Updated with embedded video below. Pretty cool...
And for an NBC pilot, Trauma, no less. What did they do? They staged a tanker-trailer explosion and one that no doubt snared traffic and might have confused uneducated onlookers. But I have a feeling San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom hopes the show gets greenlit.
Newsom is married in real life to Jennifer Siebel who plays Charlie Crews ex-wife on the soon-to-be-canceled NBC series Life. Don't worry, the mayor and Siebel will be just fine and the couple are expecting their first child, but I'm sure the mayor would love for Hollywood to have an excuse to frequently be in San Francisco.
The last show that I remember regularly filming in San Francisco was the ill-fated Journeyman that filmed several scenes within a block of where I was living at the time. But while the Journeyman episode attempted to recreate the 1989 earthquake (speaking of which, I felt this one, though I am no longer in San Francisco proper) they did most of that in the studio with special effects and didn't actually blow anything up.
The Trauma pilot obviously isn't being done on the cheap.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Close down a major San Francisco freeway ramp, add an exploding tanker-trailer, helicopters flying overhead and dozens of extras, and you got yourself an unusual spectacle for a Sunday afternoon.
San Francisco residents by the dozens gathered from various vantage points in the city to watch the filming of the made-for-TV tanker-trailer explosion, which was supposed to happen at 3 p.m. but didn't go off until moments before 6 p.m., on the King Street off-ramp to northbound Interstate 280 near Mission Bay.
The waiting was worth it, onlookers said, and a great shot in the arm for Bay Area film and TV production, which like most other industries is suffering with the national economic downturn.
The explosion - a fireball at least five stories tall - will be part of an NBC pilot of "Trauma," a show about the lives of a team of San Francisco-based emergency medical technicians, described as an edgier "ER."