LINCOLN (AP) — A big Hollywood movie crew came to town Tuesday and postponed Christmas — sort of.
More accurately, a production assistant working on the film “Nebraska,” directed by native son Alexander Payne, contacted the Downtown Lincoln Association and asked whether it would be too much trouble for someone to take down a few holiday decorations, including the French hen with the neon blue beret above Walgreens, so they could shoot a driving scene along O Street.
“It was no big deal,” said Terry Uland, president of the association. “They were very pleasant to work with.”
He said a crew took down the decorations early Tuesday morning and will leave them down until the dust settles on Lincoln's cameo.
“Nebraska” is about a father (Bruce Dern) and son (Will Forte) who travel from Montana to Lincoln so the father can claim a $1 million sweepstakes prize he's convinced he's won. The cast and crew filmed in Plainview before whipping through Lincoln on Tuesday.
An assistant for executive producer George Parra said they were filming at four or five spots that day.
From his office, Uland watched the film crew work through the lunch hour at 13th and O Streets. Other downtowners might have caught the crew filming outside at the B & D Auto Sales lot at 20th and O streets, where the used cars gleamed extra bright on a cloudless day.
“I got 'em washed,” B & D owner Bobby Knollenberg said. “I got everything mowed down. Best it's ever looked.”
He closed for the day and let the film crew take over the lot, painting one white wall a sky blue so it better showed up on screen. (The movie is being shot in black and white.) He said he was told Payne liked his place because you can see the State Capitol in the distance.
Dan McCord didn't profess to know why a “Nebraska” staffer thought his bar, The Keg, would be a good place for a catered lunch.
He said a young man came by the blue-collar bar last week, introduced himself and said he was from Paramount. McCord said he assumed that meant the local linen and uniform rental business.
“He looked at it, and said, 'This'll be perfect,'” McCord said.
McCord said he was asked what it would cost to reserve the place for the crew, and he said he'd do it for free, since he planned to allow his three daytime Tuesday regulars in, too.
“You'll have to work around them,” McCord said he told him.
He ended up getting a $250 check for his trouble, but as of 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, nobody had done lunch at The Keg.
Perhaps the hectic shooting schedule was to blame. Maybe it was nice enough to eat outside.
“Maybe they took a second look at the place and said, 'Oh crap,'” McCord said.
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