New York. Nighttime. Post-apocalypse. As a life-warping illness devastates the American populace, survivors gather at a pier by the Brooklyn Bridge, desperate to be evacuated.
It is a central moment in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “I Am Legend,” the much-anticipated $150 million-plus sci-fi actioner starring Will Smith and directed by Francis Lawrence. But as impressive a nail-biter as this particular scene will surely be, its drama is rivaled by that of the process of mounting and shooting it on six successive nights in January.
“The physical scale of the Brooklyn Bridge scene was the most daunting,” says location manager Paul Kramer, who began prepping back in July. “There were so many moving parts.”
In addition to complying with the requirements of no fewer than 14 government agencies, producers had to bring in a crew of 250, plus 1,000 extras, including 160 members of the National Guard in full combat gear. They commandeered a flotilla of Coast Guard boats, grappled with hypothermia-inducing temperatures, coped with dozens of production-related injuries — and nursed a frozen helicopter.
Click here for much more on the scene. The sci-fi actioner hits theaters on December 14.