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Media Life: Viewers guide to Placer’s “The Muppets” movie locations

By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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If you’re seeing “The Muppets” movie now in theaters, keep an eye out for scenes that were shot in Placer County. The movie production crew was in the area this past year shooting scenes depicting other areas but using the wealth of scenic settings in Placer County that can double for, in “The Muppets” case, the Midwest and the Rockies. The scenes in Auburn are brief and part of a sequence early in the film showing Kermit & Co. rounding up the old gang as they proceed on a cross-country jaunt. Here’s a couple of clues to help with your spot-the-Placer-location efforts. One scene depicting the Midwest is actually rolling farmland north of Lincoln. The Rockies depicted in another scene? Not really. They’re a location in the Sierra’s Tahoe area. Beverly Lewis, director of the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office, said the Muppets shoots came Placer’s way as the direct result of tours the local film liaison and promotion office has provided to location scouts. “The Muppets” location manager had been on one of the tours and was already shooting Reno sequences. He extended his shoot with a couple of days in neighboring Placer County, Lewis said. Placer County isn’t new territory for Kermit. Five years ago, the world’s most famous movie amphibian was in the county’s high country for a whirlwind shoot that garnered footage for a widely viewed Ford Escape Hybrid ad that ran during the 2006 Super Bowl. Hoop dream-come-true While the latest change at KAHI 950 AM is eating into “Dave Time,” the radio station’s move to partner with Sacramento State Hornets basketball just might be creating Auburn’s version of the Dream Team this season. The Auburn radio station started broadcasting Wednesday evening with a matchup against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Friday’s game against the Oklahoma State Sooners men’s team will start with the pre-game show at 4:55 p.m. and tip off at 5:05 p.m. That will knock popular local broadcaster Dave Rosenthal’s 6-7 p.m. drive time show temporarily off the airwaves. The bonus for Auburn basketball aficionados is the opportunity to follow 2007 Placer High grad Konner Veteto on the air. He’s emerged as a force in the paint for the Hornets. The 6-8 center has been receiving significant minutes this year after transferring from UC Riverside and scoring in bunches. The Friday matchup could actually see Veteto battling under the boards with Del Oro High School graduate Casey Arent, who is playing center for the Sooners after starring at Sierra College. Veteto and his Hornets teammates will continue their road-trip Dec. 7 when they play Cal State Bakersfield. Tip off for that one is on KAHI at 7:05 p.m. Twelve games in all will be aired at 950 AM through late winter, with Steve McElroy doing the play-by-play. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at (530) 852-0232 or gust@goldcountrymedia.com.