About The Locations
As with the casting, Crystal, Lehmann and executive producer Peter Schindler took great care to insure that "My Giant" would be a visually dynamic motion picture
As with the casting, Crystal, Lehmann and executive producer Peter
Schindler took great care to insure that "My Giant"
would be a visually dynamic motion picture. To this end, they
enlisted the services of three of cinema's best: cinematographer
Michael Coulter (Academy Award nominated for "Sense and Sensibility");
production designer Jackson DeGovia ("Speed"); and costume
designer Rita Ryack ("Apollo 13").
"My Giant" started shooting on June 19, 1997 in the
Czech Republic. This country doubled for Romania, for it was here
that the filmmakers found the most extraordinary castle to use
for the monastery and Max's cottage. The castle was surrounded
by picturesque pastures and villages; all required in the script.
"The Czech Republic was a natural location choice,"
says DeGovia "because it seems that giants in fairy stories
and literature come from middle or eastern Europe. The landscape
too, has the kind of dark craggy look, and the deep pine forests
of fairy tales."
The monastery was filmed at lovely Pernstein Castle in Brno, 130
miles and three hours outside of Prague. The 13th century structure
is considered one of the bestpreserved castles in Moravia.
Enchanting, yes. But comfortable, not really. Says executive producer
Schindler, "We had to bring our own electricity to the ancient
castle which had none, mobile phones didn't work in this remote
part of the country so the restaurant in the castle turned into
the film's production office giving the production just three
phones for everyone to use, and heavy rains and flooding interspersed
with sunshine made continuity a bit difficult. "
The village of Chotilsko and its surroundings were used for the
battle scenes of the film within a film sequence. Also, the production
employed 250 locals, who came from all over the country, to serve
as extras in this battle scene.
Road shots and a movie theater were filmed in the town of Sbotka,
an hour northeast of Prague. The filmmakers utilized a water tank
at Barrandou Studios in Prague to film a complicated underwater
sequence where Sammy in his car, go into a river.
But even with the inconveniences of a language barrier, adverse
weather conditions, lack of modern conveniences, and remote locales,
the production kept on schedule. "It was definitely a demanding
couple of weeks," says Schindler, "but it was so beautiful
there, and the local cast and crew were so cooperative; it was
The company moved on to New York City where it shot for three
days in and around Time Square and the Empire State Building.
Then it was off to the neon playground of Las Vegas where lack
of electricity was surely not an issue. The filmmakers filmed
at Caesar's Palace and downtown's Freemont Street for a week of
night shooting before returning to Los Angeles for the remainder
of the filming.
Diverse Los Angeles stood in for many national locations: the
city's Olympic Auditorium became "Cleveland Civic Auditorium;"
a Hollywood neighborhood served as Serena's Chicago home; and
Canyon Country, just outside the city, became Gallup, New Mexico.
Stages were built to replicate interiors for Max's Romanian home,
Las Vegas hotel suites, Sammy's parents' New York home, and his
fathers tailor shop.
After an arduous filming schedule, production on "My Giant"
wrapped in Los Angeles on September 12, 1997.
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