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HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE

Hooray for Hollywood
Hollywood Homicide is an irreverent homage to tinsel town. According to executive producer David Lester, the movie was a "rare opportunity to film Los Angeles as itself."

"Years ago – to save money – L.A. stood in for lots of other places. And you had to be careful not to shoot a palm tree," Lester continues. "Too often these days, economics have forced films to be shot in Canada or Eastern Europe. It was a real treat to be able to create a ‘postcard of L.A.' while telling a very L.A. story. As Ron's emphasis is always on character, ultimately everything else is just background. Yet it's great to say ‘This is Hollywood' with such authenticity."

Shelton has always been intrigued by Los Angeles. Hollywood Homicide is his way of sharing his interest with the audience, he says. "I grew up in Southern California, and though I've lived all over the country, I love this place. It's a complicated city and largely misunderstood. It's culturally and ethnically varied and has some serious problems, yet it's a triumphant place as well."

Production designer Jim Bissell tried to include as many recognizable locations in Hollywood and its environs as possible in the film. "We shot key scenes at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine, and the historic Pantages Theater.

Additionally, Harrison Ford's character resides in a classic California Spanish-style bungalow in the Los Feliz area (just east of Hollywood). Josh Hartnett's character lives in a quintessential Silverlake (which is right next to Los Feliz) bachelor pad.

Sartain (Isaiah Washington), the music mogul, lives in a modern mansion on Sunset Plaza Drive in the Hollywood Hills (just west of Hollywood).

While he used actual locations, Bissell took great care to heighten that reality to fit the mood of the story. "All the locales are a bit exaggerated, a bit theatrical," says Bissell. "Nonetheless, audiences will get a taste of what Hollywood living is all about. The film accurately captures both the more glamorous aspects and the seamier underbelly of the town."

It was a welcome challenge for director of photography Barry Peterson to "capture Hollywood as a stylized, exciting place," he says, "especially considering that the film contains a great deal of action and many scenes photographed inside cars. In addition, we shot in some very large spaces with throngs of extras, but we always had to maintain the focus on our principal characters."

Dark Blue, the most recent film on which Peterson collaborated with Shelton, is also set in Los Angeles, but required a gritty, urban look. "Hollywood Homicide was just the opposite," Peterson explains. "We were after a more polished, sophisticated tone. The attempt was to create the look and feel of a classic Hollywood movie," to which he quickly adds, "the Hollywood people see in their minds based on their film going experiences."

The locations Shelton used covered a wide swath of Los Angeles, showing off the city's diversity and style. Included are such familiar places as Santa Monica beach, the Los Angeles Harbor and the city's recently constructed Metro sys

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