There seems to be a phantom film crew roaming Echo Park this week. Not just an unpermitted band of filmers, but a mysterious presence. Let me begin on Tuesday early a.m. I was driving home after midnight. I am "on call" to write subtitles, and I had worked late into the evening. I drove across the city and then into Echo Park, which was deep asleep. I saw almost no cars. Lights were out in the houses. The streetlamps looked like wasted light. No swells leaving the bars on Sunset. I continued up Echo Park Avenue through the dark and quiet.
At home, I was just winding down when I heard gunshots. Seven of them, quite close. Unfortunately, I have enough experience listening to gun shots to know a) what they sound like and b) when they're close. I waited a moment, then I called 911. I got through right away, and I told the dispatcher about the gunfire. I told him where I was, and where I believed the shots had been. He told me there was a film being shot nearby. (Only in L.A., as one of my neighbors pointed out.) Ordinarily, this would have been exactly what I wanted to hear, but I hadn't seen any sign of a film crew, and I didn't hear any other kind of noise. I asked him if he was sure, because it seemed unlikely. I can't remember what he said exactly. We decided to end our conversation. About fifteen or twenty minutes later, a helicopter came by, did a couple of turns at a high altitude and then went away. This much I know.