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  1. #1

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    L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    L.A. period pics hit road to find a place like home

    By Borys Kit
    The Hollywood Reporter
    August 30, 2006

    If the upcoming movies "Hollywoodland" and "The Black Dahlia" prove anything, it's that making a movie set in old Los Angeles ain't what it used to be.

    Both films are set in Hollywood's more glamorous past -- "Dahlia" in 1947 and "Hollywoodland" in 1959 -- and deal with mysterious deaths: "Dahlia" concerns the murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, while "Hollywoodland" investigates the supposed suicide of George Reeves. And for both, the majority of their shoots took place not only out of the city but out of the country: "Hollywoodland" decamped to Toronto, and "Dahlia" flowered in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    "It's an ironic truth," "Hollywoodland" director Allen Coulter says.

    The films were made on moderate budgets -- "Hollywoodland" for $16 million, "Dahlia" for $65 million. And it was primarily budget considerations that forced the filmmakers to shoot outside the U.S. "Hollywoodland" producer Glenn Williamson says his production saved about $2 million shooting in Toronto, and "as a percentage of the budget, that is very meaningful."

    Williamson and Coulter tried everything to shoot in Los Angeles, but even if the financial barriers hadn't been there, other roadblocks existed. The current owners of Reeves' house had no interest in working with the filmmakers, and neither did the owners of venerable restaurant Musso & Frank's.

    And then there's the sad state of historical architecture in Los Angeles. "The ground floors on virtually every street in Los Angeles have been doctored and look like a contemporary facade," Coulter says. "Changing those facades is prohibitively expensive. In Los Angeles, there's no real interest in maintaining any kind of sense of its own historical architectural past. It's a shame."
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr..._id=1003054802

    'Hollywoodland' from Miramax Films & Focus Features will be released
    September 8th
    Hollywoodlandmovie.com

  2. #2

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    That last paragraph struck a nerve with me and I think it is mostly BS. Downtown LA has numerous areas that look much like they did in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Same with Hollywood. You get off on the side streets and look around. Downtown Long Beach also has the look these two films required.

    They shot one for lots less money by using Toronto and Bulgaria they probably didn't have to pay the crew anything close to a union wage. Period.

    Look at Chinatown if you want to see a wonderful use of locations entirely shot in the LA Basin circa the 1930s.

  3. #3

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    There is truth to what they say, but I think the fiscal barriers are the real issue and unions. They are spinning this far too much. I agree with desert dweller about Chinatown. In fact, they just restored the "Pig and Whistle" which was not even around when Chinatown was made. The Formosa Cafe is perfect 1947,Any dressed out Daily Grill could double as Mussos. And many of the REAL Black Dahlia Apartments and other locations (Biltmore Hotel) still exist as they were.

    I LOVE period films and since they wussed out am gonna vote with my wallet. Besides, the Black Dahlia movie is pure fiction. The real Story is more interesting and less of a De Palma blood lust exercise.

    Check out the www.blackdahliaavenger.com
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    I still remember the Lucie Arnaz TV film from the seventies. Didn't put me on the edge of my seat, but my intellectual side was happy enough. Strange bizarre mystery was the film's focus, as it should be.

    Let's take away DePalma's bucket of fake blood and put the Psych guys on the case.

    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    Re: Cousin Orville's post and mention of The Formosa Cafe.

    This beloved bar/restaurant is next door to the old Samuel Goldwyn Studios and across the street from Paramount Studios. A watering hole and dining spot for many celebrities and industry people for the past 50 years it can be seen clearly in all its glory in the film L.A. Confidential.

    There are also very recognizable locations still in existence that were prominent in many silent films before the films had to go "inside" with the advent of sound.

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    Quote Originally Posted by desertdweller View Post
    Re: Cousin Orville's post and mention of The Formosa Cafe.

    This beloved bar/restaurant is next door to the old Samuel Goldwyn Studios and across the street from Paramount Studios. A watering hole and dining spot for many celebrities and industry people for the past 50 years it can be seen clearly in all its glory in the film L.A. Confidential.

    There are also very recognizable locations still in existence that were prominent in many silent films before the films had to go "inside" with the advent of sound.
    If you want REALLY go over the edge, i just got this book called "Silent Traces" where the author meticulously hunts down every location in every Chaplin film (like the famou scene from "the Kid" where he hugs him on a truck was shot at Olvera St.) and does a "then and now" photo recap. Unbelieveable piece of LA history. I was obsessed with this thing. What a job he did. Same guy did "Silent Echoes" on Buster Keaton.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  7. #7

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    This book sounds like a similar one I had from our local library which shows film locations then and now around LA dating back to the early silents.

    Many of them have hardly changed at all except for trees and other buildings on what were vacant lots. During the '60s and well into the '70s we would spend weekends exploring a Los Angeles that most people don't know or don't care about.

    I've written before in various threads about what a wonderful job Los Angeles Conservancy does in keeping the culture, architecture and history of LA alive. There are hidden gems all over the place and many are something the average resident might pass every day without knowing it even exists.

  8. #8

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    Quote Originally Posted by desertdweller View Post
    Re: Cousin Orville's post and mention of The Formosa Cafe.

    This beloved bar/restaurant is next door to the old Samuel Goldwyn Studios and across the street from Paramount Studios. A watering hole and dining spot for many celebrities and industry people for the past 50 years it can be seen clearly in all its glory in the film L.A. Confidential.
    The fabulous Formosa Cafe is actually located at 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., Paramount Pictures can be found at 5555 Melrose Ave., with Lucy's El Adobe across the street.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: L.A. period films travel far to feel like home - The Hollywood Reporter 8/30/06

    Another Orvillian fave of mine is TOM BERGIN'S Steak House on Fairfax. Since 1936, Dark woods, Irish Pub atmosphere. Very cool.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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