Monday, April 29, 2013

Downtown, It's Yuppies vs. Hollywood as Film Shoots Encounter More Angry Residents

Downtown ad shoot

Above, a typical sight in downtown Los Angeles: A film or commercial shoot (this one looked to be for an auto) that we caught while walking around last fall.

Once upon a time, Downtown Los Angeles was so deserted after hours or on weekends that Hollywood could treat it like an empty backlot. No longer. With so many residents now downtown, the population dubbed "Yoga Yuppies" by Curbed LA are not pleased:

Here's the Mad Men location manager: "We used to film car chases all over the place and land helicopters in parking lots. You'd never have to ask permission or get letters from residents -- they weren't even there." And the guy who works on Revenge, via The Hollywood Reporter: "Years ago, we'd shoot there, and you'd barely have to tell anybody." Skid Row, on the other hand, not a problem, according to the Castle scout: "But those people know the routine ... We have more issues with the yuppies not waiting for a shot and going to walk through it with their dog or to get to yoga." They'll just have to adapt though--Downtown has been playing New York since well before it was gentrified or even ungentrified--it first appeared as Manhattan in Harold Lloyd's Speedy, shot on Flower Street in 1928. And it's still got the basic look: "Right underneath our noses in Los Angeles is this New York backlot," according to one location expert; the Mad Men manager says "The buildings — when they were built, how they were built, their height, their look — are very similar ... If you're shooting on Spring, Main or Broadway [in downtown L.A.], you have no idea that you're not in New York."

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