Popular Movie Locales – WIF at the Movies

Leave a comment

WIF Movies-001

Places Hollywood Can’t

Resist Filming At

10. Trefil Quarry


Trefil Quarry is a large hole in the ground located in South East Wales that features such exciting landmarks as “some rocks” and “a pool of water”. Along with being almost completely bereft of any distinguishing features, the quarry is also located in a relatively difficult to get to area in one of the colder parts of the UK.

So what have they filmed there?

Well for starters the quarry was chosen as one of the primary filming locations for the bloated cinematic turd known as Wrath of the Titans with many of the film’s larger set-pieces, like the Greek Parthenon, being built for real at the quarry’s base.

The quarry has also been used to represent a barren, lifeless planetscape in the film Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and has been featured in both classic and new episodes of Dr. Who, like Planet of the Ood, where it is used to represent the home planet of the eponymous Ood, a race of disgusting penis-faced aliens. It also appeared prominently in episodes of the British magic-drama Merlin because apparently Trefil Quarry is the only place in Britain that has both rocks and water.

9. Pacific Electric Building


A somewhat large building in Los Angeles, Pacific Electric holds the unimpressive record of being neither, according to Wikipedia, “the first modern building in Los Angeles, nor the tallest”. Though the building is reasonably large and it looks kind of important, it doesn’t really have much going for it other than that it’s “sort of big”.

So what have they filmed there?

Oh, just the massive shoot-out in Face/Off where Nic Cage slow-mo dives through the air firing two golden pistols while Somewhere Over the Rainbowplays in the background. In regard to that particular scene, it was filmed in the loft apartments of the Pacific Electric Building, while its lower levels have been used as a stand-in for police headquarters in Seven and the place where Forrest Gump decided to ring in the New Year with Lt. Dan before he gets his space legs.

8. The Ebell of Los Angeles


The Ebell is a famed women’s club with a theatre that has played host to lectures by some of the world’s biggest stars and experts. It’s also noted as being the last place Amelia Earhart ever made a public appearance before she mysteriously disappeared forever. While this is all very interesting, none of it screams “flexible filming space”.

So what have they filmed there?

A more fitting question to this part would be: what haven’t they filmed at the Ebell? According to the club’s own website its large theater rooms have served as a filming location for films as diverse as The Artist, Fight Club, Air Force One and The Addams Family, with it being used to film the scene where Gomez and Morticia buy back their property from an auction. The Ebell has also served as a backdrop for shows like Prison Break, My Name is Earl andWhose Wedding Is It Anyway?

For anyone wanting an easy way to see if a film or TV show has filmed a scene at Ebell, our advice is to look for either the iconic pillars, which were, for example, used in Gilmore Girls, or its famous stage, which has appeared in multiple films, most notably The Artist (which used CGI to make it look ever bigger, for reason). Failing that, if a film features a wedding scene, it’s probably going to have been filmed at the Ebell because when it isn’t hosting lectures, it’s also a popular wedding venue, because who doesn’t want to get married in the same place they filmed The Addams Family?

7. Bronson Canyon


Bronson Canyon is a barren set of rocks and caves, handily located in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, that were formed as part of a mining operation back in the early 20th century. The caves are a popular tourist trap, mainly due to how easy they are to reach on foot, regardless of how sweaty you might get while walking.

So what have they filmed there?

Thanks to the unique combination of looking “sort of barren” but also being “really easy to get to” the caves have been featured in a baffling array of films from modern blockbusters like Return of the Killer Shrews and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, to early serials like Flash Gordon, Zorro Rides Again andAttack of the Crab Monsters.

The cave entrance itself also holds the distinction of being the hidden entrance of the freaking Batcave in the 1960s Batman series as well as being used in other, non-Batman related media.

6. Golden Ears Provincial Park


The weirdest thing about Golden Ears Provincial Park is that it actually has an interesting and easily identifiable landmark in the form of two mountainous peaks which locals have historically likened to a gigantic set of golden ears, hence the name “Golden Ears Provincial Park”. However, none of the films set here ever actually bother to make use of this curious landmark and instead simply film in the woods surrounding the peaks filled with decidedly uninteresting trees you could find in any other park in Canada.

So what have they filmed there?

Perhaps the most notable movied filmed in the park, or at least the one that spent the most time here is Rambo: First Blood with the park being the place where Rambo kicks the ample asses of all those overweight police officers.

Curiously, the park is also where they filmed the scene in X-Men: The Last Stand in which Wolverine punch-stabs like 30 dudes, meaning the park has been the backdrop for not one, but two scenes in which a guy with kick-ass hair stabs people while running through the woods. Other movies filmed in the park include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and that one scene in Twilight where Edward and Bella run through the woods at Mach 3.

5. The Brandeis-Bardin Institute


According to their own website, the Brandeis-Bardin Institute is a place “Committed to the artistic, cultural, intellectual, and environmental pursuits of the Jewish people” and the campus mainly serves as a hub for young Jewish people from around the world to learn and explore their heritage.

So what have they filmed there?

Well, see if you can guess from that picture up above of the BCI’s library. For anyone who didn’t watch television in the ’90s, that’s the Command Center for the goddamn Power Rangers before being lazily photoshopped onto the top of a remote mountain.

While looking at that image we’d like you to keep in mind that the BCI is a famous, easily accessible building in California. So just for a second imagine how many kids in California ended up thinking that only Jewish kids could become Power Rangers after they drove past this place in the ’90s and recognized it from the show.

Moving on, along with being the place Zordon and Alpha-5 liked to chill in between missions, the BCI library has also appeared in Star Trek twice as both Lore Borg’s compound and Camp Khitomer. Fans of Tenacious D may also recognize the BCI as the Rock and Roll History Museum from the Pick of Destiny just in case you didn’t think this library could have a more badass filmography.

4. Battersea Power Station


Located in London, this grimy, disused power station hasn’t produced a single watt of power since the ’80s yet has somehow become one of London’s best known landmarks, seemingly because they can’t stop filming movies there.

So what have they filmed there?

Starting way back in the ’30s, the power station is featured prominently in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1936 film Sabotage with the film’s eponymous act ofsabotage actually taking place at the station and the station itself appearing briefly in a shot behind a man in a very fetching hat.

More recently than that the station has appear in several classic episodes ofDr. Who, including The War Machines and The Dalek Invasion of Earth in which it’s iconic smoke stacks are shown to have been severely damaged by the Daleks. Despite unmistakably being a power station, Battersea Power Station has also doubled as everything from a burnt out warehouse in The Dark Knight to an Eastern European military base in a MacGyver made for TV movie.

Moving away from film and TV, the power station has also appeared in multiple music videos and on several album covers, most famously, Pink Floyd’s Animals.

3. Torrance High School


Being a California high school located within a stone’s throw of Hollywood probably explains why whenever a film needs to film something inside of a school, they go here and set up a camera while throwing piles of money at gawking students to stop them flipping out their genitals as soon as they start rolling. The school is also known for once hosting a soccer match between America and Canada in 1991, which is something, we guess.

So what have they filmed here?

Unsurprisingly the school is the primary filming location of several teen dramas set at or around schools, like Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, with Torrance serving as a stand-in for the fictional Sunnydale High School Buffy and her friends attend.

Torrance High School is also where filmmakers decided to film both She’s All That and rather hilariously, Not Another Teen Movie, which was a direct parody of She’s All That’s plot, which shows that the guys who filmed Not Another Teen Movie were either really on the ball, or really lazy.

Oh and before anyone runs to IMDB to check, yes, Paul Walker was in She’s All That.

2. Randy’s Donuts


Randy’s Donuts is, rather shockingly a store that sells donuts founded in the 50’s by a guy called, erm, Russell. The buildings main and only notable feature is a gigantic 30 foot wide donut perched on top of it.

So what have they filmed there?

To put it bluntly, Randy’s basically has a monopoly over giant donut architecture and anytime a film, TV show or music video inexplicably needs a scene centred around a colossal circular pastry, Randy’s is there. It was famously used in Mars Attacks under the unconvincing moniker of “Donut World”, and it’s where Iron Man recovered from an epic hangover inside of the donut itself in Iron Man 2.

And as proof the donut doesn’t even need a building to support it, the huge, fake pastry makes a cameo appearance in the Red Hot Chili Peppers video,Californication, under the name Andy.

The donut has also been parodied by The Simpsons, featuring prominently in the episode Marge vs. the Monorail, where it saves Homer and dozens of others from certain death just by being there.

1. Vasquez Rocks


Vasquez Rocks is a natural rock formation formed by a process our geography teachers assured us is known as “erosion”. The rocks are historically significant in America because the area the rocks are found in used to be populated by Tataviam American Indians, and because the infamous bandito Tiburcio Vásquez once hid here, hence the name, Vasquez Rocks.

So what have they filmed there?

Oh, just about everything. While the rocks are perhaps best known as the place Captain Kirk slapped the crap out of a Gorn in Star Trek.

They’ve appeared in countless pieces of media ranging from the live-actionFlintstones film to The Muppet MovieIn regard to Star Trek, the rocks have appeared in so many episodes of the original series and subsequent films, that the producers used CGI to make the formation a permanent fixture of the Vulcan planet in the 2009 reboot of the franchise.

Because of course they did. These rocks are practically a part of Star Trekcanon at this point.­­­­

Movie Locales

WIF Production-001

– WIF at the Movies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.