Chbosky was thrilled to shoot Wallflower in his hometown of Pittsburgh, a setting that came in handy when the director decided he wanted his young cast to bond the way his characters do on the page. One of the movies most uplifting moments occurs when the three friends drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel into the city, the boys up front and Sam wedging herself out of the sun roof, flying along with the radio blasting an infectious song theyre hearing for the first time (David Bowies Heroes).
I promised them: I want you to have the summer of your lives, Chbosky says. Most of these guys grew up on sets and didnt have this experience. They were allowed to have it on this film. Ill never forget going through the Fort Pitt tunnel with them the first time. They only knew it as words on a page. I took them through it with that beautiful song playing, and from that moment on we were bonded. The boys helped Emma with her accent, and she helped them deal with all the attention weve been getting.
Still, despite Chboskys best efforts to make a film that could appeal to different generations, some things required explanation to members of the iTunes generation. In one scene, Charlie tries to make a mix tape for Sam, and the tape recorder keeps snapping off before the final song is over.
I had to explain that joke to him, Chbosky says, laughing. Id say, Youd have 45 minutes on each side, and if you timed it wrong the tape recorder shuts off, and he was like, What!? But then he made me two mix CDs, and I made him one back. So hes cool with the mix idea now.