The new Amazon show, Man in the High Castle is (loosely) based on the 1962 book by Philip P. Dick that reimagines the United States if the Allied forces had lost World War II. The East Coast to the Rocky Mountains, known as the “Greater Nazi Reich,” is ruled by the Nazi regime. The Japanese Pacific States in the west is ruled by the Japanese, with a thin Neutral Zone in the center of the country serving as a buffer between the two. The show takes place across the country, with two home bases – New York City and San Francisco, and traces the lives of two main characters – Juliana Crain and Joe Blake, two characters from opposite sides of the country who meet in Canon City in the neural zone.
A lot of the show’s establishing shots are edited with CGI, put on top of familiar places, the city of Seattle serves as some stand-ins for both New York City and San Francisco, while the interiors are clearly filmed on sets. We’ll focus first on locations set in and near New York City, then move to San Francisco and other locations.
Master of None, released Friday November 6th on Netflix, has quickly become an over-weekend sensation (we admit, we binge watched the whole first season). The New York City-set comedy stars Aziz Ansari with a cast of hilarious regulars like Noël Wells from SNL, Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu, and Lena Waithe, and guest stars like Claire Danes, Busta Rhymes, Noah Emmerich, and Colin Salmon. Attacking relatable subjects like dating, immigrant parents, children (or lack thereof) and more, the show brings a levity to even difficult subjects clearly close to the hearts of creators Ansari and Kevin Yang, from debates about minority casting in television to politics (even finding a way to cleverly diss Bobby Jindal in a funny way).
Equally fun for us has been tracking down the film locations in Master of None, featuring some of our favorite spots in New York City. Whatw we love about the Master of None locations are that they all feel like neighborhood spots Ansari and his team probably already hang out at, rather than some all out film scouting affair. Without further ado, here are the locations in season one:
The Walk, a film by Robert Zemeckis and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt tells the story of tight rope walker Philippe Petit who gave New Yorkers a 45-minute performance atop a wire between the original World Trade Center towers on the morning of August 7th, 1974. The subject of an impressive Academy Award-wining documentary, Man on Wire, Petit will get the big screen treatment in The Walk, which opens on September 30th. While the story is amazingly true, the promotional poster, featuring star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit, gets one major detail wrong: the location of the Twin Towers. The World Trade Center towers are placed in midtown Manhattan, just next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, over 3.5 miles from where they belong on the west side of Lower Manhattan. Oops…
Dr. Louise Krasniewicz’s miniaturized ‘Rear Window’ set, on display at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures. Photo via Patch.com.
Fans of miniature sets and film locations will be excited to see that Alfred Hitchcock’s four-time Academy Award nominated Rear Window set has been miniaturized by artist and anthropologist Dr. Louise Krasniewicz. This intricate model, is on display at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures in Hastings-on-Hudson through November 25th. Designed at 1/12 the scale, the Rear Window model provides a detailed look at the fictional 1954 Greenwich Village set. The film, staring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, follows a fictional photographer, L.B. Jeffries (Stewart), recovering from a leg injury during a New York City summer heatwave. Confined to his wheelchair, he passes the time watching his Greenwich Village neighbors.
The show Mozart in the Jungle, a commissioned series by Amazon for Prime Instant Video will return for a second season this fall starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke and Jason Schwartzman. Based in New York City and inspired by the book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, a memoir by oboe player Blair Tindall, the show is set in New York City and follows the trials and tribulations of Hailey, an oboe player and her encounters with Rodrigo, the international superstar who is the new music director and conductor of the troubled (and fictional) New York Symphony.
Beyond an entertaining, binge-worthy first season, Mozart in the Jungle features some wonderful film locations, which urban explorers will recognize. It’s clear the film scouts on this show knows their stuff about New York City and its alternative side. Here are some highlights of New York City film locations from the first season:
Rockland Psychiatric Center, Exterior Set of Orange Is The New Black
Our readers have been eating up our roundup of film locations for the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black, but we wanted to share more in detail about the semi-abandoned Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, which serves as the exterior film set of Orange Is The New Black. The locale combines two of our favorite things: urban exploration and film locations. In fact, Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, headed back to Orangeburg, New York this past weekend on our suggestion to capture more shots of both the set area and the creepy abandoned buildings–he’s been filming this complex for quite some time. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll recognize many spots.