By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
Squad cars lit up the street as police trained rifles at the bad guys peering through the window blinds.
The standoff went on for hours.
Wetmore Avenue was on a roll.
A Hollywood roll, that is.
Tuesday’s filming of the heist movie “Seven Minutes” attracted a flow of onlookers to downtown Everett. The thriller, produced by veteran director Rick Rosenthal, has a small budget and big names such as Kris Kristofferson.
Stars on Wetmore included actors Jason Ritter, Luke Mitchell, Zane Holtz and Brandon Hardesty and actress Leven Rambin, who played Glimmer in “The Hunger Games.”
Spectators came with binoculars, strollers and cameras to watch the same standoff scene shot over and over.
It never got boring.
“It’s interesting,” said Johnny Martinez of Everett. “It’s hometown pride. There’s a community factor.”
Rusty Bennett, a downtown FedEx driver, spent his 10-minute break standing with a group of looky-loos at the corner of Wetmore and California Street.
“Usually I sit and read,” he said.
He’d read up on the movie, which is about the heist of a mortgage broker’s stash of money. It’s the first feature written and directed by Jay Martin.
Spectators were allowed to get close to the filming. They just had to stay out of the way when cameras were rolling. Try telling that to a Dalmatian named Zippy.
The spotted dog burst into the SWAT set a few times.
“He’s a networker,” said Marilyn Rosenberg, owner of both Cafe Zippy and publicity hound Zippy.
It’s not every day there’s a standoff to sniff out next door.
Across the street, Karl’s Bakery &Cafe provided a front window view of the officers kneeling on the ground, armed and ready.
Film crew members ran in for fritter and caffeine fixes.
“It has been exciting,” bakery owner Derek Morse said. “The bathrooms have been busy.”
Landon Szmulewitz, a 21-year-old Everett college student, didn’t land a job as an extra as he’d hoped, but he went home happy.
“I got my picture with Leven Rambin,” he said. “She was about to hop in the van and drive away. My friend took a quick picture.”
Between shoots, some police officers also had their picture taken with the leggy blonde actress.
They were among the nine off-duty officers on the set Tuesday. The film’s coffers — not the city — paid for their time and stardom.
“The Everett police are just incredible,” said Doug du Mas, a Seattle-based location scout and manager who lobbied for getting the film shot in Everett.
Filming continues today on Colby Avenue between California and Hewitt Avenue.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org.