So, I finally watched this movie. I didn't realize what a huge part BART played in it. The bathroom scene was very touching and sad, perhaps might even soften my views a little bit on homeless population in SF. But, having volunteered in shelters and Homeless Connect Days, I know that 99% of the homeless population is not like Chris Gardner, who never stopped trying to get himself and his son into a better situation.
What I wanted to share here was my observation of the BART scenes. Did they actually shoot this in real trains and stations? Because I am pretty certain that in the movie the seats and the floors in the train are much much cleaner than they are in real life. Also, the floors in the station are less stained and more polished than in real life. I realize that the movie was set back when BART was still fairly new, but if they really spent the effort to clean it up for "new-ness" to fit the time of the story, why can't they spend the effort to clean it up for real, for all the passengers that take it daily TODAY?
Did anyone else see the movie? Was it just me or did you think the train seats were cleaner (darker, not faded with stains), and the floors were much cleaner?
As for the side note I made on Friday about UCLA-Florida, I guess my pain has subsided a tiny little bit now. It still hurts and I was pretty down after the game. I'm still extremely disappointed that Gators have devoured my Bruins two years in a row...it was hard to watch, and very hard to swallow. I hope Ohio State beats them in them championship.
The film crews for The Pursuit of Happyness spent 17 days shooting on BART property. All of the scenes except the bathroom scene were at BART stations or on trains. The bathroom scene was shot on a sound stage in Alameda.
It was quite the production. All the scenes were shot between October 1, 2005 and November 20, 2005 at the 12th St./Oakland City Center, 19th Street, Powell and Balboa Park stations. Because the movie was set in the early 80's, the production crew paid to change all the advertisments during the shoot days to ads that were around in the 80's. You'll notice the system maps were also changed. We even brought back the old uniforms our station personnell used to wear. The astute viewer will notice there are two things in the movie that weren't around in the 80's. First the seats. The crew was going to replace all the blue seats with brown ones, but we couldn't find any, unfortunately. Secondly, the #1 Transit System in America logo. The movie was shot right when we received that award and all of our trains had the #1 logos on them.
Oh, one final interesting point... there is one scene where Will Smith's character jumps out of a cab and runs down a BART stair way into a supposed underground station in the Persidio. The crew made a makeshift BART station entrance for that scene. In fact they left it there for several days, prompting a number of people to call BART and demand why we hadn't issued a news release about our new station, and how come it only had one entrance. Ha ha!
BART Chief Spokesperson
That's very interesting, Mr. Johnson! Thanks for sharing. I did notice the map was different and the logo too. Could tell a lot of attention went into this! BART played quite a big part in the movie.
They also filmed at the Glen Park station. I met a few people from the production company. I didn't see Will or his son. During lunch they
all went to a school a few blocks away to eat.
There's one more technical error related to how BART is depicted, imho.
To my knowledge, BART trains do not leave the sation unless all doors have securely closed. While a coat or jacket getting caught is possible, a person's hand hoding the door open would raise an alarm to the driver/operator who would gte it investigated before starting.
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