"Unsinkable," an independent film project that follows the story of what happened to survivors of the 1912 Titanic disaster, is shooting closed-set scenes this week at pools in Pittsburgh.
On Monday night and early Tuesday, about 75 cast members in heavy period dress crowded into three white wooden replicas of Titanic lifeboats or spent their time in the water, waiting to be saved. Dummy bodies were tossed into the pool, along with debris from the ship wreckage — a white wicker end table and a black steamer trunk.
Director Cody Hartman, 23, acknowledged that the Titanic story is well known. "But what separates us from the 'biggies,' " he said, "is we are trying to tell a story about the changes [brought about by the sinking]. We are not making some super love story."
Production was blessed with clear skies and a bright half moon. History buffs will note that when the actual Titanic sank, it was also a clear night, with absolutely calm seas. But theorists claim that the fine weather might have helped doom the Titanic: No waves might have made it difficult to spot the iceberg before it was too late.
Big lineup for free Central Park concert
Stevie Wonder, Green Day, the Killers, the Lumineers and the Chainsmokers will perform at this year's Global Citizen Festival, an annual free event held in New York's Central Park. Special guests Pharrell Williams, Big Sean, Andra Day and Alessia Cara will also perform at the Sept. 23 event. MSNBC and Comcast NBC Universal will air a live simulcast of the full concert on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. There also will be some crossover with the iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place the same weekend, including Big Sean, who will perform on both stages in one night.
restoration: The Pennsylvania childhood home of author John Updike is nearing its transformation into a museum and literary center. The future of the home had been uncertain until the John Updike Society purchased it in 2012. Since then, the society has worked to re-create the 1930s vibe of the late Pulitzer Prize-winner's home, based on old photographs and Updike's writings. Updike spent the first 13 years of his life in the Shillington house, about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia. He died in 2009 at 76.
withdrawal: Bill Cosby's defense attorney in his sex assault trial that ended with a deadlocked jury wants off the case before a retrial that's scheduled to begin in November. Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle of Philadelphia filed documents Tuesday seeking to withdraw as Cosby's counsel. He says Cosby is taking steps to secure new lawyers. The judge in the case will consider the request at a pretrial conference Aug. 22. Cosby is being retried on charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand more than a decade ago. The 80-year-old comedian has said his encounter with the former Temple University worker was consensual.