Location, Location, Location



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  • Location, Location, Location

    Are there some locations you must stay clear of because of filming problems, costs etc.

    I have started writing a script based heavily in Central Park. Is this an off limits location? Does anybody know if this would be a major turnoff for a studio when selling a script like this?

  • #2
    It would be brutally, brutally expensive to film and difficult to get permission, but could you not take a bunch of background shots and then use just about any park anywhere to substitute it? The smaller the city, the more flexible they often are. I shot a short film entirely on the grounds of a community centre and would normally have had to pay $800 for the day, but because it was a student film and my first production and I took lessons at the community centre they waived the fee. That's Vancouver. New York, as I'm sure you know, is different. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of films every year which have scenes set in Central Park, and Central Park damn well knows it. Make an inquiry to the Parks Commission or the liason to the film community (dunno what the title would be in New York) and I'm sure they'll be happy to quote you rates.

    Jersey Is Cheaper Though


    • #3
      New York is very movie-friendly town (unlike Boston, which has huge union issues). If you saw "Birth" you also saw a lot of scenes in the park. Ditto for "Angels in America". And "Marathon Man". It's used all the time. I've used it in scripts a few times. I'd say go ahead and do it.


      • #4
        Tons of movies get shot in Central Park - Ransom, Kramer v. Kramer, Big Daddy are just a few... And I've jogged by plenty of film sets in the park over the years.


        • #5
          Any location on the water and anything that involves weather is incredible expensive to film.


          • #6
            Central Park's stated policy is that no one can film in the park during the summer. There are exceptions to every rule.


            • #7
              Well, the water in Central Park is essentially of two kinds: the reservoir (and the jogging path around it), and the Bethesda Fountain. We're hardly talking about Malibu.

              And most shooting in the park is done in the fall or winter. Autumn in New York is probably the most beautiful season there.


              • #8
                And the best place to start would be right here.


                • #9
                  Not your problem (if you are writing the script as a mainstream film to sell to a studio). *Any* location becomes their problem after they buy the script... and today they can create a location that doesn't exist with FX.

                  - Bill


                  • #10

                    Two thoughts about expensive locations:

                    1. If you're trying to write a low-budget script, avoid them. Also avoid CGI, animation, car crashes involving Porsches, etc. It's kind of silly to put an expensive element in a script that otherwise could be shot on the cheap -- it's like putting a $5k stereo in a $3k car.

                    2. On the other hand, you don't HAVE to write a low-budget script just because you're a newbie. I'm working with my agent on one set on the space station. (Actual location shooting not required, however....)



                    • #11
                      Re: locations

                      Thanks for the comments people.

                      I am Australian and am writing my latest script based heavily in Central Park and the Central Park Precinct. Is there anybody who lives in NYC or knows the area extensively that would be prepared to correspond with me regarding some details which I may need information on?

                      Also, would there be anybody who knows the inside workings of the NYPD and primarily the detective squads and their jurisdiction?

                      I am of course researching both the workings of the NYPD and Central Park heavily but would like to double check my facts and observations from time to time with somebody.




                      • #12
                        Re: locations

                        I want to be in America

                        don't they make films Down Under?! or have parks and police down there?! i say, write what you know. there is probably an oversaturation of NYPD heavy scripts out there.
                        i'd suggest you involve a fish outta water character and put an Aussie police officer in the NYPD. and is there hunting allowed in your parks?

                        write on!


                        • #13
                          Re: locations

                          Unfortunately their is a problem with the Australian Film industry. I believe if you can research something enough you don't need to know it. A good writer can write more than just what he/she knows and "feels confortable about".

                          I have just written a comedy script based on the eastern seaboard from Atlanta to NY and with the right research I was able to pull that off.

                          My script is not only about the NYPD, but rather a Supernatural thriller/Horror set in Central Park and revolves around two NYPD detectives...

                          So if somebody knows the area well and would be happy to correspond thru emails from time to time it would be greatly appreciated....

                          I'm just a simple Outback Jack with my pet crocodile, an old typewriter and a dream...btw will they let me bring my crocodile to the states on the plane when I make it big?


                          • #14
                            your pet

                            Only if you turn him into a carry-on bag and he fits under the seat.