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On Location In The Big Apple
The filmmakers selected iconic Manhattan locations, including Central Park, Top of the Rock, Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, Shea Stadium and Times Square. "Anytime you get an opportunity to shoot in New York City, you take it,” producer Andrew Panay says. "It's a challenge in terms of the crowds and traffic, but wow, what an energy it gives to the performances.”

Adds director Walt Becker: "There are horns honking and people screaming for John and Robin in the middle of takes. But it's well worth the trouble.”

The director says they chose several unique locales for the production. "We shot the Bloomberg Building. We shot Top of the Rock, which has never been in a film before. I think we sold New York in a way that was special and unique.” Becker credits production designer David Gropman with creating an exciting visual palate. "I told Gropman that I want to be able to watch this film without the sound and still be entertained, and he pulled it off. He did a fantastic job,” he says.

One of the more challenging shooting days occurred at Shea Stadium, where filming took place during an actual ballgame. "Shooting during a live Mets game was a good idea on paper,” says Becker. "This was probably as close to combat as I've ever come. We had 15 minutes to shoot the entire thing. It was kind of guerrilla, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants filming. There were fans throwing stuff, taking pictures. I think I aged more in that 15 minutes than I ever have doing a scene. "We also did one of the bravest things ever tried in a production, which was to show our actors live on the Jumbotron,” Becker continues. "It was amazing, because you see Dan and Charlie up there and everybody's on the screen waving. There were our two old dogs in the middle of 40,000 cheering people and the Jumbotron read ‘Happy Grandparents Day.'

Just priceless. The Mets organization was so supportive.” After two weeks of filming in New York, the production moved to Connecticut. Several interior sets were constructed there, including Charlie's New York bachelor pad where Dan brings the kids to stay. Production designer David Gropman designed a two-story child-unfriendly apartment within a studio in Stanford. "We added the stairs, lots of glass, stainless steel and sharp edges,” he explains. "I also designed a large deck just outside the windows.

Executive producer Garrett Grant looked at my model and said, ‘Why don't you put a swimming pool out there?' So we put an infinity pool on the deck of a five-story New York apartment, which added the final touch to our kid-dangerous dwelling.”

Several breathtaking exterior locales were used, including the historical Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding, Conn., where Dan and Charlie take the children to the Pioneer Scout Jamboree. The park dates back to the 1800s, and Becker wanted to keep that authentic feel. "Walt wanted a real, classic camp look,” says Gropman. "So instead of using contemporary scout tents, we used beautiful canvas tents of all sizes. It was fun to do, because it was a beautiful location where we had this great Adirondack piece of architecture.”

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