How I Snuck Onto The Set Of Terminator 2

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I lived in a suburb of San Francisco called Fremont. Fremont was a typical suburb; there was nothing to do. In order to do something more exciting than hanging out in the local mall you either had to have a car or pay a lot of money to take BART, which is a commuter train type system. When something exciting actually happens the word gets around pretty fast because almost nothing ever happened there. So, when word got out that a film crew were filming some scenes for the then upcoming Terminator 2 people got excited. I was a huge Terminator fan so this was a huge deal for me!

Among the large web of people who I knew back then there was a sort of bet going around. Actually, not so much of a bet rather than bragging rights. How far could you get on the set of the film without being caught. Well, like the bored older teenager that I was I decided to see if I too could get on the set. It was me, a girl named Tiffany and a guy whose name I have forgotten who decided to drive to the set and see what was going on.

The scenes that were filmed in Fremont involved the headquarters of the evil company Cyberdyne. James Cameron and his crew had set up shop in an industrial area in southern Fremont and actually used a real building to film the scenes.  From what I remember it was a newly built area so all of the office buildings looked all modern and nice. Contrary to what some people say it was NOT a fake building built for the film. What they did was lease a building, build an extra story onto it, set that top story on fire and had a bunch of explosions coming out of it. Also, the scenes in the lobby of Cyberdyne were actually filmed on a set that was located in the bottom story of the building.

When my friends and I arrived there you could see a large group of people milling about watching the set. Some people had brought lawn chairs and coolers. I told you, Fremont was really boring. They had everybody behind some yellow tape and beyond a small little grass hill in the parking lot. There were fake cop cars parked at strange angles in front of the building and a helicopter that was just sitting there. Since there were too many people in that area to be able to try to sneak past the security tape we decided to go to the back of the set and see if there was a way in. We drove to the back of the complex, parked and started walking slowly towards some security tape. Surprisingly there wasn’t anybody guarding the rear of the set, so we very easily went under the tape. Since we were scared of being caught we would run from shadow to shadow like we were in a film. Looking back at that it seems very silly, but we were on a mission by golly!

How far did we get? I don’t know if it was dumb luck but I remember getting to the point where we were in parking lot alley of sorts that ran along the side of the Cyberdyne building and we could see the cop cars from the opposite side of where the other people were. For some reason I also distinctly remember seeing a very large wind fan.  At that point we all kind of freaked out and left the way we came. At the time I worked at a famous video tape chain, and I learned the next day that Arnold Schwarzenegger had come into my store while I wasn’t there. What the fuck, right? This was about the most exciting thing that happened to me in 1990, more fun then seeing MC Hammer’s dancers going to the mall. No, seriously, MC Hammer had a huge house in Fremont. I don’t know why he did either, so don’t bother asking. The ‘Cyberdyne’ building became kind of a hangout spot after filming was finished and I went there several times to breath in the atmosphere. Yes, I was that much of a film nerd even back then.


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