January 29, 2016

Stripped Down

Stripped Down

By the time most of you read this today, I will be arriving at JFK on a red eye flight from San Francisco, landing a few minutes before 8am, just in time for the morning rush hour into Manhattan. The perfect end to a perfect travel day (not). Yesterday was one of those days dreaded by those of us who travel frequently: wake up in LA, fly to Sacramento for a meeting, buckle up for a two-hour car ride to San Francisco to make an 11pm flight back to NY. How glamorous can it get?

Not that I’m truly complaining. Yesterday/this morning was the culmination of a 10-day trip that actually was quite fascinating and a little glamorous to boot. It started last Wednesday, probably making it the longest business trip I’ve taken in recent memory. As last week’s posting alluded to, I began in Las Vegas to spend time on the set of the latest installment of the Jason Bourne movie franchise, of which I am one of the producers. This new installment is due in theaters July 29. Without giving too much away, Las Vegas plays a prominent role in the film.

The production was based at the Aria, part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio, where much of the action takes place. In addition, for perhaps the first time in Las Vegas history, the “Strip” (aka Las Vegas Blvd.) was closed down for nights at a time to permit filming for the type of action you might expect from a Bourne film. Based on what I’ve seen on set in London; Washington, D.C., and now Vegas, this installment promises to deliver on a new level. Director Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon (returning as Jason Bourne), and the entire cast and crew are doing a phenomenal job and look to exceed everyone’s expectations. I can’t wait until July 29!

But spending seven days in Vegas is not all glamour. We were filming day and night, not quite 24 hours each day – with the main unit inside, mostly during the day into early evening, and then the “second unit” outside from 10pm to 6am, when we were allowed to shut down the Strip. It will take another couple of days to adjust from the three-hour time difference and burning the candle at both ends. But it wasn’t all work, either. There were a couple of stints at some very accommodating Black Jack tables (thank you, Aria and Bellagio), and Tracy and two of our friends joined me over the weekend, so there was some fun involved. For those of you who get the opportunity, Elton John was fabulous at Caesar’s.

But as they say in the movies, there’s no place like home. I’m glad to be back, and I plan to stay on the ground for at least a while.