We saw Zac near some golf carts to the left of the driver introduction stage talking to someone in the crew. He had on a driver's firesuit, but had the top pulled down and had a black t-shirt on underneath. There were some insane young teen girls in the stands screaming and crying and yelling obscenities at us, which was lovely. As they led us down on to the track, those girls screamed at us that it was canceled and if we touched him they'd kill us. Talk about obsessed!
They didn't have to worry about us touching him, though. When they got us down to the track (which, by the way, was measured to be 115 degrees), we were behind a rope with flags on it nowhere close to Zac. The director (Ramin Bahrani) came up and thanked us all for being there and told us we couldn't scream 'Zac Efron' because his character is named Dean Whipple and it would ruin the take. He also said we weren't supposed to scream at all because at this point in the movie, he's relatively unknown and a pretty bad driver. We were to politely clap and give little a 'woooo!' as we would for any of the other drivers we didn't know.
At this point, the track officials were trying to hurry along the process because they had an ARCA race to get started that was going to be broadcast on TV, so they had to start on time. The director went and gave some last minute instructions to the crew and then they called action.
For the first take, Zac walked up on stage and those crazy teen girls from the stands screeched out his name while the rest of us were trying to hold it in since those were the instructions. Zac came up, waved, did a hair flip, and then shook hands with the track officials up on stage. He walked to the other corner, waved again, and then walked down the stairs. There, he met the track minister and they kneeled down together and prayed. That was the whole scene.
The second take, the track announcer introduced him like any other driver (he was starting 24th in car #11, he's from Iowa, and his name was Dean Whipple). We did our clapping and 'wooo' again and he did the hair flip and shaking hands. The third take was the same as the first, but the camera crew followed him (so the cameras were right on me and my friend as they came up the stairs).
That was it! We didn't get to hear him talk or anything like that. They filmed a little behind the driver introduction stage that we couldn't see and then they went over to pit road and did some filming with Zac in a car. We got to stay on the track for the ARCA drivers introductions and then we were ushered back up into the stands. We never did see Dennis Quaid..."
The post included a couple tiny pics:
Also a bit from that Daily Chronicle article a few days ago which I haven't posted yet. Filming info on the Sycamore Speedway:
Tiffany Gerace, manager of the Sycamore Speedway, also declined to comment on the compensation received for Bahrani’s film’s use of the speedway. She said some regular drivers will take part in the figure-eight racing scenes, which will replicate a normal race night at the speedway.
Race scenes for the film, which Sunday’s casting call sought extras for, will be filmed Oct. 8 at Sycamore Speedway. The film’s production supervisor Michele Baker said she was looking for extras to fill the stands of the speedway as well as people to fill certain speaking roles.
The article included some info on Illinois tax credits...
Debbie Armstrong, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she began working with Bahrani and his film crew in April as they scouted the area for farmland and downtown areas suitable for filming. Producers were looking for a Midwestern, small-town area, “and we fit that perfectly,” she said.
For filmmakers, tax credits in the state offer an attractive deal, said Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the Illinois Film Office. If a director hires Illinois residents to work on a project, he gets a 30 percent tax credit on those wages.
Additionally, the state gives a 30 percent tax credit on money spent locally on equipment and other items needed for film production, which helps the state’s economy, Steinberg said.
“In order to lure people here and get them interested in doing that, we give them the tax credit,” she said.
Nicole included a brief note on what working with Lee Daniels is like on The Paperboy in answer to someone's question on directors on her official website:
At the moment I’m filming Paperboy with Lee Daniels who did “Precious”. He’s extremely different from anybody else i’ve worked with– he’s very spontaneous and immediate.