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London And Paris
"In the first film,” says Jerry Bruckheimer, "the clues were all around us. But in this movie, the clues are all around the world.”

The internationalization of "National Treasure” came to fruition as the company departed U.S. shores and headed for a month of filming in and around London, with a sidebar trip to Paris, expanding the geographic horizons of the story as well as exploring the intersecting warp and weave of American, British and French history.

Two major sequences were set for filming in Great Britain: Ben, Abigail and Riley's incursion into the sanctum sanctorum of Buckingham Palace so that Gates can examine the Queen's version of the Resolute Desk for clues, and what might be the biggest and most elaborate car chase scene ever shot on the streets of London.

Bruckheimer and Turteltaub began with the "easier” scene first, and with the real Buckingham Palace obviously off-limits for reasons of privacy and security, the filmmakers secured the next best thing: Lancaster House, a truly resplendent palace in its own right, literally a stone's throw from its more famous neighbor and just next door to St. James Palace, which houses Prince Charles and his sons. Lancaster House was commissioned in 1825 by the Duke of York, and when the Duke passed on, the lease was purchased by the Marquess of Stafford, whose family occupied the house from 1829 until 1913. It was then bought by Lord Leverhulme, a Lancastrian, and its name changed its current appellation. Lancaster House is now operated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and is utilized for elegant functions and the occasional film.

The mansion, built of Bath stone in the Corinthian style, is relatively austere on the outside, but the interior—where the BOOK OF SECRETS company filmed—is quite ornate and decorative, mainly in Louis XIV style with a marvelous collection of paintings and objets d'art. A corner room on the second floor was converted by Dominic Watkins, UK supervising art director Gary Freeman, set decorator Fainche MacCarthy and propmasters Ritchie Kremer (U.S.) and David Balfour (U.K.) into Queen Elizabeth II's study with appropriate furnishings, decorations and props. However, scenes with Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha outside the gates of Buckingham Palace were actually permitted by the authorities and shot by Turteltaub on a brilliant Friday morning in early August. "The way we look at it,” says Turteltaub, "you just have to keep asking and keep pushing to get on these locations. And when it's done, you end up with beautiful representations of all these great places the world has to offer. There's no point in faking it when the real thing looks so good.”

The majority of the London shoot, however, was devoted to a rip-roaring, gut-clenching, street-clearing car-chase scene across a great swath of the city, which presented a kaleidoscope of hurdles for the company to overcome, creatively and technically. "We knew how logistically challenging it would be to film in London,” notes executive producer/unit production manager Barry Waldman, "and at one point even considered other countries in Europe which we could double for London and make it a little easier. But this is a movie in which Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub mandated that we would shoot only on actual locations. It just takes time to prepare, and the challenges are enormous. We decided to film the car chase mostly on weekends so that it would have the least amount of impact to the public. But we have two full film units shooting the chase simultaneously, which is a big undertaking for the London police. "I have to say that the authorities have been great,” continues Waldman. "We were respectful of their boundaries, but we're filmmakers, so we get paid to push the boundaries. Jerry and Jon are filmmakers who like to do ‘firsts,' and that

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