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MY GIANT

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 worth it."

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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