Friday, August 02, 2013
A Peek Inside the 1940s Los Angeles of TNT's "Lost Angels"
The era of Mickey Cohen, Police Chief William Parker and LA Mayor Fletcher Bowron comes alive in Frank Darabont's upcoming drama "Lost Angels." Based on the John Buntin book "L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City," Jon Bernthal ("The Walking Dead") stars as the fictional character Joe Teague, a police investigator who encounters a part real/ part fictionalized version of 1940s Los Angeles.
Earlier this week at the Television Critics Association press tour, we got a chance to tour the "Lost Angels" set at Red Studios in Hollywood. The show's production designer, costume director and location manager took pride in how they re-created that era of Los Angeles history. We got a look at a remade version of City Hall, where some of the LAPD resided back then. And we also got a look at a fictional club (a composite of some real clubs of the era), where the good guys and the bad guys mingled.
The show's outfits and design were influenced by Malibu tile -- in particular the color you see at Union Station. Some of the show's outdoor scenes were shot there, along with usual suspects like the Biltmore Hotel.
I got a chance to chat with location manager Scott Poole, who also works on "Mad Men" -- a show that, as you know, we love to watch in part to see how L.A. doubles as midcentury New York. Poole lamented all of the renovation and gentrification taking place downtown. It's great for the city, but alas, not good for productions looking to re-create old L.A. He remembers visiting the Original Pantry when "Mad Men" first started, expecting to shoot there. But as he arrived, workers had just started turning part of the Pantry into Riordan's Tavern -- so alas, the Pantry is no longer a go-to place for period pieces. Now that Clifton's Cafeteria is being redone, that's "also off the books now," he says. "The surge of money being put in downtown (is a problem for us). The places we've filmed over the part 20 years that had still been intact, they're all being renovated."
Here are more scenes from the set of "Lost Angels," including that actual copy of inside City Hall: