For some reason I’m up late watching Conquest of the Planet of the Apes on Sci-Fi Channel. I don’t know the exact reason for watching it other than it happens to be on and I like Planet of the Apes movies. This is the one where the apes revolt against their human oppressors and take over the planet in futuristic 1991. The movie was actually released in 1972 and was partially filmed in the then very futuristic-looking Century City Mall — now known as Westfield Century City.
A great deal of the film was also shot at the very nice UC Irvine Campus as well. The college’s buildings have also seen quite a bit of film production over the years, including this Apes film and sequences from other films like Ocean’s Eleven, Poltergeist and TVs Arrested Development.
If you ever get to Irvine, or better yet, LA you can go to the mall and see the actual locations used in the film. They are still there and in most cases look pretty much the same. Century City is a pretty popular area where other films like Die Hard and Liar Liar (starring Jim Carrey) were filmed — which makes sense, especially in the case of Die Hard, as the entire area used to be part of the giant backlot of 20th Century Fox Studios. In fact, the infamous Nakatomi building in the film is actually the Fox Tower.
But really, you can’t go very many places in LA without seeing a place where something was filmed for some movie or TV show. In fact, its hard to drive through the city sometimes without running into some actual filming taking place on the streets, in the buildings or at the swimming pool of your favorite hotel.
You can always tell when you see old and obviouly retired motocycle cops sitting on their motorcycles on the side of the road that you’re getting near to some film or TV production. Orange cones are many times a telltale sign as well. Also, look for the big trucks filled with all sorts of equipment and a whole bunch of people mostly standing around waiting to spring into action at a moments notice.
Really, that’s what a lot of film and TV production is — standing around. Well, sometimes, if you’re smart and/or important, you actually get to sit. Either way, you end up waiting for the opportunity to do something much of the time. Not that people who work in production don’t work very, very, very hard. They do, believe me. I’ve been there. Its just that you have a lot of downtime and waiting around and then a period of intense activity. Then, its back to waiting again. That’s just the nature of the business. Hurry up and wait.