Showing posts with label Filming Locations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Filming Locations. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

EXCLUSIVE! Cover Reveal: Cinematic Cities: New York: The Big Apple on the Big Screen

I'm happy to be partnering with TCM and Running Press for this exclusive cover reveal. That's right! You are seeing the cover of their upcoming book here first. 


Cinematic Cities: New York: The Big Apple on the Big Screen
by Christian Blauvelt
On Sale November 5th, 2019
Hardcover ISBN:9780762495429
168 pages
TCM and Running Press

Official Description:

For armchair travelers, film buffs, tourists, and city dwellers alike, Turner Classic Movies takes you on a one-of-a-kind tour of the cinematic sites of New York City.

Highlighting the great films set in the Big Apple since the dawn of cinema to the present, Cinematic Cities: New York City is both a trove of information including behind-the-scenes stories and trivia, and a practical guide full of tips on where to go, eat, drink, shop, and sleep to follow along the path of your favorite films set in NYC. Organized by neighborhood and featuring photographs and illustrated maps throughout, this is a love letter to the city and a one-of-a-kind history of the movies. Featured films and locations include The Godfather, The Seven Year Itch, King Kong, North by Northwest, On the Town, West Side Story, When Harry Met Sally, the films of Woody Allen, and scores of others.

Pre-Order @ AmazonBarnes and Noble

What do you think? I love filming locations and am excited to check this book out. And I'm hoping there will be a Boston one in the future!

Friday, April 3, 2015

TCM & Starline Movie Locations Tour - Hollywood

Cue the Gilligan’s Island theme song! We’re going on... a three hour tour... a three hour tour.

On the morning before the TCM festival, members of the media hopped on board the TCM & Starline bus for a three hour tour of Hollywood and Los Angeles. We saw roughly 50 movie locations and 100 movie clips and made two stops: the Bradley Building and Union Station.

Ben Mankiewicz on the TCM Movie Locations Tour
 To kick off the tour TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz made a brief appearance on the bus and talked to us about the merits of the tour and the bus including its stadium seating and panoramic views. There were also pre-recorded talks from Mankiewicz shown on the monitor throughout the tour which introduced each of the four areas we visited: Hollywood, 2 parts of Downtown LA and LA neighborhoods.

Michael our tour guide

This tour is curated by both TCM and Starline. Note that this is not called a classic movie locations tour. There are contemporary movies featured and I would say there was a 50/50 split between older movies and newer movies. It’s good to know this beforehand because if you expect only old movies to be discussed then you will be disappointed. I think it was necessary for them to show the newer movies especially because locations change over time and it’s easier to compare the location in person to the location in a more recent film. Would I have liked for it to be a classic movie locations tour with a strict date cut-off? Sure. However, I think the mix of old and new is the new normal for TCM and it’s something we’ll have to start getting used to.

The bus tour runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 PM and meets at the Starline pick-up area next to the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. There is also a New York City tour as well.

Formosa Cafe

Paramount Studios 
The entrance where they shot a scene from Sunset Blvd.

Driving through the 2nd Street Tunnel while watching a clip of someone driving through the 2nd Street Tunnel. Very meta!

The Biltmore Hotel

Other locations included:
Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood High School
old location for Chaplin’s Studio (Sunset Blvd)
The Lot
Gilmore Gas Station
Red Studios Hollywood
Ravenswood Apartment Building
Raleigh Studios
Wilshire Boulevard Temple
old location for the Cocoanut Grove
The Talmadge
Bullocks Wilshire
Park Plaza Hotel
Asbury Apartments
old location for the Warner Bros. Theatre
Mayan Theatre
Orpheum Theatre
Tower Theatre
State Theatre
The Palace
The Los Angeles Theatre
City Hall
Angeleno Heights
Music box steps (from afar)
Silver Lake
Vista Theatre
Hollywood sign & Griffith observatory (from afar)
Newman’s Drugstore
Mayer Building
Pantages Theatre
Capitol Theatre Building

Films featured include:
Intolerance (1916)
Safety Last (1923)
Battling Butler (1926)
Blotto (1930)
The Miracle Woman (1931)
The Music Box (1932)
She Done Him Wrong (1933)
Topper (1937)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Road to Utopia (1945)
He Walked By Night (1948)
D.O.A. (1950)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Union Station (1950)
Cry Danger (1951)
A Star is Born (1954)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The Graduate (1967)
Chinatown (1974)
Ghostbusters (1984)
La Bamba (1987)
The Grifters (1990)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Barton Fink (1991)
Bugsy (1991)
Chaplin (1992)
Ed Wood (1994)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The Aviator (2004)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Stops on the tour include:
The Bradbury Building
Union Station

Bradbury Building

Posing with the Charlie Chaplin statue

The famous Bradbury staircases

Angela of Hollywood Revue

Palm trees outside Union Station

Union Station sign

Inside Union Station

Information desk at Union Station

Union Station

My thoughts:

I had a lot of fun on this tour and would definitely do it at least one more time. The experience also made me want to go on the New York City tour. My favorite location we saw was the Art Deco apartment building on the corner of Orange Drive and Romaine Street used in the film Cry Danger (1951). This might seem totally random but I had just walked past that building the previous evening, oblivious to its importance in film history and I just plain love anything Art Deco.

From what I understand, the guide will playfully pick on one person calling them out several times throughout the tour. On this trip it was me and I had fun with it. He also kept calling out Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood who was sitting next to me. Some folks wouldn’t like this sort of attention so I hope the tour guides pick their targets wisely.

lots of history and facts provided for context
plenty of movie clips shown simultaneously as we drove by their related locations
an inexpensive way to see a lot of Hollywood and Los Angeles
Michael was for the most part a funny tour guide, he was a fan of TCM and knew his stuff
Not an open air bus, enclosed and air-conditioned
Newer films are mostly historical pieces
L.A.’s gorgeous weather made sightseeing very easy

A few sexist jokes by tour guide
You don’t get a view of sites on the opposite side of the bus
Aisle seats are not as good as window seats
Some clips were incredibly loud, especially the ones from action films
One minor projection error
Tour guide made a location error (this was pointed out by someone else)
Bus size does not allow to drive by famous Music Box steps

Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood and I on the bus tour
Overall I thought this was a great tour and I had a lot of fun. On the flip side, I did speak to another person who was on the same tour and he said he hated it. It’s not for everyone but seeing as there are so many crappy Hollywood bus tours I figure this one is probably the best of the best. And the fact that TCM is involved means the quality level goes up exponentially. I hope I’ve provided you enough information to pique your interest in this excellent bus tour.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Filming Locations ~ Part 3 Cambridge Cemetery

After finding the filming locations in Downtown Boston and Beacon Hill for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968),  Carlos and I headed to Cambridge, MA to find the cemetery from the film. Finding specific locations in cemeteries is more difficult than it seems. I personally have tried to find the graves of the author Henry James (Cambridge, MA) and the actress Thelma Todd (Lawrence, MA) with no luck and even though I had photo and location references from the Find-A-Grave website.

You would figure that cemeteries would not change much over time, with the exception of new headstones, but that's just not the case. Weather causes damage, teenagers vandalize and knock over headstones, many gravestones get replaced, plants and trees grow or are taken down, etc. Also, unless you are looking for something in a small cemetery, most cemeteries are complex labyrinths of stone, pavement and plants and are difficult to navigate if you don't know what you are looking for or don't have some guidance.

I went into this particular project with an open mind. Carlos didn't. He thought he could find the exact spots right away but I knew better! Our first mistake was thinking that the cemetery scenes in the film were shot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. We went there and good thing Carlos asked someone at the visitor center because we were told the actual filming location was the adjacent Cambridge Cemetery and not Mt. Auburn. IMDb clearly states Cambridge Cemetery so I'm still confused why I thought it was Mt. Auburn to begin with!

The well-organized bank heist in the films ends with a money drop off at a cemetery just outside of the city. The bags of money are deposited in a trash can and shortly afterwards Thomas Crown arrives to pick up the loot. There are several shots of the Cambridge Cemetery, before you get to the drop off location, and I picked this one above because it stood out. The sculpture is of four cannons topped off with cannon balls and what look like graves of veterans surrounding it. I figured this one would be the easiest to find. It took some time but I found it.

And here it is! Notice how all the headstones are gone? They were replaced by flat markers. See what I mean about cemeteries changing over time? This part of the cemetery was a Civil War memorial and the graves were of fallen soldiers. It was very sobering to be there.

What the Civil War memorial looks like from the other side
Then we started looking for the money drop off location. I knew this one would be tricky and that we would need to compare screen shots from the movie with the areas and specific headstones we came across. I made an album on Picasa of my screen shots and accessed them on my iPhone. It helped a lot to have the screen shots on hand to compare with what we were seeing in real life.

This is the spot we were looking for!

This is the one screen shot I was most grateful for because it helped me find the exact location of the drop off. Compare the three tombstones in the foreground of the shot with the ones below.

I tried to line up the shot as close as I could to the original, even trying to get that pointed headstone in the bottom left of my picture. Notice how different the tombstones look 45 years later. That one on the right seems to be sliding off some sort of pedestal. The trashcan where Steve McQueen picks up the trash would have been towards the back.

Here are some more shots of the area.

If you watch the film closely, you'll spot these two headstones, the Skelton above and Nourse below. Kudos to Carlos who took the time to note the names.

We looked for this headstone in particular but couldn't find it. It was supposedly next to the Skelton and Nourse headstones but when we were there that spot was empty. There wasn't even a marker. I'm wondering if this was a fake headstone added for effect. "Blessed are the Pure in Heart" is what you see when Steve McQueen drives away with the bank loot.

You might think it's pretty strange of me to visit a cemetery looking for filming locations and photographing graves. That's actually pretty normal for me. Ever since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated with cemeteries and I did a lot of photography work at many of them.

I hope you enjoyed my little series on the filming locations of The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Carlos and I plan to find more locations but we may have to wait a while before we have time to do this kind of research again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Filming Locations ~ Part 2 Beacon Hill

After Carlos and I explored Downtown Boston in search of filming locations for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) (you can see a post about that here), we headed to Beacon Hill where the character Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) lived. Beacon Hill is a district of Boston that has great historical importance for both local history and American history in general. In Beacon Hill you'll find the Massachusetts State House and the African Meeting House, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad,  important writers, politicians and dignitaries have lived and worked there. It's also an aesthetically beautiful neighborhood. It is so sought after that properties there have a very high value and are sold for top dollar. Where else would Thomas Crown, a man whose main goal in life is to seek wealth at any cost, call home?

In the film, we first see Beacon Hill when Thomas Crown drives up Mt. Vernon Street.

What the drive up Mt. Vernon Street looks like today

Thomas Crown's car takes a left and enters the driveway of 85 Mt. Vernon Street.

85 Mt. Vernon Street
The same cobblestone driveway you see in the movie is still there. It's a private residence so we couldn't go in. It looks like some contractors were there hence all the extra cars parked in the driveway.

Source: GlamAmor
In the film, Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway) and Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) attend an auction in Beacon Hill. I wasn't even looking for this location and didn't grab my own screen cap for it. However, Carlos really wanted to find it and we did! 

46 Beacon Street

46 Beacon Street

Vicki Anderson and Thomas Crown have a love affair. Is she trying to use her feminine charms on Thomas Crown to find out if he was responsible for the bank heist or is she falling for him in earnest? The line between business and pleasure starts to get really blurry. In this scene, Thomas Crown is taking Vicki Anderson back to his place. They walk up Acorn Street in Beacon Hill, one of the most photographed streets in America.

Sign for Acorn Street, which is to the right of this picture

Acorn Street, Beacon Hill
Acorn Street is beautiful and if you compare the screen cap from the movie and these pictures, it doesn't seem that much has changed from 1968 to 2013. Acorn Street seems to be frozen in time.

Acorn Street, Beacon Hill
It's a gorgeous little street, perfect for a romantic walk and a discreet kiss.

I hope you enjoyed my second installment in this filming location series on The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Next up, I look for the cemetery featured in the film.

Popular Posts

 Twitter   Instagram   Facebook