The Real Life Homes of Neighbors
One of the advantages of living in Los Angeles, and specifically West Adams, is that the Movies come a calling when they need locations. If you're a homeowner you get a nice little dividend from the production company to move out for a few days or longer.
There are tons of homes in the Book that have been featured in film and TV - here we've got the homes of Neighbors, a new comedy opening today in the States. The film spent weeks shooting in the Western Heights neighborhood of West Adams. Above you can see the 'good guy' home of the film's Seth Rogen. Seen below is the frat house, located next door in the film and in real life, inhabited by Seth's nemesis Zac Efron.
Looking at the trailer for the film looks like not much was need to convert the Efron home to a frat house; just whack on a fraternity-esque sign and you're done.
Here we've got a shot of the neighborhood, with the 'frat house' at right.
West Adams neighborhoods like Western Heights, Kinney Heights and Victoria Park are perfect for our traditional commercial cinema. In that these extraordinarily artful homes in quiet locales, (great for shooting - no hustle and bustle from major traffic arteries), convey that seductive American Dream quality of beauty, safety and quiet joy that has been the backdrop for so much of consumer film.
The effect of the use of these homes is interesting to me in the sense that these structures are extraordinary, these neighborhoods are extraordinary, yet since they're used by movies to portray the ordinary the end result is that to the rest of the world the U.S. seems full of the greatest of riches; what is extraordinary to them is ordinary to us.
Here's a few more examples from the Book of shows shot in West Adams. Below you see the Insidious home, followed by the You, Me and Dupree bungalow, the funeral home from Six Feet Under and finally the rear of Shia Labeouf's home in the Transformers pics.
I'll be discussing Neighbors on the Show this week. Will be curious to see how the neighborhood is portrayed; will it be simplistically shown; as flat, idyllic? Or something more? We'll see.
UPDATE: Have just come back from the film, was impressed that the production used the interiors as well as the exteriors - possibly as a cost-saving measure?, (rumored low-budget of $18 million dollars). Anyhew, the show got a lot of use out of the block, West Adams in general and the interiors. As a bonus pic here's the attic of the Zac Efron house which Neighbors uses as the bedroom for Zac, plus an 'oral history' audio clip of the current owners talking about the attic. Turns out this isn't 'art-directed' for the movie - the attic came like this.