Production in Atlanta
From the first scene in the movie, many visitors to Atlanta will know exactly
where the action is about to take place. With its lush neighborhoods and
industrial inlets, Atlanta is home to both ends of the Southern hospitality
spectrum. That said, it also brings in the seedy underworld of crime-and
international crime at that. Atlanta's industrial culs-de-sac shrouded in
darkness are perfect for the surly happenings in this story.
On the flip side are the suburban neighborhoods, quaint and quiet, straight
out of Southern Living magazine. Still, Atlanta has a strong urban community and
nothing says Atlanta urban life more than a black car with a matte finish, which
James rides so effortlessly through the streets of Georgia's capital city.
The streets of Atlanta are accommodating ushers to the foils and follies this
adventure entails. Even on the basketball courts where everything goes down in
the neighborhood-future all-stars learn the fundamentals of the game, cops shake
down potential informants and deals are signed, sealed and delivered on
everything from drugs to campaign votes. Packer says shooting in this Southern
city was all part of the master plan. "We wanted the movie to feel real and to
utilize our resources the best we could. We wanted to shoot
James tries to show Ben how it's done on the streets.
Atlanta for Atlanta and get a feel of the rhythms and the movement and pulse
Alvarez explains that shooting on practical locations in a city like Atlanta,
where both Cube and Hart have large fan bases, presented crowd-control issues at
times. He says: "You always have to factor in interruptions here or there
because the guys are going to give autographs and both of them are very gracious
stars and respect and appreciate their fan base. They want to take the time to
go sign autographs and take pictures, because they know those are the people
that are going to buy tickets to their movies, concerts or stand-ups."
The citizens of Atlanta who were on the sidelines cheered on the cast
whenever they had the opportunity. Reflects Hart: "It was cool. We were in these
neighborhoods. We took the time to stop in between takes and speak and shake
hands and take pictures and show appreciation to our fans who are supporting
Cube agrees, "In Atlanta, it's cool to pick the landmarks and let them ride.
The people were real cool and receptive and excited that we were there filming.
Not too often do you find excited extras on a movie set, but people were very
excited that Hollywood basically invaded Atlanta."
Just like any other Southern town, there are the gated communities that
cuddle the social microcosms of those who can afford to get in to acquire that
house of their very own. Still, with its gun ranges, this is what Atlanta
represents-the old-timey Southern culture strolling alongside progressive
liberals-living hand in hand.
Old warehouse factories symbolize Atlanta as an industrial leader throughout
history. Some of those old factories have been converted to upscale condos and
such, and the remaining abandoned ones serve as perfect places for the grand
showdown in Ride Along. Story says that although he has directed movies on
contained soundstages, being on location always brings another layer to the
finished product: "I looked forward to taking the elements of a city, which are
things that we could not art direct or things that we could not create. That
made the process feel organic."
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