360 correspondent travels halfway around the world to witness the filming of “Avengers: Infinity Wars”Commentary
When I found out that filming for “Avengers: Infinity War” was taking place in Edinburgh, my mission was clear: go and watch by any means necessary.
So I got a train ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh, grabbed a travel buddy and headed off in search of the Avengers. Finding where filming was taking place was easier than I thought as filming equipment made an obvious statement, along with a sign conveniently mentioning when the road would be blocked for an “event” taking place.
We returned around 5 p.m. and took an outdoor seat at Café Nero, right in front of St. Giles Cathedral, where it appeared the main action was taking place. As it turned out, we were a little too close; the café was soon cleared out because they were filming right where we had been sitting. The film crew then set up barriers blocking off the road for vehicles and pedestrians and we got standing-room-only seats in the front row.
Then the hustle and bustle of setting up began. Cranes holding the lighting towered in the sky, extra lighting was placed in the windows down the street and Café Nero’s signs were covered. People walked through the barriers, some carrying props in a box labeled “hero equipment” or bringing in the traditional folded chairs for the cast and crew (too quickly to recognize any of the names printed on them). Others brought cameras — or more importantly, coffee — and residents of the city were escorted through the set so they could get home after work.
After a while they brought set pieces for what appeared to be a construction site, which included a truck in two pieces and a version of the truck that looked like it had barely survived an explosion, which made us realize they were blowing up the truck (this plan was confirmed by a crew member).
The film crew added more construction equipment, trucks and some cobblestone rubble, and watered down the set. We kept waiting for the explosion we knew was coming.
By now the sun had gone down, but the lights on the set focused brightly on the doomed truck. They began to set up the camera and moved the barriers back. And we waited. They moved the barriers back again and we waited.
By this time it was almost 9 p.m. and we had a train to catch in order to make it back to Glasgow. We waited 10 more minutes for the explosion. Nothing. Reluctantly, we had to leave.
Perhaps it wasn’t the most exciting set experience, waiting for an explosion that never came, but it was exciting enough to watch the filming process unfold in front of my eyes, even if I didn’t get to see any superheroes in action. Someday I’ll see that truck explode on film while watching “Avengers: Infinity War” — and I’ll be able to say I was there.
Brewster is a graduate of Lewiston High School and Lewis-Clark State College who is earning her master’s degree in film and television studies at the University of Glasgow. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.