'National Treasure' at the Library

The Library of Congress has been known for its ?American Treasures? and ?World Treasures? exhibits, but more recently, we have been hosting ?National Treasure.? Or, more precisely, ?National Treasure: Book of Secrets,? the sequel to the hit 2004 Disney film.

I?m prohibited ? at least for now ? from talking much about the film. That?s what they have a publicist for. But as the Library?s ?project manager? (the production team probably got tired of hearing that the title meant I was the guy who OK?d their filming here), I hope to talk a lot more about our involvement in the months ahead.

In the meantime, it seems others haven?t been subject to quite the same prohibition. Such as Dan Zak, who wrote an article on the front page of yesterday?s ?Sunday Source? section of the Washington Post. It was all about his stint as an extra during the portions that filmed at the Library ? complete with a second article giving an hour-by-hour account of the ?hurry up and wait? nature of the process.

I won?t comment much about the articles linked above, except to respond to what seems to be a fixation on Nicolas Cage?s height: I am a good 6-foot-2, and I don?t think he was but maybe a couple inches shy of me.In general, however, I think the Library?s role in the film has the potential to redefine the Library of Congress in the eye of movie-goers, much the same as the iconic shot from the dome of the Main Reading Room did for previous generations in ?All the President?s Men.?

One small peek behind the scenes: The last night of shooting involved exteriors. It also coincided with the nasty Noreaster that recently pounded the Atlantic Seaboard with winter?s dying sting.

The crew were helping light the scene with what is known as a ?china ball.? It was a very large helium-filled balloon with a megawatt lightbulb in the middle, and strapped down to a cherry-picker. I took a brief video clip to show the forces we were up against:

Link (750kb WMV file, 384kbps, 16 seconds)


  1. David Lay
    July 11, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    This is exciting. I loved the first movie!!

    David Lay

  2. Filmmaker
    July 15, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Just caught this article. Love the movie so seeing this after the fact is interesting.

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