In The Heights (movie)

Started by scenicdesign71, Dec 15, 2019, 06:30 am

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scenicdesign71

Dec 15, 2019, 06:30 am Last Edit: Jan 03, 2020, 03:16 pm by scenicdesign71
Coming in summer 2020.  SO. EXCITED.



scenicdesign71

Dec 15, 2019, 07:44 am #1 Last Edit: Dec 19, 2019, 03:17 pm by scenicdesign71
So here's something extra crazy: that shot of a pair of dancers joyfully pirouetting right up the side of a building, at exactly two minutes into the trailer?  It turns out, they're essentially dancing right above my bedroom window (it's a six-story building, I live on the fifth floor).

By which I mean:

Granted, the "building" they're dancing on isn't real (obviously, given the only-in-a-movie-musical antigravity by which they appear to do so): it's a studio set -- one I actually worked on, briefly, between stints on location -- of a building façade laid flat, as a floor, with the background (street, sunset, Jay Hood Wright Park and Geo. Washington Bridge in the distance and Fort Lee, NJ on the horizon) all CGI'd in afterward.

And granted, this set doesn't exactly match the actual building that sits at that location (relative to the park and the GWB) in real-life Washington Heights.  The architectural detail, the color of the brick, and the fire escapes are all visibly different than the actual building at that site (which I live in) -- in fact, they're a much closer match to one of the buildings at the intersection used for most of the film's "neighborhood" exteriors, which is actually several blocks north and east of JHW park (whence also comes the promenade view of the bridge at 00:15 and 01:05).  They've shifted things around to move that intersection closer to the GWB than it actually is, and to bring both the building and the park a bit closer to the river itself.

But still: this shot, albeit of an essentially imaginary, digitally-improved Heights, clearly indicates a westward-looking vantage point from a building situated catty-corner to the southeast edge of a JHW-like park on the west side of Upper Manhattan a few blocks below the GWB, with the camera hovering outside a top (sixth)-floor, north-facing window, several windows east of the corner.  And for all the f/x wizardry -- I especially love the pigeons being startled from their roost by the dancers! -- it's a little eerie how much this shot feels like I'm looking out my own window, or more precisely that of my upstairs neighbors.  For comparison, here's a screencap next to a pic I actually took from my apartment window (north-facing, several windows east of the corner, catty-corner to the southeast edge of JHWP, looking west) last June, on one of the evenings when they were filming (a different scene, notwithstanding the strikingly similar sunset) in the park:

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from the trailer (turned 90º)                                                    from my window (cropped)


scenicdesign71

Dec 16, 2019, 06:42 am #2 Last Edit: Dec 20, 2019, 07:34 pm by scenicdesign71
My mistake, it really isn't my building at all.  :))

The angle of the bridge was bothering me, and I wasn't 100% sure whether "my" park, Jay Hood Wright, is actually the only one in the vicinity that could've been used for that CGI background.

Park-wise, proper, it is; and it for sure is where that promenade scene was shot (I visited while they were filming).  But further investigation turned up a little unnamed patch of green -- basically an oversize traffic island with a few trees on it -- just a couple blocks higher up and closer to the river, at the corner of 177th and Cabrini, which is clearly what they used for the background of that dancing-up-the-wall shot.

Voilà, Google Earth -- it forced me to choose between street-level (which left the bridge entirely obscured by trees) and this way-above-building-height aerial view, but if you compare the details closely with the trailer screencap, you can definitely tell that this is the location they used for that background:

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It's possible that they're intentionally conflating the greenery on 177th with that of JHW Park for purposes of the movie's fictionalized geography.  But for that particular shot, they didn't need to digitally pull the bridge downtown or push the park closer to the Hudson: it's all there -- though not the same "park" -- in a single view, from 177th.

DiveMilw

Quote from: scenicdesign71 on Dec 16, 2019, 06:42 amIt's possible that they're intentionally conflating the greenery on 177th with that of JHW Park for purposes of the movie's fictionalized geography.  But for that particular shot, they didn't need to pull the bridge downtown or push the "park" closer to the Hudson: it's all there -- though not the same park -- in a single view, from 177th.

I prefer to believe it was to protect your privacy.  They didn't want uber-fans to flock to your apartment and keep you up at night.  However, I think you should allow @LeonoraArmfeldt to point out the location when he starts his guided tours next summer.   8)
I no longer long for the old view!

scenicdesign71

New trailer.  June 18:



scenicdesign71


scenicdesign71

Mar 20, 2021, 04:20 pm #6 Last Edit: Mar 21, 2021, 04:16 am by scenicdesign71
Good lord, the date's been moved again -- but this time it's closer instead of farther-off (the producers cite a surge of demand unleashed by these latest trailers, but who knows what that means in concrete terms, if anything; I'm just happy to get to see the movie a week sooner).

June 11, in theaters and on HBO Max.

In other news, it was announced last month that ITH's director John M. Chu has been tapped to direct the Wicked movie.



Bobster

Yes, it will be interesting to see how "our neighborhood" is portrayed (I'm just South of Dyckman).

scenicdesign71