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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BART Helps Make Movie About Oscar Grant Shooting

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 8:55 AM

click to enlarge Future movie stars
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It's not really news that East Bay filmmaker Ryan Coogler has started shooting his drama on Oscar Grant, the Oakland man who was killed by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale BART station three years ago.

What is news is that BART is participating in the film.

According to ABC News, BART has agreed to help make the production possible, but the transit agency has been tight-lipped about the details, including where and when the filming on BART property will take place.  We're guessing that some scenes will be filmed on the Fruitvale platform, considering the movie is titled Fruitvale.

Of course the agreement has more to do with money than making amends; the filmmakers have given BART an undisclosed amount of cash to cooperate.

BART spokesman Jim Allison tells ABC7 News that "when there is filming on BART property, the permit insures that BART is reimbursed for staff work so taxpayers are not subsidizing the film."

Naturally, BART doesn't want to look like a bunch of gun-happy assholes on the big screen, so the transit agency does get to sign off on the script, to make sure, as Allison puts it "BART is not portrayed in a way that BART does not want to be portrayed."

BART Officer Johannes Mehserle was acquitted of murder, but convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 New Year's Day shooting of Grant. Mehserle claimed he thought he had pulled his Taser when in reality he fired his gun, killing Grant.

Fruitvale is an indie drama that's supposed to chronicle Grant's final hours before he was shot. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will play the role of Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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