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How was the “running of the bulls” scene shot in City Slickers?

Jul 18th, 2015 | By | Category: Entertainment Law

Attorney Steve recalls his “3 seconds of fame” in Hollywood and explains how the Running of the Bulls scene was made!!

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If you click on the picture above you can watch the scene which was shot in Universal Studios.  My debut is running across at 1:55 of the video.

My hollywood story – the “Running with the Bulls” scene (1991)

I was just back from my second year of professional baseball (probably about 23 years old) .  I believe it was around the thanksgiving break when a buddy of mine called and said “hey, do you want to be an extra in a movie?”  I said sure, just tell me when and where.  He told me it was for a movie with Billy Crystal and they needed some dark haired guys who were willing to “run with bulls.”  It sounded exciting so we went for it.  We drove down to Los Angeles from Fresno, California and the scene was actually shot at Universal Studios.

How much did you get paid?

As I recall, we made either $120 or $150 per day which was pretty good money for an extra.  The pay may have been higher than normal, because as I recall it was shot during a holiday weekend (Thanksgiving I think, but not 100% sure).

How long did it take to shoot the scene?

We worked as extras for about 6 days.   They provided all the meals, and it was basically a 6-8 hour job each day (much of it was standing around waiting for the call to shoot another run).   All of the actors, (and extras included), were like the energizer bunny…..we kept running, and running, and running until they got all the footage the producers needed to make the final scene.  What takes 2 minutes on screen took 6+ days to shoot.  That is probably the thing that surprises most people.

Did they use REAL live bulls?

Yes.  They were as real as it gets, and that of course kept things on edge and kept our adrenaline high while we ran down the path each time we would do a new take.

Were there any exciting moments?

The entire week of shooting was fascinating and I was able to meet a lot of really cool people, including actors, cameramen, the producers and other extras (there were no snobs or anything like that). The final scene they produced, I thought, was funny as heck.  As I mentioned above, they used real bulls and because of that professional stunt men surrounded the three main actors as they ran down the path each time (no, I did not get any special protections surrounding me – I guess you could say I was “expendable”)!! Hahaha

One of the things that stood out was there was one instance where Billy Crystal fell down while running and the Bulls were basically on his ass, the stunt men had to frantically chase the bulls away.  It got pretty quiet for a short bit as it was not clear if he was hurt and how bad it might of been.  Crystal was shaken up, but he got right back up and did it again like a true pro.  Since he was wearing the New York Mets baseball jersey I guess he had to be tough!!

Final thoughts

Overall, the running of the bulls scene was a great experience, and I can officially say I was on the big screen!

NOTE: I must NOT have been overly impressive in my non-speaking role (I didn’t get to speak three words – so I couldn’t get my SAG card), and I did not get any call backs from any big production companies like Sony, Time Warner, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox etc. (although one of my friends played a prank on me and called me after the movie aired at the theaters pretending he was a hollywood agent and offering me a big role).  Hahahaaha.  I guess that’s what friends are for!!

If you or your kids ever get a chance to be an “extra” – take it!!  It’s a fun experience.

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We are a business and civil litigation firm with a focus on copyright infringement cases involving illegal movie downloads (torrent cases such as London Has Fallen, ME2 Productions and Malibu Media defense), software audits (ex. Microsoft audits, SPLA, Autodesk audit notification letter, Siemens PLM defense, SIIA, Adobe and Business Software Alliance defense) and other software vendors threatening piracy and infringement. We also handle cases involving internet law, anti-SLAPP, media law, right of publicity, trademarks & domain name infringement, and we have a niche practice area handling California BRE licensing disputes, accusations, subpoena response, statement of issues and investigations. We have offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, San Diego & Phoenix, Arizona and accept federal copyright and trademark cases nationwide. All content on our website is general legal information only and not a substitute for legal advice, and should not be relied upon. Decisions to hire counsel should not be based on advertising alone. Blogs, videos and podcasts are authored by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise noted. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

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