My name is Chas Demster and I live in Warsaw, Indiana. I am in my 40s and one of my biggest hobbies is visiting filming locations from my favorite movies and television shows. Since I live in Indiana I am not too far away from the wonderful city of Chicago so any time I get the urge to take pictures I am not that far away. For years I been interested in seeing filming locations in person. There is something neat about standing there and looking at a filming location where movie magic happened years ago. For the last 4 years I have made a trip to Los Angeles and set out on an adventure to visit as many filming locations as possible which always ends up being so many that I wonder where the time went as before I know it I am heading back to Indiana totally sad that the trip is over.
How I Got Interested in the Hobby:
When I was 13 years old, my now deceased family friend from Chicago Mark Schnolis asked my family if we wanted to see where a couple of locations were filmed from the movie "The Blues Brothers." He took us over to the 95th Street bridge which the Blues Brothers jumped in the movie and then to the Triple Rock Church. I was instantly fascinated at seeing these two locations and every time I saw the movie I would tell my friends about seeing these places in person. This lasted all the way through college when one of my friends asked why I didn't have any pictures of them.
The Obsession Has Now Started:
A few years after I graduated from college any time I went somewhere the camera would always be with me. I happened go to Georgia for a short vacation and visited some of the locations from "My Cousin Vinny." I got my pictures and had to show them off to my friends and they seemed to like them and before I knew it we were watching the movie again and comparing the pictures to the way the movie looked. I was so hooked that soon after that I was in Chicago taking pictures of those Blues Brothers locations I visited as a kid.
I Needed to Feed my Obsession but How:
All I knew was that I had a bunch of favorite movies in my mind but I didn't know where these filming locations were from these great movies. I learned that as these movies were being released on DVD that a lot of them had director's commentary and sometimes they would say where a certain location was so here I was writing it down and keeping notes in a small notebook for the next time I was in Chicago. I can't tell you how many times I yelled at my screen when a location would go by and nothing was said about it. HA
I Needed to Start Thinking Outside the Box:
Besides the obvious street signs in the background or the name on a building I needed to think how could figure out where these locations were. I know that maybe I could find information on the internet as there were some great websites out there including a great site on the filming locations from the John Hughes movies which can be found here: John Hughes Filming Locations This site definitely fed my hunger for Chicago filming locations as they did a bunch of research.
My First Movie Location Hunt in Chicago:
One day my late father and I headed to Chicago with many maps in hand on where to find these places. By the time we were finished I felt we had been through every northern suburb of Chicago. On my way home all I could think about was developing my pictures so I could relive the experience and pop in the movies to watch them again.
The Invent of the Digital Camera:
I think the digital camera was meant for people like us, the location buffs, as the thing I learned when being at these locations was to take many pictures from different angles as you never know when a picture could be blurry or just not look good. When you have that digital camera you can choose which picture to print.
The Obsession Has Now Grown All the Way to Los Angeles:
I thought to myself that if I have this much fun in Chicago with this hobby then I wonder how many locations could I find in the filming capital of the world in Los Angeles. Back in 2001 I knew very little about the city and here I was again looking for websites that may possibly have information on filming locations. Well one day I found my holy grail in the website called Seeing Stars.com I would go there night after night writing down addresses of places that I wanted to see some day. One day I figured what the heck I should write an e-mail to this person to say thank you and it turned out being now a 7 year friendship.
Learning From the Master:
Gary from Seeing Stars started teaching me the tricks of the trade on how to properly find these filming locations. He taught me about the different types of neighborhoods there are in Los Angeles County. He told me about Bing Maps or at the time called maps.local.live where you could use the birdseye view and you could go up and down the streets of neighborhoods trying to find buildings, houses, etc. He also taught me how to look at shadows in scenes to show the possible view the camera had which can get you started looking in the proper direction for places. Eventually Google street views started coming along and it gave us a new perspective on finding things. The most important thing the master did for me was give me his time. Even though he is a very busy man he will always be there for me to help out by either looking for it himself or tell me a certain area to start looking. He is so good at finding things!!! I can't thank Gary enough for all he has done for me in this obsession of mine and because of that I will always take time to look for him and try to help him out too.
A Few Tips On Making Trips to Los Angeles:
My favorite vacation is my yearly trip to the great city of Los Angeles. Even if you are not into seeking out filming locations there are so many other things you can do there. The weather is usually great which always helps when taking pictures. Besides taking the trips to all of the towns the surround LA for filming locations remember there are three studios that can be a lot of fun to tour. Every year I have to take my annual tour of Warner Brothers as that was the home to my favorite show Gilmore Girls. Paramount Studios and Universal Studios are supposed to be great too but so far I have not been to either of them yet but some day I will. Make sure you take advantage of going along the Pacific Coast Highway and also seeing the Santa Monica Pier. If you want to get away from the city life and still want to be close to the city then you need to visit Griffith Park. There are great views too. If you want to see a lot of filming locations in LA but are scared of that traffic you hear about then do a lot of location stalking on Saturday and Sunday mornings as for some reason very few people are out during that time. This includes seeing stuff on the Sunset Strip and the best time to go to downtown Los Angeles.
Thank you for visiting my website and please stop back as I will always be adding new stuff to itsfilmedthere.com
I think you are the Chas that Lindsay from I am not a Stalker talks about. This is my first visit to your site, but not the last. I too am an avid "filming location visitor" and I think your site is great!! Keep up the great work.ReplyDelete
Thank You For The Kind Words.ReplyDelete
Wonderful site! Gary from Seeing Stars mentioned your name and your photos so I thought I'd check out your site:) I, too, am completely intrigued about where movies are filmed and how they look today in "real life". It is nice to find someone else who shares this passion! Great site:)
Great Brady Bunch info. Very thorough. I am just getting into researching this stuff. I am not sure why I am so intrigued by it, but it sure is fun. From one Hoosier to another, keep on stalking!
I like the fact you don't have films which shot somewhere else, but L.A. or Chicago get the credit because it is set there, and they shot some 'establishing' shots there.
You should check out Toronto - close to you and we've done hundreds and hundreds of films and TV series.
I just discovered your great site. You probably know me because I share the hobby about visiting filming locations. here my channel http://www.youtube.com/user/herveattia
I will be visiting Chicago 1st week of May to cover "blues brothers", "ferris bueller", "home alone", "the fury", "untouchables".
Your site was really helpful.
I found a splendid site today.ReplyDelete
Because I love "While You Were Sleeping", I'm interested in the location spot.
I investigated about Lucy's apartment and Callahan family house but it was impossible .
I'm glad because I was able to understand it at last.
Thank you very much, Chas!
Your site is awesome Chas. I stuumbled on it last night when I was trying to find out where the house in "Body Double" is (one of my favorite films) and I was on your site for hours. I'm from Michigan but have lived here in L.A. for the past 25 years and I still find it fascinating when I see a film crew and always ask what they are filming. Keep up the great work.ReplyDelete
Very cool site! I got a question for you though, what is the Stir Of Echoes neighborhood like? Is it peaceful or full of crime? Just not sure because I thought of visiting there myself...ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your work. What a great site. Love the Southland locations. :O)ReplyDelete
Hi. There is another Southland fan site that posts information about locations. I hope that if they do get information from this site, that they at least acknowledge and credit you.ReplyDelete
That is just the proper thing to do.
I`m from Germany and found your site last week.
Really great. You made a fantactic job!
I would like to write you some personal lines.
Which email address would be suitable for this
Hi, thank you for the nice words. You can write to me on the website e-mail address... email@example.com I look forward to reading to what you have to say.Delete
This site is INCREDIBLE! Thanks for the journey through the Bad News Bears location. I always wondered what it looked like then and now. Your pictures were great as you replicated movie shots. Thanks again and I will be back. Just curious...what year were your pics taken of the Bad News Bears field. Also...Is there any memorials to the movie on site (do they mention one of the greatest sport movies of all time was filmed there). Thanks and keep ip the great work. Stash (Maryland)ReplyDelete
great site Chas , ive watched the movie many many times from a very young age ...it got me into road cycling which i am still doing at the age of 44 . Im planning on visiting Bloomington sometime in the future . Hans , Christchurch, NZReplyDelete
Please post an e-mail address so I can contact you regarding Chicago locations. Have actual location sheets for Backdraft with addresses and photo's of the locations right after shooting finished.ReplyDelete
Sure it is firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
Didn't you used to have a page on "Rebel Without a Cause"? Somewhere I saw an item about the location of the alley behind the Stark house, but now I can't find it :-(ReplyDelete
Thanks again for your site. It satisfies my obsessions with movie locations, architecture and local history :-)
Docteur Hichem Mahmoud
It's great to read your obsession with filming sites. I'm from Chicago and work at UIC where many films and commercials have been filmed on campus and around the community. If you ever need some photos taken let me know. Yes I am a movie buff, especially of Chicago films.
A quick introduction from my end-Iam Chinmaya from Bangalore,India. The reason for my mail is that I understand that the "sons of the desert" are having their next convention at Hollywood and would want to know if you are attending it. You may check this for more details- http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/ .
Incase you or anyone whom you know are,please let me know as there are somethings that i want to discuss regarding the same.My id email@example.com Else,you may ignore this.
Regards and best wishes,
Does Chicago fire ever film in LA?ReplyDelete
Great site! I have goose bumps looking at some film sets I was actually on during filming. Red heat, Midnight Run, the untouchables, Child's play. I went to film school in Chicago and sneaking on these sets was a huge part of my education. Keep up the good work! cheers!ReplyDelete
normal life ... film location for book store ,.. roselle by train station.. its where the real one was..plaza east of parking lot.ReplyDelete
looking for the house too..... lot of the driving scenes when shr found out he robbed banks was on walnut.. in schaumburg..ReplyDelete
Neat and great site Chas. I am also into filming. I've been a fanatic of Hollywood movies ever since when I was 13 years old. Now, I am currently employed as online marketer that is related in filming location. I am wondering if you could list our website into your list of neat websites.ReplyDelete
Here's our website: http://5401olympic.com
It is filming location in Los Angeles.
Thanks and God Bless.
Great stuff, Chas! Nice to see other people have the same fascination (obsession) with filming locations as I do! Keep up the great work!ReplyDelete
Hi, I am wondering if you if fans can go and visit the filming of Chicago PD. I am a huge Sophia Bush fan and I never got the chance to see her filming in NC and now that she isnt to far from me I would love to go and watch them film if they do that.ReplyDelete
If you happen to know where they are filming then yes. There is the usual security that you would expect but most of the actors will come over and thank the fans.Delete
Very nice work. I couldn't resist adding a comment to your "Into The Night" collection since I was in one of the photos. Best wishes.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the help with "The Amateurs" locations...I try to figure out video store address locations for my Imdb list "Ghek Remembers Video Stores and their Employees in movies" http://www.imdb.com/list/ls058196561 With google and streetview I have figured out quite a few on my own....but mostly I think of it as a group effort and I might have an address you might be interested in.ReplyDelete
I am always happy to get a missing address. :)Delete
In the list of Chicago movies you omitted Wicker Park, quite possibly the crappiest movie ever made. Just thought you'd like to know... :)ReplyDelete
Really like your website!!
Thanks for doing this website, I just now discovered it. I am an ex-Chicagoan & Chicago film locations are also a hobby of mine. When I have more time, I think that I could add some stuff. Thanks JimReplyDelete
Thank you for the kind words. I look forward to what you may know.Delete
Came here because I watched Falling Down and really wanted to see the sites as they are now. Crazy how much they have changed. Thanks for the awesome work Chas!ReplyDelete
Hi. I wonder if it would be possible for you (and if you're interested) in documenting the place where "The House by the Cemetery" was recorded. According to imdb it's "Ellis Estate House - 709 Country Way, Scituate, Massachusetts, USA" that I'm interested in. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082966/locationsReplyDelete
It would be so nice to see more great pictures of that creepy house today. Thank you.
Good work, Chas. I've recently become very interested in blogs of film locations. The internet is full of them.ReplyDelete
I found yours on a link from another site.
I grew up in Burbank, Ca... Yep, that Burbank. Earshot of many a studio. I'm an older fellow, 67, and many a TV and Movie were filmed there.
Sad to say, I have never, ever, toured Warner Bros even living so close to the Studios. Been to Disney and Universal years ago.
Anyway. Everywhere a So Cal native travels there is something connected to film. I was lucky to be raised and still living in So Cal.
Next time you get to LA, make it a point to get up to Griffith Observatory 'before' the crowd gets there. Even if you have to get up there two or three hours before it opens. The site and sounds of LA from the observatory is just plain awesome. Especially if very few people are around.
After your next tour of LA, make it a point to have lunch at Phillipes near Union Station and Olvera St.
Happy film hunting, Chas.
Thanks for the kind words. Since you grew up in Burbank maybe you know where the Oh God grocery store was located? It was an old Lucky's and was supposed to be in that area.Delete
There is a super market, no longer a Luckys though, that is just up the street from Warner Bros, that may be the one. It was there in '77.Delete
It's in a strip mall on Pass Ave and Verdugo Bl.
If you ever make it to Burbank, stay at the Marriot across street from Bob Hope Airport and be sure to eat at the Smoke House across from Warner Bros. The restaurant has been at that location since the Forties.Delete
I'm surprised that you don't have "Call Northside 777" listed, as it was shot almost entirely in Chicago.ReplyDelete
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Is the site still being updatedReplyDelete
You have a very nice hobby. I've been watching your website for a long time and I would like to thank you. Thanks to your website, I could find places in my favorite movie - Flatliners in google maps. Maybe one day I will go to Chicago and see them with my own eyes, although this is far from my country. By the way I check in Winnetka if Kevin is alone at home ...;)
Greetings from Poland
Very nice website , thank youReplyDelete
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Very nice website , thank you.ReplyDelete
Great job keep up the good work.i lo ove filming locations alsoReplyDelete
I really like this website, because I found a lot of places and story about these places from my favorite movies. Keep it up.ReplyDelete
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Just got done watching Rapid Fire with Brandon Lee. One of my all time favorites. Then I decided to see if anyone had done anything on the filming locations and stumbled across your website. Glad i did. Loving it! Thanks for capturing these scenes for us :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for the kind words. You're welcome and happy you are a fan of that movie.Delete
Thank you Chas for the wonderfully detailed information about filming locations for Chicago movies. I am doing a podcast, Altered Mobility, in which every few episodes I talk about a TV show or movie(s) where public spaces or transit are prominently displayed (the podcast is about the history of public spaces and publicly-available transportation). I found your information and photos about The Fugitive and Ferris Bueller's Day Off to be invaluable. Thank you! Such an interesting hobby you have pursued.ReplyDelete
Excellent site. Great resource. Congratulations and keep it up.ReplyDelete