About The Production
EDtv began principal photography on location in San Francisco on March 31, 1998
principal photography on location in San Francisco on March 31,
1998. The film concluded production at Universal Studios in Los
Angeles on July 2, 1998. Writers Ganz and Mandel set their story
in San Francisco after originally looking to the east coast (and
Paramus, New Jersey) for the locale of EDtv.
"We liked Paramus because we're New Yorkers and we like that
sound," Ganz relates. "We wrote the whole thing with
a kind of New York rhythm, an eastern urban rhythm. Whenever I'm
back in the New York area, I notice it doesn't sound any different
at all after 25 years. It's a slam dunk for us to create that
sound. I guess we thought that the media, this cable channel,
would be based in New York."
"We talked about it being a New York picture basically,"
adds Howard, who shot his last feature, Ransom, on the
streets of Manhattan. "Then we thought Los Angeles. Both
cities, we felt, were a little too large to be sort of captivated
by an event like EDtv."
"Now, of course, EDtv goes national, but it begins
on a local level," the director emphasizes. "But, it
needed to be a big city, a media center, a center of popular culture.
I also wanted Ed to be out and about, not stuck in his car out
in the suburbs. San Francisco seemed to be a great place. It's
also wonderful to shoot there, looks great and very diverse. And
those hills! You can be funnier in San Francisco than other places
because of the hills."
Production designer Michael Corenblith, joining Howard for their
third consecutive project together, embellishes his colleagues
comments about the choice of placing Ed's story in the picturesque
City by the Bay.
"Because of the nature of the story with its blue-collar
roots, we talked about movies that were actually slick productions
that looked very real, thus the word 'verisimilitude' was brought
to the design process," the Oscar-nominated (Apollo 13)
talent offers. "We looked at pictures like Murel's
Wedding and The Full Monty, both terrific-looking movies.
Because they were both foreign films, what you see is a documentary
realism to them. One I'm very fond of is a movie called The
Commitments, a wonderfully designed picture. To the viewer,
there are such documentary elements to the basic nature of EDtv
. We really wanted to make the settings and the scenery real
in that sense."
"The film was many things, one being a romantic comedy,"
Corenblith continues. "I felt that being in the Northeast
even in spring was wrong. It would still be on the gray side,
and the trees were still going to be bare. I wanted a foundation
that was a little more friendly, a little more hopeful, not urban
grit. Ed's becoming famous, becoming recognized, truly required
a pedestrian environment. Associate producer Louisa Velis was
the first advocate of San Francisco, which seemed like such a
During the company's three-week stay in Fog City beginning in
late March, Howard filmed at over thirty sites around town, including
the city's vibrant Chinatown, the majestic Palace of Fine Arts,
Yerba Buena Gardens and the Center for the Arts, the aging Castro
movie palace, the Russian Hill and Prorrero Hill neighborhoods
where Ed and his family reside, and the San Jose Hockey Arena,
where Ed is invited to drive the ice-clearing Zamboni machine.
The company shot this unique sequence during two period intermiss
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