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The Locations
"The story of Rocky and Bullwinkle goes right back to the tradition of old Hollywood movies, road comedies like those of Hope and Crosby," notes McAnuff, in discussing the film company's trek across the map during much of the production's 15-week shooting schedule. "Rocky and Bullwinkle take this long and arduous journey from California to Oklahoma, through Monument Valley to the Midwest, and finally the Big Apple, New York City, where RBTV is located at Rockefeller Center."

Before hitting the road, McAnuff guided the first several weeks of filming on five sound stages at Universal Studios. The filmmaker worked closely with seasoned cinematographer Tom Ackerman, who is widely hailed as one of Hollywood's foremost comedy cameramen. Ackerman's credits, many of which involve lighting for CGI imagery, include Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, Joe Johnston's imaginative Jumanji and another Ward-inspired live-action feature, George of the Jungle.

McAnuff also collaborated with production designer Gavin Bocquet, who most recently created the spectacular worlds for George Lucas' hit prequel, Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace, and followed this project by reuniting with Lucas in Australia for the prequel's second chapter.

One of the Brit's inventive designs for this film was the RBTV Studios where Fearless Leader unleashes his plans for global domination. Occupying the entire perimeter of Universal's Stage 16, the spectacular set included a wall of Toshiba video monitors, 48 in all, which became a huge video playback screen where Fearless Leader addresses the nation on Election Day.

Once filming concluded on the stage sets, the company began a nine-week, nine-county sojourn throughout southern, central and northern California. Although their travels didn't include a stopover in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, sites in the Golden State doubled for such far off places as Oklahoma, Illinois, Washington D.C. and (on the Universal backlot) the Big Apple. The company also went from an ‘Apple' to an ‘Orange'—that is, the City of Orange, where the filmmakers spent eight days at Chapman College, a small liberal arts school that portrayed Bullwinkle's alma mater of Wossamotta U. in the film.

According to veteran location manager Murray Miller (The Negotiator), "Chapman had the right architectural style, a quaint, small, Midwestern look. Wossamotta U. is supposed to be in Illinois. There's a whole slew of four-year liberal arts colleges scattered around the Midwest like in Galesburg, Illinois and Beloit, Wisconsin. Chapman certainly had that sense to it. We were trying to recreate a Jay Wardesque kind of world." In keeping with that motif, Bocquet's art department renamed all the campus buildings after Ward and some of his classic characters, like Peabody Hall, Aesop's Library and "J" Ward Infirmary.

Another key location that figured into the production was the coastal town of Guadalupe in California's Santa Ynez Valley, where some of the world's best wine is produced. The filmmakers chose the site for its vintage movie theatre, the Royal, after looking at dozens of other small-town cinemas dotting the California landscape.

The Warner Bros.' lot became Phony Pictures Studios after the art department redecorated the historic backlot with some signage and a front gate, and the production also shot for three days at Warner's sister studio, Warner-Hollywood. The old Samuel Goldwyn Studios in West Hollywood is where Bocquet's crew designed the infamous lighthouse so FBI agent Sympathy could ‘greenlight' the project.

According to Alexander, "When my kids came to the set, they thought I looked very funny, a step in the right direction. We had these big three-dimensional cut-outs of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and they found them very appealing. The puns and double ente


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