CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE
About The Locations
With the exception of the
Charles Townsend Agency, the film rarely ventures to the same location twice.
The Angels are in constant motion. Location manager Kenneth D. Lavet drove
hundreds of miles throughout the Los Angeles area to find the 30 or so diverse
locations McG envisioned for the film. "McG likes the idea of celebrating
Los Angeles, so there are a lot of iconic landmark locations in the film,"
explains Lavet. "He has an encyclopedic memory and knew of the best pop
locations in the city."
"One of our mantras,"
says McG "is that Charlie's Angels has been designed as a love
letter to the city of Los Angeles. Every location had to matter. Everything had
to be a landmark, to have historical significance. While there have been several
films that were paeans to the legacy of New York City, Los Angeles is often seen
as a more disposable city. But in our film you won't see any mini-malls. You'll
see a more hidden L.A., amazing locales like the ornate Los Angeles Theatre,
brilliant John Lautner-designed homes, extraordinary beaches that exist only on
the west coast of North America, the docks of San Pedro and the Griffith Park
Observatory, to name but a few."
Timing played a big part in what
locations were available. Sometimes, Lavet says, the production got lucky.
"Normally you can only shoot at the Griffith Park Observatory one day a
week when the facility is closed to the public. Because it was about to undergo
a massive renovation, we were able to slip in there and shoot for over a
McG had always wanted to use the
landmark, but never before had it been available at the right time. "I'm
very influenced by Rebel Without a Cause, which was shot up there. Plus,
it has an architectural quality that allows you to look at it in a big, wide
shot and it's very bold. It also has an â€˜angelic' quality in that it looks
over the City of Angels."
The Observatory is also a
dramatically significant icon and the location in which the character of Madison
Lee is finally revealed. "When I learned that the top piece of the
observatory telescope rotunda would rotate, I knew that I wanted to place her up
there," says McG. "We had to build a special rig to keep Demi from
falling because as it goes around it jerks and could have bucked her out. I love
the reveal when Natalie and Alex get a look at Madison and realize she's
betraying the Angels ethos. It's a powerful scene."
Another difficult location was
the house in which Liu's character resides, which is perched on a promontory
overlooking Beverly Hills with views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
The Sheets-Goldstein residence is a true architectural landmark and one of McG's
favorite L.A. houses. "It's a perfect synthesis of the city's
indoor-outdoor living experience, sort of the crowning achievement of architect
John Lautner's career," McG smiles.
For the motocross sequence,
explains Lavet, "McG wanted the event to be more of an illicit motorcycle
race than one held in a stadium. He wanted a covert event where riders pay a fee
and winner takes all."
"I wanted to create a
stark, dangerous backdrop," says McG. "We found an old coalfield in
San Pedro and cleared out all the coal, creating a 360-degree stadium made of
coal. All you get is the composition of blue sky, black coal and then these
almost animatronic athletes a hundred feet in the air doing flips and pop
wheelies. It was just the sort<
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