Sunday, March 7, 2010

quiet on the set-the quest pt 1

One thing that I love to do is seek out famous film locations, wherever I may be. I just think it's fascinating to watch a film (especially the older ones) and then see where the magic happened. Especially if things look just the same. For me it creates a sort of continuity with the past which I find comforting and I thought it would be fun to share, especially because my brain is still a bit mushy after having it pulled out of my skull during midterms.

(sorry some of these caps are not the best)

First, a few of the on location spots I have visited:

Greyfriars Kirkyard-Edinburgh, Scotland
Film: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Edinburgh is such a historical wonder and I have a Maggie Smith obsession to thank for my finding the kirkyard, one of my favorite spots in the city. Burials have been taking place here since the late 16th century and walking about it is like stepping into a time warp. The graveyard is most famous for the story of greyfriar's bobby, the loyal pup who was so saddened by his masters death that until his own he guarded the grave, and is now buried in the graveyard himself.

If you look up towards the tree you will see the square tombstone and dark wall captured in the frame above. Hasn't changed at all.

Chester Terrace-London UK
Film: The End of the Affair (1955)

Located just off of Regents Park lies this beautiful neighborhood where Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson had their secret trystes. The entrances to both ends is a magnificent arch which unfortunately I couldn't document because there were residents standing outside and I felt a bit funny, but the neighborhood and it's archways are well documented in the film.

A 180 from the above still, which would have been taken on the second floor above the blue door in the background

Cafe des 2 moulins-Montmartre, Paris, France
Film: Amelie

The cafe where everyone's favorite pixie worked. They rebuilt it as a set but the cafe it is based on is very real.

Please excuse my awkward cone shaped head exacerbated by my awkward but very warm cap.

Christchurch College-Oxford, UK
Film: Harry Potter...s

The UK in general is sort of Harry Potter land and of course there is CGI and studio sets a plenty but the first couple of films did some on location filming at Christchurch, and even if the films aren't masterpieces I can say I've visited Hogwarts. The 12 year old and 21 year old in me is happy.


Bodega Bay-California
Film: The Birds

One of the most iconic sequences in the film is when the kids run out of the schoolhouse towards the bay, only the real schoolhouse isn't by the bay! The complete run is composed of two different streets in the town.


What the kids would've seen as they ran from the school


Pinewood Studios-UK
Film: Tamara Drewe

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of my own for this but last semester I got to be an extra in Stephen Frears' newest film for a day which was an interesting experience to say the least. Needless to say I was very excited to be where the likes of The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and many other great films have been shot. I was supposed to be an attendee at a literary festival and they set up tarps very near to the beautiful path pictured above out in the beginnings of their exterior shrubbery garden things. On the way to lunch we got to walk through the above pictured building which I believe is the main office that has been there since the beginnings. To the right of this picture is a rather lovely part of the building where I could see an episode of Poirot or some 30s style upper class farce being filmed.

Warner Brothers Studios-Burbank, CA
Studio Tour

I imagine this is pretty self explanatory. Too many films to name. This is the only picture I can find from this trip at the moment so here is the exterior of the Gilmore home for your viewing pleasure.

I hope everyone has a happy Oscar day! I am heading out to LA tomorrow to visit a friend for spring break and have already made plans to visit Sony studios, aka MGM. I'm sure other shenanigans will follow and if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears!


  1. Omg, let's meet up when you're in town!

  2. So neat that you've been to all those locations! I can really only claim Christ Church College in Oxford and Blenheim Palace. Great post!

  3. Great post! But you forgot the Pitt campus outside of the Carnegie Library -- No love for "Flashdance"? It's no "Amelie" but it counts!

    And you're out in LA and sooo close to meeee! Well, kinda. Have a fun week!

  4. kendra-done! :D
    sally-ah! i would love to visit blenheim palace. it looks so lovely.
    rhette butler-ack! no it is every bit as good, i recalled that I should add it to the list and then promptly forgot. that's why this is part 1! well, definitely closer than pittsburgh at any rate. :) thanks it was wunderbar.