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The state Ed Building was basically used as a backdrop. Extras were scattered around the building's steps and Washington Ave. They didn't move for the most of the time we were there, which gave it a sort of model train set-like feel.

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The scene being shot surrounded the character played by Benjamin Walker. (He's reportedly playing the role of Kevin Kennedy, a Supreme Court clerk who championed Ali's case.) The Volkswagen he's driving has some sort of car trouble (the car was rigged to smoke) -- so he pulls over and checks it out. It looks like he's supposed to be late for something. [Variety]

Even the car got makeup:

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There was a discussion about how the shot was going to work:

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Stephen Frears, the director:

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We're always a little taken aback by all the people and equipment involved in bigger productions. There was all sorts of crew: cinematographers, sound people, production assistants. And then were just some people who didn't necessarily seem to be onlookers from the public -- they were just there.

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Rehearsing one of the shots:

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Post-rehearsal discussion over some food:

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The extras were dressed up to look like they belonged in the late 60s. They also looked cold. Some of them huddled on a bus to a keep warm between takes.

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They shot this part of the scene three or four times:

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And then they adjusted to shoot inside the car as Walker drove it half a block down Washington and parked it on the curb (it looked he missed the spot one time).

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They also ran this shot four times.

And then, just before 4 pm, they packed up to head down the hill for another scene.

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Gawking at the shoot of Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight in Albany

Ali shoot in Albany Benjamin Walker

Benjamin Walker was having trouble with his car.

The HBO film Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight was shooting in downtown Albany today -- that's why Washington Ave was shutdown near the Capitol -- so we stop by to have a look.

We watched the crew film a scene on Washington Ave outside the state Education Building. (The state Ed Building is standing in for Washington DC.) The crew will be filming in Albany through the night, and then in Schenectady Friday evening. [Daily Gazette]

Here are a bunch of photos -- and a short video clip -- from this afternoon's shoot...

Photos are in large-format above -- scroll all the way up.

Here's a short video clip from today's shoot:

Comments

Does anyone know if there will be any Christopher Plummer gawking opportunities? There are no words for how happy that would make me.

The chick in the very mini black and white striped skirt is not an extra. That getup is too 2012. She just wanted to be seen. the lady across the st. with the baby carriage was definitely 1960s.

I hope that pay-for-parking-with-a-credit-card meter isn't in the shot next to the (what I'm assuming is a) prop phone booth.

I think it's great that Albany's wonderful & historic architecture is being featured as the backdrop of a movie. :) Love the old cars and - especially - the bus. I remember the buses from that era!

I don't think anyone is claiming that the chick in the very mini black and white striped skirt is an extra. There were plenty of people watching the shooting.

I only saw Christopher Plumber, Peter Gerety, Benjamin Walker and Stephen Frears, whose first line of direction to us all was, "We are going to create a lie." He was referring (happily) to the Viet Nam Vet/Protestors ejection scene on the steps of the Education Building.

I say, let's bring back those snazzy white gloves for police officers....

@SAY: What Ron said. She didn't appear to be an extra.

@Barry: It looked like the phone booth was being used to hide the parking meter.

@"Lady...": Thanks for sharing!

The lady in the mini wasn't an extra... she was part of the crew. I was one of the extras. I'm the one in the yellow pantsuit. I had a scarf around me because it was freezing.
Also, we shot that scene many more times than three or four!
Lots of fun, though!

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