Tuesday, March 18, 2008

16 hours - The Search for Johnny Depp 6:00 to Frozen

so you know the drill

yada yada yada, help me out, The Isthmus Daily Page, Our Man In Columbus, Polar Bear food, red recommend.

As we left your shivering and hungry cub reporter he had just ripped off seven shots off his Nikon D-70 as Johnny Depp drove by.


Somehow JD got back to Base Camp without me knowing it. I think I must have blacked out at one point, who knows.

But I wake up and see some contraption coming towards us.

And that was basically it. About an hour later his SUV goes flying back to Base Camp and I think we are done. The light is fading.



The wait begins. A crowd of people have managed to line up across the road from Base Camp hoping Depp will come out to sign autographs. The few of us still in our right mind know this will not happen in the dark. 8:00 comes and goes and it's dark. I have been doing this from dark to dark. gug!

You can see EVERYBODY shivering in the cold and wind. It's been a long day outside and I have to think most people here are dehydrated along with cold and hungry.

8:30 approaches and vehicles are leaving to drive back to Madison and we see the Black SUV standing at the ready, door open.

Then it happens - it moves towards the exit - I have positioned ourselves so that we are on the correct side of the exit and will have the best chance for . . .whatever could happen.

Girls scream as they see the window rolling down. My camera and super powered flash are snapping at where I THINK the window is but people are jumping in front of me. I try to move but am frozen solid. I snap and hear someone screaming HE TOUCHED ME HE TOUCHED ME!

I did not realize it was CP at the time and I did not know I had gotten a great photo.

And my day was done.

There are many many better photos of the day out on the internet that I am totally jealous over but I'm happy. It was a 16 hour experience and as they say - I left nothing behind - I gave it my all. There are photos I missed that I wish I could have gotten but some I was surprised turned out.

I went out today and took some real nice scenery shots of Columbus and I'll post them next.

You know? Now that I finished this I feel blog . . . . let down. I think I feel sad I did not get MORE shots. I guess you are never happy because you know there are some that got away.

I'm mentioned on YouTube - is it about my spelling????? Show me the weigh! (teehee)

More later.


  1. Your efforts are beyond words. Thank you for sharing and being our personal reporter.

  2. i am really enjoying this as i'm sure everyone else is also ~ you are doing such a great job ~ how much sleep are you getting?

    btw - did read your article and really enjoyed it - i perused the site also - interesting:)

  3. Rod, Thanks for all your hard work. My wife is glued to this blog. She is the biggest JD fan on earth...No ...Really! I have to hear about it 24/7, about how she can't believe how close he is (we live in Watertown). I am heading to Columbus on Thursday in hopes of at least getting her in a position to catch a glimpse of him. Maybe then I can get some peace! Any hints or tips on locations/intersections to have the best chance of seeing him?
    precisioncc@charter. net I really hope we can catch a glimpse of her heartthrob! Thanks again for keeping us informed!

  4. Rod! You've done a fantastic job gathering all this info, all these fabulous pics and still managing to stay upright! You've given a huge gift to those of us who can't be there. And we appreciate it. Filming's not over...quite yet.
    I've sent ya more polar bear food.

  5. Just a tip for when they continue shooting on Thursday... when they look like they're going to lunch... they likely aren't. When you were at base camp at 1pm and it seemed everyone was lunching... a couple friends of mine decided to head to the culvers from downtown. They headed west on School St... and ran right into a roadblock and practically JD himself. They were shooting a driving scene and he was about 15 ft. away from them. My friend got some great photos, there were basically no onlookers around and he waved at them. So might want to poke around the other parts of town that have cones, etc... because there's not as much security and they're sneakily doing what they can when nobody notices...

  6. Thanks for the experience, I felt like I was with you and it was exciting even here in Georgia, looking forward to your next post.
    Congratulation, you will remember this day for along time.
    60 something Depp fan,

  7. Rod,
    Thanks so much for the blog and great pics!!!! I got to Columbus late today 5pm or so and wonderful friendly people pointed me to the area JD was filming in .....got a few pics....Johnny on the car's running board sometimes with gun!!!....waving to the screaming fans .....I was so lucky.....Thanks hope to make it back Thursday.

  8. Anybody with any photos they want to share I'll put them up and put in a credit.

    I'll even put a copy write (like THAT does anything) on it for you

  9. Rod--
    Thanks for the articles-as a former Cols resident now living in Beaver Dam-this all is truly enjoyable...
    I too sat in the cold on the lawn of the library watching the boys rob the bank and got only one really good shot--but it was worth it. Have not seen Johnny up close but still am enjoying the excitement in our little jem of a town. Keep up the great work!!!

  10. Thanks so much for posting this information and the pictures, it's phenomenal! I was wondering, I live in Rockford, IL and I want to drive up sometime just to catch a glimpse (because I think Depp is fascinating) and I was wondering if you had any idea how long the filming will take place in Columbus? Thanks again, great job!

  11. First-Were you milling around near base camp with a folder around 7:00PM and then later in the Capri? I just looked at this guy and wondered if it wasn't the Grinder who writes the awesome blog. Now for my cool day. I was going to venture to Columbus this morning as I had the day off, but the weather kept me home. We just got back from the Bristol race, so I already had lots of excitement of late. My daughter dances at Partners and it's our wedding anniversary today, so we thought we'd drop her off and have dinner at the Capri. Dropping her off was the hard part. We waited for nearly 20 mins across from base camp as they wouldn't let us cross the street. It was worth the annoyance as Johnny turns the car down the street we were standing on. I took a couple of pictures, but it was too dark for them to turn out. The daughter goes to dance, we run to the Capri. She gets done at 8:00 and calls me to meet her on the corner as she doesn't know if she can cross. I get out there and she's waving me across saying he's signing autographs. She gets in line, I go back to my dinner (I didn't think I should abandon my hubby for Johnny)and tell six of the Capri's customers who hightail it out of there. She got his autograph, but no more pictures were allowed as the line was getting very long. One very happy 15 year old. As we left the Capri, four of the six people I told in the Capri thanked me. I even got a big hug and was called an angel. Two of the woman (mother and daughter) drove six hours from St Louis just to get a glimpse of him. He was done signing by the time they got through the line, but they did get a hug. Who ever knew an anniversary dinner could be so fun?

  12. Congrats kris - that is awesome!

  13. Kris! Happy Anniversary and thanks so much for sharing your story! He's such a nice guy!

  14. Rod, where you there tonight? Johnny came out to sign authographs! Check my Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pbhgirl/sets/72157604120985085/

    I can't believe I hugged Johnny Depp. Sorry to go all fangirl on ya, but wow.

  15. Does anyone know when they will be filming downtown Milwaukee at the Historical building? If you do please let me know herbiekrueger@earthlink.net
    Thanks Much

  16. Michelle: AWESOME pics there!!!! Those are incredible!!!! Machine Gun Johnny! I love it!

    Kris: what a great story! Happy Anniversary!!!!

  17. how many people got to meet him?
    i'm so mad i had to leave :(

  18. You know as bummed as I am that I didn't get to meet him, I am very grateful for all the wonderful people that I met because he was there :) Really, the people of Columbus are a class act and everyone that I met was truely wonderful. You made these last two days, two of the very best that I have ever had.

    And I am really happy for those of you that had the chance to meet him. That is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  19. PS. I did enjoy that you encluded our boredom and security guard groupiness (is that word?) What else are you going to do when you are freezing your butt off but find some way to keep youself entertained.

    Hopefully... we weren't as annoying as we sounded in the article :)

  20. I stood down between the library and F&M Bank for the majority of the day. I got some pretty cool pictures, but Johnny Depp is always a little fuzzy in all of my photos. :( I tried to stay as long as possible in hopes of getting a better picture of Johnny or one of the other (major) actors. Finally, I was too cold and numb to stand anymore...not to mention I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

    I decided to leave at about 7:30-7:45PM. It sounds like I, once again, left a minute too early. ;_; AND I had been standing near Capri. >_<

    Maybe, I should just give up. :( I'm starting to think it's all not worth it...

  21. Very cool pics from all, and great stories. I've been sooo close and yet so far. It's been fun "chasing" the filming though. Thank you, Rod, for the blog and forum to keep up to the minute on what's happening.

    I think we will all be grateful for a day to rest up for Thursday! ;) MUST SLEEP!!

    Enjoy the week, everybody! I *think* they will be in my neighborhood Thursday. (We all know which house it is now, right)? Can't wait....

  22. Thank you for blogging the adventure of"Hollywood" in Columbus, Rod. I have enjoyed every moment. Was there on Sat for a while, stayed o/n on Sun and was there on Monday. The energy of Columbus was truly amazing. I got to see a glimpse of JD and was very happy with that. Probably the most astounding thing that happened to me was knowing that Columbus is where my heart wants to be. I am 20 min due west and have been here for 10 years. Columbus felt more homey than my own. Thank you to all of you. It was not only the buildings that drew Michael Mann to pick your town. It was the package deal that came with the buildings.

  23. kris-what a great story--your daughter must be thrilled!

    deppfan-would love to see that pic of Johnny on the running board!

    michelle-great pics there, thanks so much for sharing them.

    jason--just go with it--she must have JDOCD---she'll know what that is-lol

    Rod-what can I say? I hope you know how many people from California(and around the world) have hung on every word you've written and pic you've posted. For you and the others to share your experiences with all of us is wonderful. Again, thanks so much and I'm not surprised that Johnny would sign autographs---he spent a lot of time signing in California during the filming of the last Pirate movie. He truly is not only an amazing actor, but a class act as well. Sleep well all of you putting in the long hours in the cold. Good night from California.

  24. Johnny Depp was SUPER nice to everyone he met last night. My dog and I went for a walk downtown (thinking the excitement was over) and we saw the long line. I asked a guy what all the commotion was about and he said Johnny was coming out to meet everyone. We got in line. He even said I have a "Nice dog". Needless to say, my dog didn't care.
    What a class act JD is, though. He certainly does not have to sit in the cold and meet anyone, but he did, and he did it with a big genuine smile on his face.
    My wife wasn't happy when I got home, as I didn't bring my cell phone to call her :)

  25. Thank's a lot Grinder! It was really nice to watch your photos. I like Johnny but as a young filmmaker, it is extremely cool to see how my favorite director is working in your town. I already saved the pictures on my desktop for dreaming about this movie until the release...next year.

    Good night & good day from Brussels!

  26. Rod, thank you very much for all your work! You did a great job!! It was fantastic especially for all of us who unfortunately can't be there. Once again a big thank-you from Germany to Columbus!

  27. Thank you for those pics! Not only is Johnny beautiful and talented, he has a sweet, warm heart. THAT is why he is so loved.

  28. Agreed, agreed. Johnny is a class act. He was gracious, looked me in the eye when he spoke, and seemed genuinely happy to greet people. Did I mention he hugged me? Oh yeah, I did. Ha.

  29. Rod, I hope you don't have plans to stop blogging about this any time soon ~~ there are months of filming left to go (you never know when they might return), and then there's opening night at the theater, and then there are other filmmakers who might be looking at your fair town... :D Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!! Hey, you're a celebrity now! You have a fanbase.

    Have you checked out the PE vids at YouTube? Someone points to your blog & pics...

    Have a great day, and mucho appreciado, muchacho, for the wild ride!

  30. I am hoping to go to Columbus on Thursday but don't know if JD is planning to be there. Does anyone know? Any good tips on where is the best place to see him? Does he come out after the filming is done for the day to give autographs? I am almost 60 years old and I would love to see him. He is such a classic actor and so down-to-earth. Thanks so much for this great blog!

  31. Awesome pictures Michelle! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm really glad you have the autograph picture posted. My daughter couldn't remember which way was up!

    Rod-I found a picture of you on line and you aren't the guy I saw a couple of times last night. I'll know who to look for now the next time.

    I love checking your blog and sent polar bear food your way.

  32. ahahaha! I'm glad you're all having fun! Too much adrenaline gets pretty taxing, though, doesn't it? Eat! Sleep! Drink water!

  33. For extra credit, stay warm too, and do the eat/drink water/sleep/stay warm thing over and over, even every day! In my delusion world, I already dreamt a lot of the scenes from this film months or more back (recorded on paper so I remember), so all I have to do is wait for it to come out and then see how much full-of-baloney my dreams were! I can cheerfully eat, drink, sleep, and try to stay warm in comfort in Vermont, adrenaline-free! (by the way, I am terrible, and fairly new, at blogger, and was unable to just reply to your comment: any hints on how to go about it easily? Thanks1)

  34. To anonymous with the dog who met Depp and horrors!, left his cell phone so couldn't call his wife----you're absolutely correct that Depp doesn't have to stay, at night, in the cold, after a long day of filming to sign/meet people---but does---always has, and probably always will. He would spend up to 1 1/2 hours in CA signing after spending all day on the Pacific filming Pirates 3---he does enjoy his job!