the corner from the bank on Van Buren and Canal St. The grey suburban returned, and into the back of it was placed a camera, two or three camera operators and Christopher Nolan himself. A stunt driver in joker-goon mask and suit was behind the wheel, while the actual actors playing the henchmen were close at hand if they were needed.
Heath Ledger appeared sometime after 1:30pm at the Suburban, wearing the normal suit and clown mask. Something of definite interest: his hair had only a patch of it green (see the photograph). The only part green was towards the front, and even then it was only like a wide, chaotic streak. The back of his hair was definitely not green. Now please not that this is in contrast to when I had seen him before (over the weekend), and also clashes with his stand-in’s hair, which was also green all over.
The scene filmed went like this: Ledger is at the door of the suburban, and once cameras started rolling he jumped inside and slammed the door. As soon as he was inside the suburban pulls forward and turns the corner, heading towards the bank. It slams to a stop at the same point it had earlier in the day, and Ledger and the henchmen jump out and storm the steps of the bank. They cut, and then piled back into the suburban, which backed around the corner to its starting place and the scene was repeated about four times. At the conclusion of that part of the filming Ledger was talking to the gathered crew, and that allowed me to get these pictures of him. He then waved to the crew and went back into a side door of the post office.
I left the set at that time, around 2:15pm, as it seemed filming was over for the time being. It turns out that a bit more filming was taking place: this time it was the suburban parked in front of the bank, and the Joker and henchmen simply jumped out and stormed up the steps. So basically the same scene was shot three seperate times today, with different variables.
I have a video of the school bus scene with the fire that is a bit better quality than the one out right now, and I will try to post it later this evening.
You can view the large amount of new set photos here!
Source: Streaker_67, Spiral