Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Nearly Impossible Mission Is Completed

On location beside the Rialto Pescaria, 17 October 2020

Mission Impossible is the name of the film franchise (none of which I've seen, I should admit up front), but obviously the challenges faced can't be literally insurmountable or they wouldn't have managed to get six pictures in the can since 1996. The seventh, however, or at least the filming of it, was anything but lucky. 

Their shoot in Venice began last winter and was ultimately shut down in late February, along with the rest of the city, by the coronavirus.

In the middle of October, after a summer of declining virus cases, production returned to the city--only to be shut down again after one week because of new coronavirus concerns.

But even as the caseload grew in the Veneto (and Europe) and Venice emptied out of its greatly-reduced wash of summer visitors, filming resumed last week with more attention to preventive measures against the virus.

Just a couple of evenings ago I passed by a tent set up in Campiello del Sol: through a gap in its flaps I caught sight of a lab coat; outside it stood a few dark clad people, each with a document in hand. Though I couldn't actually see inside the tent, it appeared to be a Covid testing station, and at first I was surprised that a temporary public health venture would be tucked away in such an obscure little campo.

But it wasn't for the public, I realized a few minutes later. The tent was a short distance from Calle dei Boteri, which was being prepped as a location for later that night, and the tests were being administered to everyone who'd be working on or around the set.

Last night night the filming of the nearly-impossible, or at least long-delayed, mission was finished. And tonight the restaurants around the location set that had been hired out to serve as food service hubs, or provide access to restrooms, are once again dark and shuttered. And the score of drivers who waited all night in their mototopi moored along Fondamenta Riva Olio, watching videos on their smartphones, along with the dozens of sentries hired to control all routes of access to the set, are probably at home--which is surely much warmer and more comfortable, but is unlikely to pay as well.

Ca' D'Oro lit by film lighting, 17 November 2020 (above and below)


  1. Wondered what all the lighting rigs etc., in St Mark's Square on ther timelapse were for - probably linked with that? (Fantastic watching them de-rigging at such speed!)

    1. Yes, Ella, one night our son took an image with his phone of the Piazza lit up as bright as day, he said--and perhaps they were actually feigning daylight, I don't know. But they do move a lot of equipment in and out quite deftly!

  2. Complimenti, the last picture is gorgeous...!
    Btw I watched via Skyline webcam (Hotel Concordia) the nocturnal activities in the Piazza, that was a quite amazing illumination engineering.

    1. Thanks, Brigitte, the water was so incredibly still--and I don't think it was because MOSE was raised that night (which is now a possbility when one sees the canals so still).