Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 9, 2012

America’s Next Top storm troopers

It’s almost impossible to live in Los Angeles for any length of time without blundering into a television show or movie being filmed.  This can be a charming or downright annoying event, depending upon the street traffic or the amount of lighting equipment blocking the entrance to your favorite shopping destination.

Not so long ago my husband and I were about to dig into a couple of shrimp salads at the “Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.,” located in the Universal Citywalk, when we were almost blown off our window-side seats as the USC Marching Band stomped by, appearing literally out of nowhere.

The band’s performance was part of a parade for an upcoming episode of “America’s Next Top Model” being filmed that night at the Citywalk. The theme of the season, or this particular episode,  was Great Britain, and the parade boasted young, topless men whose chests were painted to match the British flag. Sailing by in convertible cars also were show regulars, photographer Nigel Barker and tranny diva J. Alexander, better known as “Miss J.” There also was a balloon-covered float containing what apparently were the contestants of an upcoming season waving happily to the cheering crowd of tourists.

There was, however, no Tyra Banks.  She had not down floated down from Mt. Olympus for this particular shoot.

My husband ignored all of commotion.  I could not, and wandered outside to see if there was a photo to be had.

And this where you really hate the entertainment industry, because of the arrogance and sense of entitlement that often goes right along with it. The producers of “America’s Top Model” were very happy to include the roaring crowd of tourists in their shots, as well as all of the accompanying free publicity for the show received by literally stopping the Citywalk visitors in their tracks for a good half an hour at least. Yet, these same producers wanted to control what was photographed by those tourists.

Working hard for their money were black-shirted ATM storm troopers marching along the route who, with exquisite timing, whipped out giant pieces of cardboard  to block a shot, whenever someone as about to snap a photo of the float full of girls.

This, I assume, was being done to protect the identities of the contestants before the season could air.

All it really did was piss off the photographers, most of whom just trotted ahead of the slow-moving parade to get a better shot.

Well, a least one photographer…..



  1. I don’t know how you stand it. We have movies made here in town every so often. And they do disrupt everything. Plus they leave the motors on their big vans running for hours. Wires everywhere. Not to mention how everyone runs out at lunch to see the stars. Why do we care about these people? I am glad it only happens every so often. I can’t imagine living somewhere where it is a daily occurrence.

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