It’s not very often when the sequel to one of your all time favourite movies ends up filming some scenes in the really boring Californian suburb where you are living. The principal photography for Terminator 2 took place from October 9th 1990 to March 28th 1991, so it happened within that time frame, but I quite honestly don’t remember the exact month. Camera phones had not been invented yet so I do not have any photos to prove it, so you are going to have to take my word on it. I’ve told this story so many times through the years that I’m sure that if you have known me in real life for any length of time you have heard it before.
I heard about T2 being filmed in a local office park through word of mouth. All of the weirdos in the Fremont area knew all of the other weirdos, and there was talk about whether anybody could actually manage to sneak onto the set of the film. It was kind of a dare type thing, and since I was a huge Terminator and Arnie fan I took that to be a challenge and ventured forth.
There were two other people with me as I made my way to the Valhalla of Terminator fandom. I remember knowing the general area where it was happening so I didn’t really have to drive around looking for it. Once there is was quite a site to behold. There were a bunch of cop cars in front of the building, the same as in the film, and there was maybe a group of twenty people in lawn chairs on a grass strip located outside of the yellow taped off area of the front of the set. From what one of them told us there was going to be a helicopter sequence filmed later that night. There was indeed a helicopter in another area of the large parking area. It was very evident that there was no way I was going to make it onto the set from the front area because of the lawn chair brigade and the film crew milling about.
We got back into the car and drove around the business park. To our amazement the back entrance to the set had only yellow tape guarding it, there was no security! It still kind of trips me out that there wasn’t any. I guess Cameron and the producers thought why bother since the set was in a boring suburban business park. I parked my car and the three of us snuck under the tape and walked very slowly along the right side of the Cyberdyne building. There was absolutely nobody there, and after a couple of minutes we came upon some really giant fans that were going to be used for the helicopter scene. We almost made it to the right corner of the building before we decided to head back because we were within twenty feet of the cop cars, and there had been some crew milling on the other side of them that we had seen before.
I ended up being the only person in my friend group who actually got onto the set, which I have worn as a badge of honour for almost thirty years! Yeah, I’m a total film nerd and Arnie fangirl.