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THE HOLIDAY

About The Production (Continued)
"Long distance relationships can work, you know.” — Graham

"Really? I can't make one work when I live in the same house with someone.” — Amanda

Production on The Holiday began in Los Angeles, then moved to England for a month before completing filming back in L.A. The California portion of the film is green and lush. In contrast, the English exteriors are very white – cold winter weather with snow and bare trees. The interiors, however, are the exact opposite. Iris' cottage is warm with color, while Amanda's house is sleek and modern – darks and lights without many colors in between.

Both Iris and Amanda are taken aback by their new surroundings. Amanda's Brentwood home conveys confidence with a stylish and contemporary decor, which immediately lifts Iris' low spirits. Iris lives on a much smaller scale in Shere, a quaint village in the English countryside that dates back to the 11th century.

Principal photography began on a quiet street of graceful homes in the Brentwood area on the Westside of Los Angeles. Real Santa Ana winds gave Meyers and her team a winter day as balmy as the one she had conjured up for her story. Nearby front lawns still displayed Santas, elves and reindeer, reminding anyone who might have forgotten that it really was January in Southern California.

Although Amanda's home is supposed to be in Brentwood, the exterior of the gated property the production used for the film is actually in San Marino, an exclusive suburb adjacent to Pasadena. Visionary Southern California architect Wallace Neff, whose commissions included Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks' legendary Pickfair mansion in Beverly Hills, built the Mission Revival house for his own family in 1928. The interiors of Amanda's house were filmed at Sony Studios in Culver City. "We wanted to make it look like a young woman in her 30s lived here, so we built a very updated interior onstage,” relates production designer Jon Hutman.

Hutman and U.K. locations manager Benjamin Greenacre searched long and hard for Iris' cottage. "We came upon Shere in Surrey (which is in the south of England) almost by chance,” says Hutman. "Once we found the perfect site, production began just up the hill from St. James Church and down the road from the 16th century White Horse Tavern.” The cottage interior was then built at Sony Studios in Culver City.

"It's quite a mad feeling to have just taken over this town – covering it in snow and Christmas decorations, stretching garlands across roads and placing lights in trees,” says Greenacre. "We became a huge tourist attraction. They were very generous with us – even when we had to close the local pub for a couple days.”

The production also filmed on a medieval street less than an hour away in Godalming, the first town in the world to give its citizens electric streetlights. The Holiday brought Christmas lights to Godalming's Church Street. "Combining the square in Shere with Godalming's Church Street made for the perfect village,” Hutman says.

Other Los Angeles locations included Arthur Abbott's house, which is in Brentwood and reflected the glamour of old Hollywood, according to Hutman. Miles' house was designed by Richard Neutra, the Vienna-born master of Southern California modernism and is situated on Neutra Place in L.A.'s Silverlake area, near downtown.

The majestic dining room where Amanda and Graham linger over lunch on a gloomy English afternoon was actually the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, though the exteriors for this montage sequence were filmed in England at the Georgian country house, Cornwell Manor. For Meyers, that montage was actually enhanced by the damp winter weather. "Lelouch said that A Man and a Woman had to take place in winter because it's the lovers who provide the warmth,” she says, "and that is one

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