Response to a Post-Gazette Article

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On August 11, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published the following article: Our 'Road' to fame: We're No. 1 in post-apocalyptic locales, It was a bit much on the "The Road will give people a negative view of Pittsburgh" attitude.


I sent the following response:

While I'm one of the few people you'll ever meet who moved to Pittsburgh twice by choice, one attitude of Pittsburgh natives I find frustrating is the "People may view Pittsburgh negatively so I have to express righteous indignation about it!"

I was a big fan of the book The Road, and was very happy they chose to film it in our back yard.

Why complain about a venture that brought millions of dollars into our local economy?

Why complain about a venture that gave good-paying jobs for a few months to local movie professionals?

Why complain about a venture that will probably never mention Pittsburgh by name anywhere in the movie? The book The Road mentions desolated, anonymous cities that were probably in South. I don't think you're going to see a money shot of The Point anywhere in the movie of The Road.

Why complain about a venture that has the potential to be nominated for a number of Oscars next year?

Western Pennsylvania in winter is surprisingly desolate; cloudy much of the time, plenty of rainy, misty days and very little snow compared to most of the northeast. It was the perfect locale for Cormac McCarthy's book.

I don't remember people complaining when George Romero shot his zombie movies here. I don't remember people complaining when parts of The Shining miniseries were shot here. There have probably been other equally apocalyptic movies shot here over the last 40 years.

During the same time, though, some movies have been shot in our area that made Pittsburgh look wonderful. Unfortunatly, they tended to be so-so movies that were little-seen (Inspector Gadget, Boys on the Side and Smart People).

I'm glad that Pittsburgh has a thriving movie industry these days, due in part to changes in the tax laws, in part to former Pittsburgers involved in Hollywood dealmaking, and in part due to the collection of talented movie professionals who live in the area. Since last summer, there have been at least two "Hollywood movies" shooting in our area simultaneously, and, briefly this spring, there were four for a short time.

I might complain if Pittsburgh was standing in for a desert or a tropical forest or some other completely inappropriate locale. But complain when Western Pennsylvania represents an unnamed part of America after an apocalyptic event? No way!

Laurie Mann