Life on Set

27873568Rocky’s Pasadena home where parts of The Godfather were filmed (Photo courtesy of Panoramio)

Living on a movie set is reality for senior Rocky Rodriguez.  Her life is nothing like The Truman Show, but her English Tudor Style home in Pasadena has starred in several TV series, indie movies, student films and Hollywood blockbusters.  Kicking and Screaming, Princess Diaries 2, Greek and CSI Miami are among the projects that have featured the Pasadena residence.  Most notably, the study and gardens were used for The Godfather.

Movie crews will arrive up to a week before filming to prepare and transform the house to fit the film’s theme.  The quiet neighborhood makes for a prime shooting location and the home is not a typical American house.  Being an English Tudor more than a century old makes the home of special interest to film crews looking to achieve different looks while remaining in southern California.

Rodriguez’s bedroom has been transformed into an apartment for certain projects.  All of her possessions had to be removed and stored elsewhere.  For other filming endeavors, her sheets, furniture, and even her stuffed animals remained intact as set decoration.

The movie set lifestyle doesn’t stop there for Rodriguez.  Her Pasadena high school, Mayfield Senior School is also the backdrop for major film projects.  Heroes and Gotta Kick It Up were both filmed there.  “It was much more fun to have filming at my high school than my house,” admits Rodriguez.  When filming, Rodriguez and her family are confined to certain areas and required to keep quiet.  Even the family pets have to be kept away to avoid disruption.  The interruption of a grueling high school class schedule does seem more appealing than a home invasion.

Film crews pay the Rodriguez’s for the use of the home and invite the family to free buffets on set, but the biggest fringe benefit may be the chance to mine with Hollywood royalty.  Rodriguez has met several celebrities including Anne Hathaway and TobyMcGuire. “Will Ferrell was one of my favorites,” she said.

Julianne Heckel

Defining Diversity

randyIn an interview with Santa Clara senior Randall Cornelius, a Communication major, he discusses his experience at Santa Clara University and how four years has changed his view on diversity on campus.

Sasha: When you first got to Santa Clara as a freshman, what was your impression of diversity on campus?

Randall: My first impression was that we were “diverse” in the sense that we have a quite large Philippino population, and quite a lot of African American students on campus. I thought our campus was okay in terms of diversity. What I noticed was that a lot of these students come from wealthy backgrounds, but as a freshman I never saw the diversity of like, “Oh I’m from South San Jose, and I’m the first in my family to go to college.” I never saw people like that, but I saw people who were diverse because of their ethnicity but not socio-economically diverse.

SS: Why is diversity important?

RC: Diversity on campus is very important to the well rounding of our school and education. It’s important that you’re in a classroom with people who are not the same as you, because that allows for you to learn, and to see other perspectives and other cultures that you would not have normally learned about.

SS: Does being gay on campus make you feel differently towards diversity?

RC: We try to advertise our school as being diverse, when it’s really not as diverse as I thought it was, especially in regards to sexual orientation. I transferred from a school in Seattle before coming here that was diverse in terms in socioeconomic status, and diverse in terms of sexual orientation. I was one of many there. And now I’m one of very very few. I’m a fish out of water in this place.

SS: Do you regret coming to school here?

RC: I just wish I spent more time researching it before I came here. As a freshman at Seattle I just kinda wanted to get out of there so badly that I didn’t really care where I went. And I just wish I spent more time researching more stuff. I think for me, I ended up transferring here for professional development reasons, not for the social aspect. I only considred the rankings of the school, like, “It’s gonna get me a great job, I’m gonna come out with a great education behind me,” but I didn’t think about, “Oh, you’re gonna have four years of being single.”

Sasha Sommer

(Photo by Michael Anthony Erkleans)