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About The Production
Production designer Marcia Hinds worked closely with Will Gluck, a Manhattan native, to find the film's locations. "Annie is an iconic story that's been told before - our approach is a contemporary one, with New York as its backdrop. It was important to Will and to all of us to give it a more realistic tone and look," says Hinds, who also designed Gluck's previous films Easy A and Friends with Benefits.

From Harlem to Washington Heights to the Upper West Side, from the Guggenheim Museum on 5th Avenue to the modernistic buildings of John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Tenth Avenue, the filmmakers took advantage of everything New York had to offer. Annie sings "Tomorrow" on a lively strip of Lexington Avenue, between 115th and 117th Streets in East Harlem, while the East Side Community School on East 12th Street downtown filled in for Annie's Harlem school. Tribeca's Cortlandt Alley provided the location for Annie first meeting her dog, Sandy, while the Wall Street heliport was the taking off point for Stacks' helicopter, and Greenwich Village's Cafe Cluny on West 12th Street filled in for Domani, an Italian restaurant where Annie hopes her parents will return.

However, perhaps the film's most spectacular location was 4 World Trade Center, a state-of-the-art skyscraper where the production filmed the interiors of Stacks' luxurious penthouse apartment. Hinds and her team had searched far and wide for just the right home - open and modern, with spectacular views - that would befit the billionaire cell phone mogul Will Stacks. "Will Stacks had to live on the top of the world," Hinds explains.

It's hard enough to find such a place if you actually want to live there - imagine trying to find one that can support a major motion picture. But then, opportunity knocked. "Just on a fluke, somebody said, 'Well, 4 World Trade Center's not open yet,' and we asked to see it," she remembers. "Then once we saw it, we had to get in there. The Locations department worked and worked and worked, and the building allowed us in. They had their grand opening two weeks after we finished."

In Lower Manhattan, 4 World Trade Center was still under construction when Annie filmed there; all equipment had to be loaded in with a construction hoist on the exterior of the building. "We'd bring our hardhats with Annie across the top on the elevator ride, and all the construction workers would break out into 'It's the Hard-Knock Life,'" Hinds laughs.

The 72-story edifice, designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, offered floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of One World Trade, the tallest building in New York, and the rest of the Manhattan skyline visible in every direction. Stacks' magnificent apartment was built from scratch in the building's raw space, and Gluck, Hinds, and cinematographer Michael Grady also made the most of 4 World Trade Center's distinctive terrace on the 57th floor, which filled in for Stacks' personal outdoor terrace.

Right across the Hudson River from 4 World Trade Center, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, the filmmakers shot the film's climax, as Stacks, in his helicopter, comes to Annie's rescue. A real helicopter was also used not only for exterior shots, but for several scenes that take place inside the Stacks corporate helicopter with Annie and Stacks. "It was Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, me and the camera person up in the helicopter for four hours," Will Gluck remembers. "It's all real, no green screen."

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