On Location Vacations

April 2007

NEWS 4.30.07

by Christine on April 30, 2007

in News

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NYC Hoping for More Filming 


New York City is playing a numbers game with rebates, hoping to regain its place as a filming capital. 

TMZ Exclusively Reports on Val Kilmer Movie Filming in L.A.

Having a movie filmed on your block may not be all it is cracked up to be.  Check out these reports on TMZ.com from this past week.

“At 8:30 this morning, a movie starring Kilmer, “Columbus Day,” was about to film in Echo Park near downtown L.A .The residents were supposed to move their cars off the street. The wife of a TMZ staffer was at home, taking care of her one-year-old child when she heard banging at the front door. A woman named Kelli Lassen told the staffer’s wife, “You need to move your f**king car because we need to park the toilets for the Val Kilmer movie.” Nice.We contacted Lassen, who at first denied saying it, then said she was reacting to a man in a nearby apartment who wouldn’t move his car. She said she called that man a “f**king asshole” and then acknowledged she got hot with the staffer’s wife. Lassen apologized for her outburst, but added, “Val Kilmer can’t even use the bathroom.”

And the next day….

“TMZ has learned Kelli Lassen, the enraged production peon who angrily told the wife of a TMZ staffer living on the block where a Val Kilmer film was shooting, “You need to move your f**king car because we need to park the toilets for the Val Kilmer movie!” — has written an apology for her crappy attitude and potty mouth.In a handwritten mea culpa left on the TMZ staffer’s door, Lassen called the incident a “misunderstanding,” and labels her profanity-laced tirade a “courtesy warning.” Where’d she go to school? The Alec Baldwin Etiquette Academy?!Ironically, it wasn’t even our staffer’s wife’s car, but Lassen apologized for possibly waking up the resident and for being abrupt. She claims she was “merely trying to eliminate towing,” adding, “I sincerely care about the local Echo Park residents.” Um, define “care!”Strangely enough, according to her MySpace profile, Lassen is a Buddhist, interested in “positivity,” and believes the popular self-help book/DVD “The Secret” is working for her. TMZ is happy to have delivered a little instant karma.”

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Breaking News!

by Christine on April 24, 2007

in News

 Fire Breaks Out in Chicago

A fire broke out in a Chicago building that was being used for filming of the Batman Begins sequel.

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 New on DVD

This week we are taking a look at what is new on DVD and some of the locations used in these films.  


DVD Release Date 4.10.07

Bobby follows the lives of several characters who are at the Ambassador Hotel on the fateful night Robert Kennedy was assassinated. The film, which was Emilio Estavez’s directorial debut, was partially shot at the historic Los Angeles hotel.

Shortly after filming, The Ambassador Hotel was torn down so it is now impossible to visit this historical site but you can still take a virtual tour here.

The Good Shepherd 

DVD Release Date 4.3.07

The Good Shepherd,  starring Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon, is a complex story revolving around the controversial history of the CIA seen through the eyes of Damon’s character, Edward Wilson. The film was shot in a wide range of locations, including the Adirondack Mountains. The area remains a pristine and charming part of America. The film’s party scene was shot at the Great Camp Sagamore, which remains a unique setting for romantic getaways or rustic adventures.

The Sagamore offers tours of their grounds as well as unique retreats, and special events. A complete calendar is available on their website.

For an insider’s look at how The Great Camp Sagamore was chosen as a location for this movie, take a look at this site.

Here is a great site with some inside information about the filming, thanks to York Staters!

Here is a look at some pictures from the shoot.

We recently visited The Great Camp Sagamore ourselves, below are some pictures form our trip. Even on a rainy day, the camp looked beautiful!

lake.jpg sagamoresideview.jpg
 mail.jpg sag31.jpg

Come Early Morning


DVD Release Date 3.20.07

Come Early Morning is the first feature written and directed by actress Joey Lauren Adams. Adams has been seen most recently in The Break Up along side Jennifer Aniston but is best known for her roles in Mallrats and Big Daddy.  This is the story of Lucy Fowler (Ashley Judd) who tries to find love though she has not been able to fully trust men, in part due to a tumultuous relationship with her father.

Here is the official site that features several behind the scenes photos from the on location shoot.

The film was shot in and around North Little Rock and Little Rock, Arkansas.  The setting for this film is truly travel-inspiring. Little Rock acts as another character in the film, drawing you in and making you want to belly up to the area’s bars or walk the city’s streets.  Adams uses the location as an anchor not just a backdrop, being a local girl she was able to capture the heartbreaking beauty of the location.

Here is a link for Little Rock, there is a lot more to do than one may think. The site includes ideas for day trips outside of the city and a link to The Clinton Presidential Library which frequently sponsors special events.

Smokin’ Aces 

DVD Release Date 4.17.07

Smokin’ Aces begins as a mob boss takes a contract out on sleazy magician Buddy Aces Israel (Jeremy Piven) and a rogue group of thugs goes after him. Unbeknownst to this group of misfits, the FBI has Israel under protective custody.  These interlocking stories make for a fun and wild ride.

Smokin’ Aces was filmed in Las Vegas as well as Lake Tahoe, CA. We all know what Vegas is about and it can be a great time, after all what happens in Vegas, Stay in Vegas, right? But Lake Tahoe is also a cool destination any time of year to relax and enjoy the great outdoors if smoky casinos aren’t your thing. Lake Tahoe has starred in many features but rarely gets the recognition it deserves as it is usually playing a body double for the likes of Alaska or Wyoming as this article explains.

Lake Tahoe is popular with many around the region as a vacation destination but not many travelers outside of Nevada or California take the plunge into Lake Tahoe. The area has everything from skiing to swimming as well as an array of restaurants and hotels for every budget. It is worth a look if you are planning a vacation in the Southwest.  It is also a must see for all fans of this edgy comedy.

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NEWS 4.16.07

by Christine on April 16, 2007

in News

Big Stars Head Out On Location

Keeping up with filming news, we see Fireflies in the Garden continues filming in Austin, TX while two other productions are getting under way, Get Smart, starring Steve Carrell, and Mad Money, starring Mrs. Cruise herself, Katie Holmes.  Get Smart will be filming on location in L.A., Washington D.C., and Montreal.

Mad Money is scheduled to begin shooting on location in Shreveport, LA. The area has already been infiltrated by paparazzi as People reports, Mrs. Cruise tried to make a simple trip to Target and was hounded so badly by fans and paparazzi she needed a police escort through the store. Will Ferrell will also be going on location in the next few weeks as production begins in Michigan on his latest film, Semi-Pro. The filmmakers are looking for extras and props, if you are in the Flint area, check this article out for more information. If you are not in Michigan but still want to be an extra in a movie, here is a site that has some great opportunities. We will continue to have updates on the filming of these three movies as we have done with the making of Leatherheads

Clooney Helps Boost Lemonade Sales 

Speaking of Leatherheads, George Clooney showed two boys the importance of a celebrity endorsement when he bought lemonade from the stand they had set up near the Leatherheads set. The actor reportedly paid the boys $20 for a glass of lemonade and business has been booming since! We also found a great link to pictures from the shoot in Anderson, S.C

Netfilx Announces Summer Events

Netflix will be showing movies at a filming location near you this summer! The first movie scheduled is Armageddon which will not only be shown at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL but will be accompanied by a performance by Bruce Willis and his band! We can’t wait to see what else they have planned!  Did we ever tell you about the first time we saw Armageddon in a theater, let’s just say the evening ended with blue slush all over the parking lot!

Think You Could Handle Being a Location Manager?

If you are interested in learning more about what it is like to be a location manager, check out this interview as one location manager chronicles his experience.

AFCI Trade Show Heats Up

Last week representatives from all over the world showed off their local area during the AFCI locations trade show. In order to secure a location and insure filming will be able to move forward smoothly, filmmakers work with the film commissioners of each city where filming is taking place. The Association of Film Commissioners International holds this trade show each year to highlight various locations and the incentives they offer to filmmakers.  

Among the hopefuls was Tennessee which recently passed legislation to make the state more filmmaker friendly. For instance, under the new legislation a production that has hired at least a quarter of its staff in Tennessee will receive a 2% rebate on top of other rebates available for any production with a budget of $500,000 or more. These incentives can be quite enticing in a competitive market.  

Yuma, Arizona also had representatives from their film commission and visitor’s bureau at the trade show to show off what they can offer as a filming location.  Because of its rugged surroundings, Yuma has already been chosen by many filmmakers and has been featured in films such as Jarhead, and The Scorpion King.

As always,  if you like the photo above or any of our original OLV photography and would like to purchase a print or greeting card of this image please send us an email for pricing and shipping information.

For a full list of film commissioners who attended the conference, click here.

To see an example of what film commissions do and offer in a specific area, check out the Capitol/Saratoga Film Commission in Upstate NY.

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New Jeresey Bids Farewell To The Sopranos

by Christine Bord

If New York City is Sex and the City’s fifth lady then there is no denying that New Jersey is Tony Soprano’s right hand man. The state, for better or for worse, will be synonymous with the HBO series The Sopranos long after the series’ final episodes air this spring.Since The Sopranos first aired in 1999, it has been a favorite of fans and critics alike, the Washington Post has called the series, “the television landmark that leaves other landmarks in the dust.” Few would argue considering the series has pushed the envelope for what could be said, done, and accepted on television.The series is also part of an important turning point for premium cable channels. Channels like HBO and Showtime are now competing with the major networks for ratings and awards. Shows like Sex and City, Six Feet Under, Entourage, Oz, Weeds, The L Word, and Queer as Folk have all won audiences from the major networks by giving them groundbreaking material that the big three wouldn’t dare produce out of fear of alienating the audience, not to mention the FCC.It has paid off too, as many are now willing to pay extra for these channels just for the original programming. Nicole Getz, a basic cable subscriber, starting paying more to have HBO after catching an episode of The Sopranos at her sister’s house. Getz explained, “We had to get it, we didn’t want to miss an episode and we didn’t want to have to wait for the DVD, we had thought about cancelling in between seasons but then there is always something else we start watching, like Entourage, we love Entourage, so we end up keeping it.” The Sopranos paved the way for the success of original series on premium channels and upped the ante for all networks, proving that high quality, well written television is possible and will gain a following.The Sopranos didn’t just change what was accepted on television; it changed the aesthetics of television. Television producers once chose stripped down sound stages for filming most series to save on costs and time. It was also common to cut back on details in a scene because the television screen was smaller and the viewer may be distracted by too many furnishings. In his essay “Broadcast TV as Sound and Image”, John Ellis states, “broadcast TV characteristically offers an image that is stripped down, with no unnecessary details.” With the increase in HD televisions making the picture crisper and a push for film like quality on TV, this is no longer the case. The Sopranos is filmed partially on a sound stage in New York but it also uses the streets of New Jersey for filming, giving the series a realistic, gritty feel. The series has been filmed in over 40 different communities throughout the state, making itself at home at the delight of some residents and the dismay of others. The look of The Sopranos is more like that of a feature film than that of a television series, to achieve this look filming on location is a necessity.In Keary, NJ locals have become accustomed to seeing the cast and crew of The Sopranos in their neighborhood. The show rents a vacant building in town and when needed, they convert it into Satriale’s, one of Tony Soprano’s favorite hang outs on the show. In an interview with Janet Frankston Lorin, Kearny mayor Alberto Santos said, “when the pig goes on the roof, you know it is close”, referring to the prop pig that sits on top of the fictional Satriale’s Pork Store. Lorin notes in her article, “So Long Sopranos”, that when The Sopranos are in town, “you do what they say- for a price.”The building next to Satriale’s is used by The Irish American Association. When filming, the association replaces their Irish flag with an Italian flag and they have been compensated for doing so. The organization has received approximately $20,000 from the producers of The Sopranos. This is a small amount compared to the overall revenue The Sopranos has provided New Jersey while filming in the state over the past 8 years.To get the authentic gritty feel we see in the show, the producers have paid upwards of 60 million dollars in filming fees, rent, meals, costs associated with hiring locals, as well as other miscellaneous expenses. It is rare for a state to receive such a windfall from a production like this, though many communities benefit from the one time filming of a movie, few communities benefit over a long time period since it is still relatively rare for a series to be filmed in this way.Another benefit of the filming has been an increase in tourism. Thousands have taken bus tours to see these locations. Many more have made the trek themselves spending money in restaurants and hotels, just one more way the series is contributing to the state’s economy and will continue to do so for years to come. Even though TV shows like Seinfeld and Sex and the City have been off the air for several years, there are still tour companies profiting from fans who want to see the restaurants, apartments, and streets where these shows were filmed. You can bet the same will be true for fans of The Sopranos. In this way the show has put NJ on the map. Corners and neighborhoods that most tourists would never seek out now have people lining up to take pictures. Take the Keary strip club The Satin Dolls Club which transforms into Bada Bing’s for the show. The club has gained a new reputation, business is booming, and people are driving off the beaten path to get a picture of this strip club turned pop culture icon.


At most of the locations where filming has taken place a flurry of activity was created from the time the crew arrived. Locals would gather around trying to get a memento, glimpse or picture of the show’s stars. These mementos and pictures now hang on diner walls, in the common rooms in retirement homes; even some private residences proudly display the picture that represents that home’s brush with stardom.

This is not to say that all New Jersey residents are thrilled with being the home of Tony Soprano. Some think the show and its criminal antics give New Jersey a bad reputation. The town of Bloomfield originally denied a filming permit to the producers because they felt it gave an “offensive depiction of Italian-Americans”.

The Sopranos could act as a case study in on location filming. Though towns had to make accommodations, like closing roads for the filming, most residents enjoyed having The Sopranos around. And few would deny the economic benefits of having a major television production filming scenes all over the state. It took four full time location scouts to find the perfect location for each scene and in each case it took weeks to secure permits, gain security, set up and then tear down the make shift sets used for just a few minutes of screen time. With all of this there came controversy in each town about the reputation the show brought with it and the balance of keeping quiet towns quiet while still reaping the benefits filming had to offer. As more television programs are being filmed on location it will be interesting to see how other states and communities embrace their own brush with stardom.

If you are interested in visiting some of the locations used in The Sopranos, here is a list of online resources to get you started:

Be sure to check out the blogs on this site. Some people have great stories about their encounters with The Sopranos cast. This is IMDB’s list of locations used in The Sopranos.
This site features several locations with good directions to most.
Actor Joe Gannascoli gives a tour of North Jersey that is definitely worth a look.
This is just one on the companies offering bus tours through “Sopranoland”.
I have saved the best for last, Soprano Sue rocks! This is a must see for all fans of The Sopranos.

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NEWS 4.9.07

by Christine on April 4, 2007

in News

Stars Tell What Inspires Them to Travel

Budget Travel Online is featuring several interviews with celebrities about what movies or books have inspired them to travel. The celebrities featured include Richard Branson and Rachel Ray.

Location Quickies

Here are few websites we found this week that we thought would be good tools if you are looking for a certain filming location, we know road trip season is just around the corner and many of you, like us, are probably getting the itch to hit the road. First, IMDB has a nice search tool for movies locations but it difficult to find on their site, here is direct link. This is a comprehensive site that lists movie location by geographic region. And finally here is a list of available filming locations around Los Angeles which is fun to browse through.

National treasure 2

Nicholas Cage is currently in Washington D.C. to film the sequel to National Treasure.

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NEWS 4.2.07

by Christine on April 2, 2007

in News

Ch, Ch, Changes 

On location Vacations took last week off to start working on some exciting changes we are planning. We will be making some additions to the site including more essays and articles. Keep a look out for our next essay as well as new links and features in the coming weeks.

Sopranos Say Good Bye to Fans & NJ


We know all you Sopranos fans out there are getting pumped for the final season. Just for you we will be featuring some special articles about the filming of the series throughout the final weeks of the show. Until then, check out this site featuring many locations used in The Sopranos.

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