Good thing The Viaduct’s open again: Filming next week

In a week or so, you might see something unusual on the Alaskan Way Viaduct that has nothing to do with tunneling: The city announced this afternoon that “a major film production” will shoot in Seattle for six days between May 19th and 26th, including filming that will lead to “rolling slowdowns” on the Viaduct. The announcement explains, “Traffic is never completely stopped, but there will be brief periods where it will be slowed to follow the production as it moves along the Viaduct. Production will take place intermittently outside of peak driving hours, between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM on May 19, 2016 – May 26, 2016.” Scenes also will be filmed in Pioneer Square. The city’s announcement doesn’t identify the film; Office of Film and Music spokesperson Joe Mirabella says, “The City’s longstanding policy is to keep the name of the project confidential until after filming is complete.” (We’ve looked around a bit but haven’t found an obvious match yet.)

P.S. Our archives show a mention of similar filming back in 2010.

19 Replies to "Good thing The Viaduct's open again: Filming next week"

  • Chuck May 13, 2016 (4:59 pm)

    That’s just great. Our city leaders couldn’t care less about the people who live here.  Well, at least not those who drive. “Brief” slowdowns? Yeah. Sure.

    It’s always the almighty buck. And, you can bet a TON of money went into buying  the rights to this latest traffic tie-up. Probably along the lines of, “we’d love to see our city portrayed one last time from the viewpoint of the viaduct. You know, for posterity.”

    Our mayor and council members and anyone else who green lighted this are ridiculous.

    • KT May 13, 2016 (9:24 pm)


  • AMD May 13, 2016 (6:47 pm)

    Movies and television shows that film in Seattle create a huge number of local jobs for people that pay very well.  I don’t like spending extra time in traffic myself, but it’s worth it now and again when it’s providing work for local crews.  This particular gig is just a drop in the bucket, but there’s a much bigger picture to consider with Seattle’s film business.

  • sc May 13, 2016 (7:32 pm)

    What was the film done in Seattle that had a chase scene in the Battery Street tunnel?  I just remember they steam cleaned the tunnel for the scene!

  • tim May 13, 2016 (7:33 pm)

    A rolling slowdown isn’t too bad. I’ve encountered a few of them and traffic keeps moving. A filming crew behind or leading works at 30 to 40 mph won’t cause too many problems. Even slower it’s over pretty quickly.

  • cjboffoli May 13, 2016 (8:48 pm)

    I’m having trouble confirming it because crew working on this film are under an NDA. But I’m hearing that the film shooting in Seattle later this month is one of Universal’s Fifty Shades sequels (Fifty Shades Darker or Fifty Shades Freed) directed by James Foley.  Apparently the two films are shooting simultaneously but will be released sequentially in 2017 and 2018. They’ve been filming ( interiors and exterior “walk and talks”) in Vancouver in recent months.  They’ve had parts of the Gastown district dressed with signage for Pioneer Square.   Not clear that there will be any big name stars in Seattle as I’m told the work here is 2nd unit.

  • Maria May 14, 2016 (8:03 am)

    Blah blah, whoa is me comments once again.   If you don’t want city activities, don’t live in the city.  

    A rolling slowdown on the viaduct will actually ensure that there is no worse traffic jam at the time as the police will certainly keep the exits clear.  And with these forewarnings, you can take alternate routes.

  • Rob May 14, 2016 (10:46 am)

    I’m having a hard time figuring how you do a rolling slow down in traffic that is hardly moving in the first place. Seems more likely they’ll need to figure out how to do a rolling speed up. 

  • mjc May 14, 2016 (6:34 pm)

    AMD has it nailed here.  Things like rolling slow downs and crews shooting in our neighborhoods and city streets are good for Seattle.  Impressions made on screen last a long time to not only highlight the city and create a draw for tourism and business, they also create family wage jobs for many.  (Think about Sleepless in Seattle, Singles, Fraser, Grey’s Anatomy, Twin Peaks.  Even though they are dated, they all brought lots of exposure to our town and still do.)

    Costs of getting permits in the city are usually only $25 for small, normal shoots.  Things like rolling closures cost the producers more, of course, due to increased needs from SPD, SDOT and potentially other city partners.  This isn’t about big money as suggested by Chuck.  No, it is about making the Seattle area more film friendly to entice more productions to come here and work.  The film and TV industry is a small world and word travels fast when a town isn’t friendly to productions.  Seattle has a good reputation and hopefully we sustain that with this shoot.  I’m all for it.  

    And lastly, there’s the dollar multiplier effect.  For every dollar spent here by an outside company, that dollar gets multiplied by almost two, depending on what data you look at.  So, encouraging producers has a positive gain for all of us, don’t you think?

    And full disclosure, I work as a Director and Cinematographer and live here in West Seattle.  So I’ll be happy to see many folks working in my “backyard.”

    • Elton May 25, 2016 (12:57 pm)


      Seattle has a bit of a history in cinema and the filming of movies (typically small ones) has been growing. It feels like every year the SIFF (literally SIFF – the festival) has more submissions from the Puget Sound – it’s great to see!

      Wasn’t Buckley’s in Belltown formerly a movie studio location?

  • Vanessa May 14, 2016 (10:28 pm)

    Wasn’t it something with Sly Stallone.?

  • miws May 15, 2016 (5:30 am)

    Vanessa, that movie was Assassins,  from 1995. 

    That’s the movie I thought of too, and meant to mention it yesterday, but got side-tracked.


  • Carly May 15, 2016 (9:23 am)

    It’s fifty shades of grey the sequel. I know a friend who is currently in Seattle for the month of May working on filming it. No actors from the cast are actually in Seattle, they are in Vancouver. But they are using doubles to film a couple of driving scenes in the city. 

  • Alki resident May 24, 2016 (8:50 pm)

    I saw some film people doing some sort of prep work this morning  on Cherry st.   I had a little giggle imagining the 50 shades actors getting hot and bothered at Bakemans restaurant or the mystery bookstore.  Although let’s be honest. It really is a very good bookstore.

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