On location in the USA

Last updated 09:44 19/07/2012

Does anyone else get a kick out of visiting movie locations?

Some people seem happier to leave those places on the big screen, but, for me and Nathan, our visit to America has been largely about getting film shots.
Starting our trip at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, we ticked off something like 100 movies in a one-day visit, but other cities have also been lucrative for our photo collection.

New York was obviously a gold mine, and sightseeing company On Location Tours quickly had us on their books for a couple of guided trips around the city.
The first tour had a pretty general focus on films made in Manhattan, and showed clips featuring some obvious titles such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, Wall Street, Ghostbusters and Men in Black.
My absolute high point was the stop at the Friends building - I've been waiting to get my photo there since the 1990s (get the judgemental look off your face).

The second tour took us to New Jersey, where we got a close up look at the Bada Bing, Father Phil's Parish and the diner where Chris was shot - four hours of Sopranos flashbacks left us more than willing to rewatch the series.
Our Central Park Bike and Roll tour guide suffered as a result of our movie quest, although showed very little exasperation as he continually answered my questions - "Is this where the people fell in the water in Big Daddy? Where's the skating rink from Home Alone 2? Which bench did JLo sit on in Maid in Manhattan? This is that castle in Stepmom eh?" and so forth. 

We'll just stop for a moment there so I can acknowledge my extreme tour taker ways, I've crossed over. And Nathan has too - you should have seen him on that bike tour, constantly pushing past everyone to be at the front.

Back to the movies. We also did a film tour in Chicago, which gave us the goods for The Blues Brothers, The Dark Knight, When Harry met Sally, and Transformers - although we were gutted the Home Alone house was too far away to visit.

We've gone out of our way for a couple of movie shots. In our drive from Nevada to Colorado, we skipped the shorter freeways to stop by Forest Gump's "and that was the end of my running days" scene in Monument Valley, Utah. Well worth it.
We also took a detour of a couple of hours in Oregon to visit the town of Astoria, the setting for numerous of classics - the greatest of all being The Goonies. As well as seeing the house from the film, the jail from the movie is now the state's film museum - complete with the cell where the guy pretended to hang himself.

We were unable to get a place on the Boston film tour, but we did have a pretty unique movie experience here.
Last night we went to see the movie Ted. By coincidence, the film was set in Boston, which meant we spent the whole time nudging each other and muttering things like "yeah, there're those swan boats", "look, that's that sail boat bridge thing", and "this girl next to me is taking up the entire armrest - seriously she's trying to sit on my lap, I'm going to elbow her in the face" - see, some things don't change just because you are in a different country.

Watching locals react to the specific Boston humour was priceless, particularly when characters started ripping into how Boston women look.
As previously mentioned, American people tend to be loud, and there was no exemption in the cinema. I've had people applaud at the end of movies before, but here audience participation is taken to a whole new level.
Be it cheering, or booing, apparently adding your own two cents is essential, and I felt a little inadequate. My mission before my next US movie experience is to learn how to wolf whistle so I can join in. 






















Long-awaited Friends photo






















The Shining hotel at Estes Park in Colorado





















"You know what the difference is between you and me? I make this look good" - Men in Black headquarters






















Ghostbusters fire house in Manhattan

If you want to hear more about the trip, follow me on Twitter. And while you're doing the social network thing, how's about liking this post on Facebook.

- (Live Matches)

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David W   #1   11:07 am Jul 19 2012

Visiting movie locations is a definite spark of interest for me. Just seeing the photos you have taken at the M.I.B headquarters and outside the Shinning House has made my mind up. My wife Imogen and Daughter Audrey also are huge movie buffs so when the time comes for us to travel this is a must! Great stuff!

Sally   #2   12:18 pm Jul 19 2012

No judgemental look here! I would love to visit the Friends film site :D My only claim to fame is a day at the beach where they film Home and Away lol! I was hoping to see Alf at the kiosk and have a convo that would include 'strewth', 'flamin' and 'mongrel'.. but he wasn't there! :( Loving the blog entries Amelia!

Jimmy   #3   12:22 pm Jul 19 2012

Brilliant post - all great movies you are mentioning, especially the early 90s ones - IMO the bestest movies ever made!! Love the Forrest Gump pic! Man, seeing all these pics makes me really wish I was on holiday!!!!

And interesting that you saw Ted in Boston, cant say that too many people at Hoyts in Dunedin showed too much reaction to the Boston jokes...

Christy   #4   12:34 pm Jul 19 2012

Chris gets shot? Oh, man. I'm only up to like season two or something.

Vicki   #5   08:17 pm Jul 19 2012

You are not the only one who was thrilled to visit the friends building - I dragged my 11 year old son along with me and he couldn't understand why I was so excited to see a random (to him) building! Also once we got home we drove everyone around us crazy by announcing "We've been there" every time a New York landmark was on TV. I'm loving reliving my travels through yours, thanks for the great reads.

eir   #6   09:34 pm Jul 19 2012

Love these pics! Always been so keen to go to Universal Studios -jealous!

jaynine6   #7   01:45 am Jul 20 2012

Having lived here in the US for the past 6 years, I have managed to come across many places where movie scenes were shot. I got to sit on the Forest Gump bench in Savannah, GA - where life is like a box of chocloates. Recently a lot of filming of the Hunger Games was done around where I live in North Carolina. In fact a place I mountain bike alot was where they did alot of the forest hunting scenes and I even passed their vast array of movier trailers, RV's on set. Visited Lake Lure where some of Dirty Dancing was filmed, and Chimney Rock where Last of the Mohicans was filmed.

lease   #8   08:15 am Jul 20 2012

woohoo! Goonies!! You are my spirit animal!

Kumar   #9   10:38 am Jul 20 2012

Did you manage to see the pub where Cheers was set in Boston? that was always one of my favourite comedies and I wondered if the place actually exists. I'll bet you can't wait to get back to NZ so you can go hunting for Shortland St.

Jean   #10   10:56 am Jul 20 2012

Can't believe how many you visited. If you're such a Friends fan, it's a shame there isn't a Central Perk.

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