Up Close & Personal
“UP CLOSE & PERSONAL”
Tally Atwater (MICHELLE PFEIFFER) is one of the most trusted figures in the nation. A familiar and comforting face to the millions of network TV news viewers who invite her into their homes every day, Tally is an articulate, sophisticated and
charming newscaster. But she didn’t start out that way. A onetime waitress and casino craps dealer named Sallyanne, from Reno, Nevada, she pursued a dream with nothing but ambition, raw talent and a homemade demo tape.
Going from a small-town weather girl to prime-time network anchor, her meteoric rise to prominence is aided and abetted by Warren Justice (ROBERT REDFORD), a brilliant, older newsman who becomes her mentor and lover. As their relationship grows, so too does Tally’s celebrity, to the point where her popularity begins to eclipse Warren’s. Justice, a hard-edged, veteran newsman, still stubbornly believes that substance matters in a medium increasingly infatuated with style. Under his
tutelage, the inexperienced Sallyanne becomes the admired Tally Atwater, lovedby the camera, by the audiences who watch her and, slowly, much to his surprise, by the man who invented her. The romance that results is as intense, exhilarating
and revealing as television news itself. Yet, each breaking story, every videotaped crisis that brings them together also threatens to drive them apart, in Touchstone Pictures’ romantic drama, “Up Close & Personal.”
Touchstone Pictures presents in association with Cinergi Pictures Entertainment, An Avnet/Kerner production, A Jon Avnet Film, “Up Close & Personal.” Directed by Jon Avnet, produced by Jon Avnet, David Nicksay and Jordan Kerner, written by Joan Didion & John Gregory Dunne, suggested by the book “Golden Girl” by Alanna Nash, the executive producers are Ed Hookstratten and John Foreman. Co-producers are Lisa Lindstrom and Martin Huberty. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.
Filmmaker Jon Avnet, who has helnned such critical and boxoff ice successes as “Risky Business,” which he produced, and “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which he produced and directed, was attracted to the elements of romance and the media and how they impact each other in “Up Close & Personal.”
“I’ve always been interested in the media, so that aspect of the story was appealing,” producer/director Avnet says. “I also thought that the exploration of a contemporary romance could be challenging as it is so difficult to find classic obstacles to keep people apart anymore. There are no more Montagues and Capulets, nor are there rigid, absolute societal mores, but in ‘Up Close & Personal,’ the relationship between the two principal characters becomes the obstacle. This is a mentor-protégé relationship in which the protégé ultimately reawakens the mentor to what and who he was. That was very attractive to me.”
For 1980 Academy Award® winner Robert Redford the opportunity to star in “Up Close & Personal” was more about the film’s love story than its backdrop against the news media. “What interested me the most was the fact that it was a good, tough, love story about two people on the raw edge of life, drawn to each other on dangerous terrain,” Redford says.
Different from other characters he has portrayed on screen in the recent past, the role of Warren Justice offered Redford an attractive change of pace. He describes Warren as “a tough, uncompromising character, and therefore a difficult man. But difficult people are very often fun to play. His flaws were interesting to me, because they had to do with the dangerous edge that he lives on, the rawness and purity of his character. He is uncompromising. Those are all interesting character points.”
For two-time Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, accepting the role of Tally Atwater was an opportunity to create a multi-dimensional character in a contemporary love story. “Even though she’s very ambitious, there’s an honesty to Tally and her ambition,” the beautiful and talented Pfeiffer says. “But she’s not ruthless in her climb to the top of her profession. She may be from a trailer park, but she has a lot of integrity. She’s very complicated.”
The idea of working with screenwriters Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, was enormously appealing to producer Avnet. “They are great writers, who write, rather than talk fora living. They are smart. And they know the world of the media inside and out.”
Robert Redford agrees, adding, “They represent a very tough, true and almost poetic mind to the social condition that we live in. I’ve always liked that about them. They’re both talented, and talented in slightly different ways. They look at things a little bit the way I do — with a kind of squinty eye for where the truth is. And then they write it in a colorful way — but always with the truth.”
When Avnet was asked “VVhat relationship this movie bears to the Jessica Savitch story?” He answered, “Very little.” He continued, “I was offered a script by Joan and John about a contemporary romance in the news world, about four years ago. I was not offered a period story about the rise and tragic fall of Jessica Savitch. I had no interest in doing a period piece about the media and was not interested at this time in my life of doing a story about a woman self-destructing on her way to the top. One of the elements that did appeal to me in Joan and John’s script was that it wasn’t a media bashing story. Ultimately, what we wanted to do was get some insight into that world and how it affects the people within it. We were interested in its effects on a personal level, which can be so subtle, in contrast to the repercussions of the media on a cultural level, which can be so grandiose.”
A film so tied to the shifting nuances of the professional and personal relationship of its protagonists required actors of the highest caliber, dynamic talents who would capture the character’s undeniable passion for each other and for the TV news business.
The pairing of Redford and Pfeiffer were on the money for Avnet. “They generate real chemistry.” He notes that both actors bring a lot to the table. They both can carry movies on their own. They both immersed themselves in the world of television journalism. “I took Michelle and Bob separately to local and network stations to observe every detail of creating a newscast, to the point of taping both of them at anchor desks reading the TelePrompTer. They each interviewed numerous people in front of and behind the camera.” Avnet adds, “They really made the effort to get it right.”
In addition to watching tapes of real-life newscasters in action, Michelle Pfeiffer’s homework included interviewing numerous respected journalists in the industry. “It’s not as glamorous as I thought it might be,” Pfeiffer says of the behind- the-scenes world into which she delved for research. “I have a lot of admiration for these people because I realize they do a very difficult job.”
The pivotal part of Ned, Tally Atwater’s loyal cameraman, went to Glenn Plummer, with whom Avnet had previously worked on the award winning TNT movie about the Watts Riots called “Heat Wave.” Aside from Warren Justice, Ned is the only character who follows Tally through all her professional incarnations, serving as her partner and confidante.
“In all the movies he’s done, he’s always brought something unique, unexpected and interesting to the role. He came in and read for us and just blew everyone away,” Avnet remembers.
Plummer, in turn, was eager to work with Avnet again. “Jon is great, he’s very physical, he loves to get in the mix, to bump it and move it around. There is an old saying that talent does what it can, genius does what it must. Jon creates situations where people do what they must, not what they can.”
Joe Mantegna, who plays agent Bucky Terranova, won the role without even trying. Mantegna came to the first reading of the script as a favor to casting director David Rubin and his interpretation of the part, even in a read-through, convinced
Avnet that he had found his Bucky Terranova. Mantegna describes Terranova as “fun to play, a little flamboyant with his own sense of style, but a guy who genuinely cares about his clients.”
Admirers of Stockard Channing’s work, especially her Oscar-nominated portrayal of the wealthy, refined Manhattan socialite Ouisa in “Six Degrees of Separation,” the filmmakers thought she would make an outstanding Marcia McGrath, a cool, poised newscaster who becomes Atwater’s professional rival.
Casting the part of Joanna Kennelly, Warren Justice’s ex-wife and a famed TV journalist in her own right, proved to be an interesting exercise. The part required a performer who could embody a strong, wise, attractive woman, the archetypal television anchor who would serve as a striking counterpoint to Tally Atwater.
Many actresses vied for the role, but Kate Nelligan, whose Oscar-nominated supporting performance in “The Prince of Tides” had so impressed Avnet, finally won it.
Dedee Pfeiffer, known for her comedic appearances on the hit comedy series “Cybill,” as well as a stand-out performance in the controversial hit film “Falling Down,” was cast to play Luanne Atwater, Tally’s spirited sibling. Dedee and Michelle Pfeiffer are sisters in real life and their camaraderie and easy rapport translated directly to the screen. The Pfeiffers were not the only family represented in “Up Close & Personal.” Producer David Nicksay’s daughter Lily graced the film as Luanne’s daughter Star.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
“Up Close & Personal” shot on locations in Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, in settings as disparate as the Orange Bowl, a Philadelphia prison and a Hollywood sound stage. Throughout the production, Avnet tried, as authentically as possible, to capture the high-pressure, fast-paced world of television news that defines and determines the characters arid events of “Up Close & Personal.” To that end, Avnet immersed himself in the unique milieu of television news prior to filming, researching for over a year and a half, visiting every network and the vast majority of local stations in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles, interviewing and observing every network nightly news anchor, producer, morning show host and well known pundits, along with their counterparts. Co- producer Lisa Lindstrom, who has worked with Avnet for nearly a decade, accompanied him and facilitated much of this research, likening it to a “giant treasure hunt.” Executive producer Ed Hookstratten, a renowned agent for many of the network and local newscasters, facilitated some of this treasure hunt, and, in the process, became an enormous Jon Avnet enthusiast.
“I’m a gigantic fan of Jon Avnet,” Hookstratten says. “He has a wonderful eye and knows how to execute his vision. And the homework that he did, visiting news stations all over the country, was incredibly meticulous.”
Producer David Nicksay notes that Avnet’s zealous interest in the news business is part of his appeal as a filmmaker and reflects his cinematic style.
“Jon is relentlessly curious, it’s one of the ingenuous things about him,”
Nicksay comments. “He’s never learned to turn off his sense of wonder. He’ll follow it into a new environment, explore and discover. Then, he’ll look at the moment he’s trying to create for the movie and marry it to what he’s discovered.
That’s why the research was so important. When we initially talked about a sequence, his first questions were always, ‘What’s it really like? What really happens? Show me the real thing,’ and we’d go from there.”
Hookstratten can attest to Avnet’s Trumanesque “show me” attitude. During his painstaking research, the filmmaker insisted on meeting a Warren Justice prototype. “I knew exactly who it was, though I’m not going to name him,”
Hookstratten says. “I brought this person to lunch one day and half-way through it, I saw Avnet start to grin and he said, ‘My God, this is the character.”
Part of Avnet’s fascination with the medium stemmed from what he refers to as “The Magic Box Factor.”
“When I was 5 years old, I had what I thought was the great fortune to visit a local TV show I watched with great regularity. When I walked on the set, I was stunned and disappointed by what it looked like. This great place I saw on television was just this flimsy set with these little bleachers and grown ups in bizarre costumes going in and out of character. It was clearly nothing like the world that had been created for me on TV. I thought I finally understood what my aging grandmother would say in her broken English when she called the television ‘A Magic Box.’ Similarly, there is such a difference between what you see and what really goes into making the news and what goes out on that television has such a
profound influence on our lives.”
In “Up Close & Personal,” Avnet hopes to examine television news by revealing how it is created, literally and figuratively, beginning with the first shot of the film.
“The idea is to get inside and behind this cathode ray that affects us every day. It is a love-story and it is important to realize that, but the media is the story behind the romance. In order to tell both stories, we used a lot of images that are reflections, projections, video images, which appear to be normal. In the film, you see characters in various forms of video from hi-8 to professional quality Beta and in various forms of degraded images, yet people react ‘normally’ to these images
as they appear on the magic boxes. During broadcasts, you’ll always hear the ubiquitous off-camera voices behind the scenes simultaneously. Hopefully, it creates a desire to understand and see this world behind a world, but it will also force the audience to question on some level exactly what it is seeing and or hearing.”
This dual use of video and film images complemented the film’s love story, especially during the prison riot scene, when the only way Warren Justice can see his wife and protégé, Tally Atwater, is via a fuzzy video transmission.
This blurry line between image and reality became manifest in different ways throughout the film. For instance, the camera perched on Glenn Plumnner’s shoulder was not just a prop. Plummer studied for two weeks prior to filming, learning how to use the video camera and, as Avnet filmed the scene, Plummer, as cameraman Ned Jackson, actually rolled tape of Pfeiffer as Atwater, conducting interviews, chasing stories and delivering stand-ups. Plummer’s work won high marks from the video and camera crew, and Plummer has developed a great respect for cameramen, whom he calls “the smartest guys in the news business.”
Additionally, Avnet cast working television journalists, from Miami and Philadelphia, respectively, to play the ubiquitous press corps. He also recruited area locals to play themselves. The Spanish-speaking residents who frequent the chess and domino clubs in Miami’s Little Havana appear in the background of Tally Atwater’s news stories there, while several inmates featured in Atwater’s coverage of a prison riot were actually incarcerated in Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison, one of the country’s oldest working correctional institutions, where the production shot some of the uprising scenes.
“One of the most fascinating parts of working on this film for me was this technology, how to unite video and film,” producer David Nicksay comments. “Film goes at 24 frames per second and video goes at 30 frames per second and we needed to bring those two media into sync with each other. We wanted to present the videotape image as an icon, almost a holy artifact in the news world. It’s present in the foreground, in the background, subliminally. Everywhere we could get it, we jammed it into the frame. Live images and pre-recorded taped ones, edited tapes and raw video, archival footage mixed with very fresh material. All that was a fascinating dance of wires and lenses and playback decks.”
To help Avnet choreograph that dance, special converters were invented just for “Up Close & Personal,” permitting the instantaneous transformation of video footage from 30 to 24 frames per second. Instead of waiting a day or two for the
video images to be converted to a speed that would read on film, the new equipment instantly adjusted the format, providing viable footage that Avnet could use immediately, to fill the myriad of monitors about the set, allowing him to simulate a “live broadcast” within the context of the film.
The news sets on which all this breakthrough technology transpired provided the visual and physical framework for Avnet to expose “The Magic Box Factor.” Scouting for what would be the exterior of WMIA, the fictional news station
that becomes Tally Atwater’s first on-air job, the filmmakers discovered that Miami’s WTVJ was actually built in the remains of an old movie theater. Production designer Jeremy Conway began his career designing sets for NBC, including the
revamped “Today Show” home, as well as David Letterman’s talk-show stage, found that an engaging metaphor.
“It was really sort of interesting, the juxtaposition of a movie theater and news because there is so much entertainment in news, so much ‘infotainment.’
The idea of the news set in a crumbly, old theater also allowed us to show the audience the difference between what it sees on television and what is behind it.
People love that, to see the lights and cameras and how it all works. So, in our WMIA set, around the desk where the anchors sit and deliver the news, we built a proscenium you’d find in an old movie house, the pin-rails and all the lights hanging from the ceiling, and constructed the control booth as though it was an extension of the old theater balcony, so the actors can go from the control room along a metal catwalk out into the theater space and down a spiral staircase, towards the news set proper and the bullpen, where all the assignment desks are.”
Conway worked closely with Avnet on the geography for this open, two-story set, strategically placing glass panels and enclosures throughout, a device that not only enabled the camera to view activity in all parts of the newsroom but also
allowed Avnet to utilize reflections. The entire set was specifically designed to capture the manic energy, the vitality and the continuous metamorphosis of images that characterize the news industry, as choreographed in an elaborate tracking
shot that follows Atwater on her first day at WMIA through the entire station, introducing her and the audience to the place and the people who will profoundly influence her life.
This tracking shot was accomplished via an ingenious combination of Steadicam and crane, one of many instances in which motion, especially through the application of the Steadicam, was employed. The idea, explains cinematographer Karl Walter Lindenlaub, is to visually describe the kinetic, capricious nature of television news.
“In the world of television news, everything is moving fast. To translate this feeling on film, Steadicam is a great tool. It gives the camera the freedom to move with the actors in a way a camera dolly could never operate. On the downside, you lose some control over your lighting, but, ideally, the energy you gain makes up for it.” Lindenlaub also made use of swiveling camera remotes, extending off the end of diving cranes and gliding dolly shots, particularly aided by the smooth surface of
the newsroom floors.
If the cast and crew had any questions about the technical aspects of the news business, they could turn to the film’s technicaF news consultant, Linda Ellman, a former NBC affiliate reporter and network field producer, and supervising producer of “Entertainment Tonight” and executive producer of “Hard Copy.”
“They brought me in as a consultant to help keep the project as authentic as possible and I’ve been available to any department that needed me. It’s been very exciting for me,” Ellman says. “It’s been a unique opportunity to see how a movie is
made, which most people in the news business never get to do.”
Among other things, Ellman, in concert with co-producer Lisa Lindstrom, worked closely with the real reporters, who appeared as extras in several scenes.
Although these reporters generally understood the scripted news event which they’d be covering, their actual reactions and lines were ad-libbed, to provide the most realistic, spontaneous background chatter as possible.
“What I would do is discuss the story they’d be covering in the movie and give them the general facts to report on,” Ellrnan explains. “I tried to include them in the process. I’d say, ‘You’ve just gotten here, this is what you know. How would you approach the story?’ Each one had his own take on the story, which was perfect.”
Lindstrom, who made sure that the reporters’ commentaries would reflect the tone of the scene and the overall storyline, notes that the journalists seemed to “get a kick out of the whole thing” and generally enjoyed the experience as much as she did.
In addition to Linda Ellman and production designer Jeremy Conway, several members of the behind-the-scenes crew also came to the film with personal experience in the TV news industry. Make-up department head Fern Buchner began her career at CBS News, working with such legendary newsmen as Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace. Fittingly, Avnet cast her in a cameo role as WMIA’s intransigent make-up expert. Key hairstylist Alan D’Angerio worked for NBC News for many years, and still photographer Ken Regan started as a photojournalist for Time-Life. While the props department counted no alumni of the TV news industry among its members, the on-going coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial provided the perfect opportunity for prop master Tommy Tomlinson and his crew to study a broad cross section of working newscasters.
The news business is not known for its sartorial flair and the costumes proved to be some of the film’s greatest stylistic challenges. “The wardrobe for this film was very difficult; a period piece is much easier,” admits costume designer Albert Wolsky, a two-time Academy Award® winner. “The look for this was not obvious, there were many subtle nuances to it and windows in which to establish those nuances were very small. Also, each character has a humongous amount of
changes. In some ways, the Warren Justice character was easier. Jon wanted him to be relaxed, not uptight or too suited, but Tally was hard because she varies so much over time.”
It was this character arc that intrigued Wolsky, who explains that “charting Tally Atwater’s voyage of change, from her very early, unpolished look in Reno to the finale, when she becomes a seasoned, sophisticated newswoman, is what’s interesting to me.”
In Michelle Pfeiffer, Wolsky says he found a generous collaborator. “She uses clothes well, understands how they move and how they look. It’s never about ego, it’s always about if it’s right for the character.”
Wolsky remarks that he could never have achieved the artistic beats in Tally’s transformation without Pfeiffer’s partnership, especially in the case of one particularly important outfit, an alarmingly tight, hot-pink suit, “Chanel on acid, minus three or four chromosomes,” he says. The outrageous hue was by design, in concert with an overall color scheme that Wolsky, Avnet and Conway had arranged to delineate Tally Atwater’s progression in her life and in the broadcast industry.
“Jon gave us some very clear guidelines, in terms of color and look … he’s very good that way, he both anchors you down with a vision but affords you a lot of room to translate it,” Wolsky comments. “I talked with Jeremy (Conway) about it,
he’s wonderfully collaborative. Each section has its own colors, reflected in the clothes and the sets. In Miami, we used warm, rich, tropical colors; in Philadelphia, nothing but dark blues and burgundies, wintry, conservative colors. By the time
she gets to the network in New York, we’ve pared it down to even less color, grays and dark browns.”
The sets, especially the news rooms, echoed these tones as well as the material they suggested. The challenge for Conway was to create three distinct news stations that would map Tally’s evolution, from Miami’s WMIA to Philadelphia’s WFIL to the network IBS. Conway envisioned VVMIA as the neophyte Tally Atwater, hungry, ambitious newcomer, all hustle and flash, not necessarily too technologically advanced. “Some of the smaller stations don’t
even have computers,” he explains. “Paper is flying, assistants are on scanners, calling local police stations to find out what’s going on. It’s loud, bustling and very active, bursting with hot colors. WMIA is down and dirty, raw and hard, but there are a lot of inter-personal relationships and all.the incredible cultures that make up Miami.”
The network, IBS, on the other hand, “… is all about cool. It’s E-Mail and state-of-the-art communication systems. The style is calm, the goal is how collected you can be when there is breaking news, how professionally you handle the story.” To emphasize the aloof, ascetic atmosphere of IBS, in complete contrast to the manic WMIA, Conway used clean, icy tones in a “… big, simple, empty space, with a lot of blue screens. I had this idea that IBS would be just this big, curved, rear-lit blue screen. That would be the next step in ‘The Magic Box Factor.’
Instead of seeing the beat-up parts of the set, you’d see Ultimatte, a virtual news set where you can throw in any backdrop. I also thought this could be a stunning image for Tally when she finally gets to the chair she’s been coveting, only to find
this rarefied and refined set that is very isolating.”
Both Wolsky and Conway saw WAIL the Philadelphia news station where Tally Atwater stops in between Miami and the network, as the “breather after Miami, before New York,” Conway explains. “We realized that it’s better if VVFIL just neutralizes colors and textures.”
In the course of designing the sets, Conway worked with Avnet to originate the graphics and logos that are the signature of each news station. “In creating three different news stations, we also had to control the whole graphic package because that’s such a great part of the identity of any of these news stations.
Miami’s graphics will be hot and two-dimensional, put together in really quick cuts, New York will be three-dimensional, cool and saturated with pure colors, blues and blacks and WFIL will be somewhere in the middle.”
The colors, wardrobe, sets and graphics are not the only indicators of Tally’s rise towards the network. Throughout the course of the movie, her hair changes color and style, reflecting each new professional incarnation. Alan D’Angerio, who
once styled the locks of such high-powered journalists as Jane Pauley and Barbara Walters, notes that this radical and constant modification of hairdos is very common to female broadcasters. To achieve these new looks, he used approximately 6 wigs that became 8 different hair styles, an unusually high amount, he says, especially for a contemporary movie.
While this attention to the vagaries of hair may seem a small, even superficial detail, it is indicative of the different kinds of elements to which a television reporter must attend, elements that definitively separate print and broadcast journalists. Moreover, it illustrates one of Avnet’s strengths as a filmmaker.
“One of the things I’ve noticed about Jon is that he is very detail-oriented. A movie is a series of small, carefully-observed moments in which the details add up to the whole,” observes Nicksay. “What I’ve learned on this particular picture with
Jon is that each movie is made one shot at a time. Jon talks in terms of shots, he thinks of shots, he dreams shots, all day long. He told me at the beginning that his goal is for each shot to tell the entire story of the movie, which gave me a really new way of looking at the art of filmmaking, one discreet shot at a time.”
Avnet’s fascination with “the shot” is not a gratuitous, self-aggrandizing cinematic exercise but an essential, unique part of Avnet’s method of motion picture storytelling.
“Preparing for something that will be shot the following week, Jon will put himself into the moment of the characters at that time in the story and look at it from the inside out. That’s valuable to the scene because he is able to get inside it, to look at it from the inside out. He is also able to orchestrate all the different points of view that come to bear on the process of making the film. Each department is looking at the scene from its own perspective. They’re standing outside the scene, looking at it objectively. He gets inside it and forces them to come into it with him in order to determine what’s right. For me, it’s very energizing to be able to step out of the objective and into the subjective outlook,” producer Nicksay comments.
“Up Close & Personal” began shooting in Florida for about a week and two weeks in Philadelphia, prior to returning to Los Angeles. In Florida, the company visited diverse locales, from the Cuban community in Little Havana to Miami Beach’s Deco District to the island of Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys. The production spent much of its time in Philadelphia inside Holmesburg Prison, built by the Quakers in the “Elizabethan style” with a large, domed “hub” in the center, surrounded by tentacle-like hallways, lined with cells. Other Philadelphia locations included the city’s Convention Center, where the film temporarily erected a billboard emblazoned with the faces of an “Up Close & Personal” news team, including that of Stockard Channing as broadcaster Marcia McGrath. On the last day of shooting in the city, Channing’s face was replaced by Pfeiffer’s, signifying Tally Atwater’s rise in the TV news business. Philadelphians, pausing at the stoplight at the corner of the Convention Center location, watched in surprise as the crew hoisted a giant replica of Tally Atwater from the sidewalk to the scaffold.
Double-takes commenced, if they happened to look the opposite way, to see Robert Redford as Warren Justice and Michelle Pfeiffer as Tally Atwater, in front of he film crew, looking skyward to the same billboard. Upon returning to Los Angeles, the production spent several days in the downtown area. Some locations included the elegant Biltmore Hotel, the site of the 1937 Academy Award® ceremonies and, legend has it, the place in which the statuette that would be called Oscar was designed, as well as the sprawling neighborhood beneath Dodger Stadium, which doubled for the Philadelphia housing projects. The atch the proceedings there were treated to the first summer snowfall in Los Angeles, albeit one made of soap suds provided by the special effects team. These intrepid weathermen also created a midnight rain in the high desert of California, in a trailer park that doubled for the Reno home of Luanne Atwater. Giant 12-K lights glared down on the set, illuminating the night sky as they back-lit the downpour that soaked the cast and crew, who had been warned to wear their rain gear for this scene. Fittingly, the site of this cinematic storm was called The Oasis Trailer Park.