Film locations in LA
April 5, 2005 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any good resources for movies currently being shot in LA, including daily locations? Am going to be in LA for a day or two with a film-fiend friend. This gives an idea of what's being shot now but exact locations are no longer available. Is there somewhere to find out up to date locations?
posted by humuhumu to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
I don't have a single reference for you, but if you know the general area, look for yellow signs with black writing and arrows on them. This is to direct the crew to the film site. They look like low budget marketing signs, but you see them all over.

I have seen a few film shoots off PCH not too far south of Sunset Blvd over the last couple of weeks. With it being light longer, it seems like filming has picked up.

I'm not sure what you hope to see, but there is a lot of standing around and occasionally a star comes out of a trailer. It might be novel to see one, but I am guessing that you will be disappointed.
posted by jonah at 12:49 PM on April 5, 2005

I have to echo jonah's last paragraph. Even if you were peering in on a set for a movie you had been anticipating or had actors you loved, you likely would find yourself bored and underwhelmed since the majority of shoots involve standing around. More likely, you will stumble across a movie shoot for a film you've never heard of with people you kind of recognize and will leave after about 30 mins of watching the director setting up a shot that will only be 10 seconds of filler screentime. Ahh, glamorous Hollywood.

From the site you linked to (again echoing jonah): There's one other way you still might be able to find a filming location, but it takes a bit of luck. When film crews are scheduled to shoot at a location, they usually send out someone in advance who places small signs on telephone poles, which help direct the crew to the filming location. These small signs are usually brightly colored (such as yellow, hot pink or neon green), hand-lettered, contain an often cryptic title (such as "MS503" for "Minority Report"), and have an arrow pointing in the right direction. Most people drive right past them, or think they advertise a garage sale. But if you look for them, you'll run across them fairly regularly. By following these signs, film crews eventually arrive at their destination. So, if you want to do a little sign-following yourself, you might luck out and find a major film being made.

Sounds like your best bet.
posted by rooftop secrets at 2:39 PM on April 5, 2005

The film geek friend I'm travelling with is well aware of what he might see - he's not really interested in seeing stars, but mainly just wants to see a huge film production in full effect. So people standing around surrounded by large lights and trailers is interesting to him.
posted by humuhumu at 2:47 PM on April 5, 2005

Just go to downtown L.A.

Start at the Los Angeles City Hall at Spring & Main. Then walk up to the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand. After that, walk down grand towards the Millenium Biltmore Hotel at 5th & Grand.

I've worked in that area the last two summers, and they were always shooting something there. Car commercials, rap videos, car commercials, and movies.
posted by jewishbuddha at 4:13 PM on April 5, 2005

Pentola is a restaraunt right around the corner from where my fiancee works. It's actually not a functioning restaraunt any more, it's just for film shoots. You might get lucky and see one there. As my fiancee says, though, it's really just a bunch of grips and trucks, not much to see.

Like jewishbuddha says, there is a lot going on downtown as well. I walked through the filming of S.W.A.T., which was sort of cool because they had fake LAPD helicopters circling. The ground stuff was pretty boring though, as they were going over and over with a van exiting an alley.

Another time, around little Tokyo, there was a military helicopter doing touch and go's on the top of a couple office buildings, presumably for a shoot.

As an alternative, how about tracking down the actual locations where Michael Mann has shot some films? He usually concentrates on making the city a separate character in his films.
posted by jonah at 10:36 PM on April 5, 2005

p.s. when are you coming? If I see something, I can email you and let you know where it is.
posted by jonah at 10:47 PM on April 5, 2005

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