"I've always been a huge
fan of visiting locally available
film locations."



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Film Locations are places away from the main movie studio where some or all of a film is shot. The term "on location" is generally used to describe shooting away from the studio or "off-site." A typical example of this would be The Witches of Eastwick (1987), where the character Daryl Van Horne's palatial estate is portrayed using several Boston area locations. The outside is actually the Castle Hill, Crane Estate in adorable Ipswich, MA. (this is just up the road a bit from me, so please forgive me if I'm a little biased...it is a wonderfully cute little town), while the interior shots of the mansion were actually filmed at the Wang Center, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.

A common misconception about the term "on location" is the assumption that the shooting is being done on the actual location of the story. While this may be the case occasionally, the vast majority of the time this would NOT be the case. It's unpleasant to have to admit, but a large part of filmmaking is essentially "lying" to the audience. This necessary reality certainly comes through often when it comes to filming locations.

The Exorcist Stairs
One of my all time favorite film locations can be described as "the Exorcist Stairs". In Georgetown, the very cute and "cosmopolitan" section of Washington, DC, there's a very long cement staircase that connects Georgetown University with the vendor rich M Street NW down below. (M Street quickly becomes Canal Street right at the entry point to "the Exorcist Stairs") Almost directly across the street is the famous "Key Bridge" which crosses the B&O Canal to take you to Arlington, VA.

exorcist stairs graphic for film locations page

The very creepy "Exorcist Stairs" in Georgetown

When I was first stationed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, one of the first things I was very excited to do was to go and visit this legendary landmark. Georgetown itself is adorable, and a wonderful place to visit, but to be able to view this creepy as hell set of stairs - that just takes it over the top for me.

Jaws Locations
The primary film locations for the legendary Jaws (1975) are actually set on Martha's Vineyard in lovely Massachusetts. In case you're not aware, Martha's Vineyard is indeed an island off the shore of Cape Cod. One of its greatest claims to fame, besides being the primary location for Jaws, is that it's home to the Kennedy family, America's only royalty. Here in New England, if you simply have your birthname changed to Kennedy, you instantly become elected to whatever office you'd like. I wish that were a joke, but unfortunately it's quite true around here. I'm certainly not saying that some of the Kennedy's weren't fine statesmen, I'm just saying that electing someone based solely on their last name is pretty stupid, and we do a lot of it here in gorgeous New England. (I'll get off my soap box now, and get back to the cool film locations...)

Here's a way cool look at the locations used for Jaws!

 

I've just recently learned that Paul Blart, Mall Cop (2009) was filmed at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, MA. (Thanks to the awesome Librarians of the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, MA - where I obtain MANY of my DVDs for Fun Film Talk) I really adored this film - slapstick comedy at its best. There's nothing quite so awesome as a larger man ambling about ridiculously on one of those cool Segway scooters in the name of shopping security.

I'd really love to hear your favorite film locations. I've provided a cool Content 2.0 space below for just that purpose if you'd like to share your thoughts with us. Even if it's only to inquire about a favorite movie and where it was filmed, please do take advantage of "web freedom of speech" and let us know!

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