The Fault in Our Stars Set Visit!

Today, side effects I have a treat for you! A dedicated fan of this page, Kaitlin, was lucky enough to live fairly close to the set of The Fault in Our Stars, the movie adaptation of John Green’s novel of the same name. Kaitlin had an awesome experience and took lots of pictures and was super awesome enough to share her experience with us!

Here is a little bit about Kaitlin herself:

I’m a political young professional who works in Pittsburgh. I love taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities this city offers me, like the filming of movies and other huge events. 

I’ve been lucky to be able to set stalk many movie sets, like TFIOS, The Dark Knight, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Les Miserables (Broadway show), etc. I have loved each and every opportunity! Often, I tweet when I am going somewhere, or to the celebs that I meet. You can find me as Kaitb1103 on Twitter. 

I am so happy to have Kaitlin as a guest blogger today, to share her experience. Here it is!

Kaitlin’s Awesome The Fault in Our Stars Set Experience! 

I’m an avid fan of TFIOS, ever since I read it at the beginning of the year. After that, I became a huge Nerdfighter. You can imagine my excitement when I found out that TFIOS was shooting in PGH!

After spending every waking moment following a thread of TFIOS shooting locations for every week that they’ve been here, I finally found that they’d be at an easily accessible location all the week of September 15-20th. You see, like most people in Pittsburgh, I’m a public transportation rider. And as TFIOS takes place in Indianapolis but is filming in Pittsburgh, they’ve been sticking to outlying Pittsburgh locations that can’t be reached by public transit.

So September 18th, I packed up my books (Divergent, Insurgent and TFIOS), and headed to work downtown. As soon as I could leave, I hopped on a bus toward the ‘rumored’ film site.

After getting off the bus, I ran into a few young high schoolers (I’m nearly 22). They had already wandered about and had been there for nearly an hour. I walked down the public streets taking photos of everything that seemed interesting.

code name for the TFIOS set

The Code Name they use for The Fault in Our Stars. Who knows how they came up with that name! 

Prop trailer

This is one of the prop trailers. This photo doesn’t do it justice! It’s HUGE with prop cabinets filled to the brim on BOTH sides

ambulance gus rides in

The ambulance that they take Gus away in. 

the star trailers

The star trailers! 

I spotted Gus’s crutches, the ambulance he’d be riding in (which the crew was rigging to hold a camera on the back), and the star trailers! The actual set house they were using was closed off.

I went back up to wait with the other girls, and a little later, we saw a tall young gentleman being escorted by security down the street off the set and toward the trailers. It was Ansel! He was wearing tan slacks, and a blue shirt with white tie, and had a cigarette (!!!) hanging from his mouth.

He later tweeted:

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 2.07.02 PM

One of the girls and I were brave enough to follow him down the sidewalk, but they other girls waited until we ‘called’ for them.

Sadly, all our hollering did nothing and he didn’t turn around, though he did smile.

The girl and I were dejected, and we’re turning to walk up toward the corner again, when Shailene Woodley walked out of the set. “You’re…Shailene Woodley.” “Yeah, yeah, I am.” At this point, the girls had all swooped in, and though I did get my book signed, I didn’t get a photo with her :( Ah, well!

Shailene Woodley autograph

The girls and I went back to our little corner, forced to by the cops that showed up, and then another older girl like myself showed up. She’s been a Nerdfighter for 8 years, and said she only cared about meeting John Green and the others were bonuses if they came out! We all agreed, but then, I had all day to wait with no other plans.

We waited for about another ten minutes, and all of a sudden, John Green comes out from another entrance to say hello! He smiles but he says he only has about five minutes to take photos and sign books. We all takes some “selfies” with John Green controlling the phones! He somehow managed to keep the set out of all the photos so he wouldn’t get yelled at by the producers of the film. He apparently gets yelled at on a daily basis, according to Ansel.

picture with john green

After John Green goes back inside, the other girls all leave right away. I was all by myself! The Franktuary food truck (famous in PGH for amazing hot dogs and fries) had showed up with hot dogs for the crew for a few minutes before the girls left.

Franktuary Truck-Shailene and John catered it

The Franktuary truck! this is the Franktuary food truck that, according to John Green himself and his tumblr/twitter, Shailene Woodley catered/bought for the staff to eat from that day!

I waited for another five minutes or so before John Green comes out again (this time out of the entrance we had been watching) and comes right over. He asks me where the others went; my answer was something along the lines of “They all left me :( but I’m prepared to be here all night if need be!” He asked who I was looking to meet (Ansel Elgort) and said he’d see what he could do, but no promises!

Then he offered to “buy” me a hot dog (apparently Shailene Woodley catered Franktuary, so indirectly Shai bought me a hot dog!), and then was ‘fixing’ it for me, at which I said, “John Green…you really don’t have to make my hot dog for me. I’ll totally make it, but I just want to make sure I can go past these cops before coming over there…”

Fast forward to finishing my hot dog, the stand-ins come out and go back in five seconds later, and then boom! A super, tall handsome actor (Ansel Elgort!) comes striding out and walks right over!!!!

Ansel: “You sent John Green into get me? How’d you swing that?”
Me: “Well, he offered, but made no promises! Thank you for coming over to say hi! How’s filming going?”
Ansel: “Well, its going great! We’re in Amsterdam right now!” (They were filming the hotel scenes in Amsterdam at a place called Mansion on 5th)
Me: “That’s awesome. Are you excited for Divergent coming out soon?”
Ansel: “I am! It was a lot of fun to shoot! Are you excited about Carrie coming out?”
Me: “Um, yes! Do you mind if I get a photo with you?”
Ansel: “Sure!”

angel photo 2 in costume ansel photo 1 ansel photo 3

And que multiple selfies being taken but me not realizing it, so my “OMG I’M SO JUST FREAKING HAPPY” face being the same in each one! And then he signed my book, I wished him luck with the rest of filming, and I left while he got in line for a hot dog.

End to a perfect, fantastic day!

Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, John Green, Ansel Elgort

Signed by: Scott Neustadter (screenwriter of TFIOS movie), Michael Weber (second screenwriter for the film), John Green and Ansel Elgort

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Thank you SO much Kaitlin for sharing your experience with me and the readers of What A Nerd Girl Says! I know that I am SO jealous of your awesome experience and that others will be too! Such a lucky duck!

I can’t wait to see this movie in theaters, and to see Shailene and Ansel in Divergent in March!

Hope you enjoyed hearing about Kaitlin’s experience!

Fandom Friday-Divergent Trilogy

The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, page with each blog post written by a new contributor.

This is the weekly post where either myself, approved or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at or contact me HERE

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Today’s guest blogger is…not a guest blogger because it is ME.

This week I’ll be talking about a book series that you all may have heard of:

The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth


The Divergent trilogy has been in the “news” a lot lately. In about two months, the third and final installment of the series, Allegiant, will hit book stores. Not much has been said about the book and we’re all waiting in barely concealed anticipation for this book. It’s also in the news a lot as the movie, which doesn’t even release until March, is already garnering big hype, and being compared to the YA blockbuster, The Hunger Games.

A big reason why I decided to write about Divergent is because I wanted to share two things. For those who haven’t heard of it, I can enlighten you on this seriously amazing book series. For those of you who have heard of it, and have heard The Hunger Games comparisons, I want to show you that NOT all YA books are the same, even if they are in the same genre, like dystopian.

About the Trilogy

So let me tell you a little bit about the series. It is a young adult dystopian series that is a trilogy. The first book is Divergent, followed by Insurgent, and ending with the soon to be released Allegiant. The books are written by the beautiful and talented, Veronica Roth, who is the same age as me, and for that alone, I admire her. The book series follows the main character of Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior. Tris lives in our world, but in the future, when wars have torn apart the country. As a solution, a new society is created and everyone is split into five factions that represent the virtues they feel is necessary to have a functioning society. The five factions are Erudite (valuing intelligence), Abnegation (valuing selflessness), Dauntless (valuing courage and bravery), Candor (valuing honesty) and Amity (valuing peace).

Beatrice lives with her family in Abnegation, but she is sixteen years old, and it is time to take the tests that show what faction she is most fitted for. However, when she takes her aptitude test, it is revealed that she has shown connections to three different factions (Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless), that she is a forbidden word: Divergent. Her test taker fixes her results, and sends her home, telling her to never tell anyone what was really said. When it comes time to make a choice, Beatrice sheds her gray clothing and her name, and joins the Dauntless, and she is Tris Prior.

Tris discovers that being Dauntless isn’t easy, and requires more bravery and courage than she anticipated. And being Divergent, and hiding it, causes more problems than she knew as well. The books follow Tris as she attempts to be accepted into the Dauntless family and she unfolds the mysteries that surrounded her society, and the secrets of being Divergent, and why the society is so afraid of them. As she delves deeper into the underbelly of the society, she learns more and more of what is being portrayed and what is really going on.

The first book in the series, Divergent, directed by Nick Burger and produced by Summit Entertainment, has already been filmed and is slated to hit theaters on March 20, 2014. The film stars Shailene Woodley as Tris, Theo James as Four, and includes many well known actors and actresses such as  Miles Tellers, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Zoe Kravitz, Mekhi Phifer and more.

Where I Found It

Honestly, it was all sort of word of mouth for me. I had enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy immensely and several people kept telling me to read Divergent, that I would enjoy it a lot. I finally caved in and bought it on my Kindle, and stayed up all night reading it. I remember feeling pretty surprised at the cliffhanger and wanting to immediately read the sequel.

As luck would have it, the sequel, Insurgent, had literally been released that day. I immediately purchased it on my Kindle and started reading it at about 3 am. I had to convince myself that staying up all night was a terrible idea, but I read it the next day and finished it, and I was easily hooked.

Why You Should Be Reading It

I know what you’re thinking: another dystopian novel series? Isn’t that getting a bit old? And I can see where you are coming from. There are a ton of various dystopian novels on the shelves these days and its hard to pick ones that are good, because there are just so many to choose from. This is one that you definitely have to pick up, especially if you are a fan of The Hunger Games.

I think that Veronica Roth has this ability to appeal to both a male and female audience, even though the main character is female. She really presents a great story, with fully fleshed out characters and characters that are so important and easy to love, besides just Tris and Four. It is NOT a love story, though a love story is woven in there. This is the story of two people, who team up with so many others, to find out the truth of a country. The politics, and the psychology of this system that has been created as a solution to the problems of the past are SO interesting and they keep you racing through the pages as you watch Tris and Four try to figure it out.

I also think that Tris is an amazing character, a strong female character that remains strong. I find often times that a female character can start off really strong but then sort of loses that strength over time to whininess. I admire that Tris loses some of her strength at times, because she has gone through so much but she never loses her resolve and she never resorts to whining or any of that. She stays strong, even when she’s at her weakest, and I think that’s very important and will play an important part in the last and final book. I also think the character of Tobias “Four” Eaton is also important and fantastic as well. He is a strong character, whether you’re a boy or a girl reading this novel. He grew up in an incredibly abusive situation, both physically and emotionally, with his father, and escapes to the faction of Dauntless to get away from him. Learning this about Four, and seeing the strength that he has had to earn over time, and seeing his relationship with his father, is incredible. T

hese two characters alone are enough to read this book, and neither of them are my favorite character of the series! The series is filled with so many different, unique, believable characters that you can connect and relate to. Even though this is set in a world that is both recognizable and yet so utterly different, it is not hard to connect with these people and some of the things that are happening with them.

Plus there is all the action. From the moment Tris decides to switch from Abnegation to Dauntless, you are on an action packed roller coaster, as she fights her way through initiation and learns to fight, handle a gun, and learns what it really means to be courageous and fearless.

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I hope you all enjoyed learning about the Divergent trilogy today. I know that there are many of you who have already read it, but I hope that those of you who haven’t will be encouraged to do so. There is so much awesome in this book, and there is also SO much to discuss as well!

Come back soon for a new Fandom Friday, and check out previous ones here!

Have you read Divergent? What did you think of it? How did you get into the books, and what would you say to someone that you were trying to convince to read it? As always, share in the comments!