New York City has a fine pedigree of films and TV shows that have been filmed here. NYC acts as a character in many of the silver screens most celebrated modern and classic films. It shouldn’t surprise any of us that setting your story in NYC is desirable for directors and showrunners to add some legitimacy to their story… but not all of the NYC stories we see are filmed here. For financial and practical reasons producers decide to recreate the city in other locations, check out the 7 most popular below:
Northern England’s industrial/shipping cities are often uses as replica’s for New York. Manchester and Liverpool doubled as 1940’s Brooklyn for Captain America: The First Avenger. Pinewood Studios, affectionately known as the home of James Bond, has seen more than it’s fair share of big budget movies. Famously, in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, a version of Greenwich Village had to be built because of the directors fear of flying.
Film Makers in Europe, of American production companies eager to save money, are already familiar with Nu Boyana Film Studios. A curious fact about the NYC set here is that the buildings are forbidden from exceeding 20 meters in height. This means that budding indie-directors need to employ some serious CGI to recreate Manhattans epic sky-scrapers.
Do you remember the massive Brooklyn Bridge crash in The Fantastic Four? The crappy original, not the crappy 2015 remake (we know, it’s hard to keep track). Well that scene happened on a reconstructed bridge, in the Pacific Northwest. Only one of the four stars of the film even set foot in New York.
Atlanta has become a major hub for production of both TV and Cinema in recent years. Marvel’s new movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming is already filming there. If Queens’ favorite sun can’t tell the difference, how are we supposed to?
Another prime Canadian town to double as New York City is Toronto. The list of NYC movies filmed there is quite impressive; American Psycho, Max Payne, Kick Ass, The Incredible Hulk and the Olsen Twins comedy New York Minute to mention only a few.
When Martin Scorsese was looking for a backlot that could hold over a mile of reconstructed mid-1800s NYC streets he found Rome’s Cinecitta Studios. The New York City sets included a five-block area of lower Manhattan, the East River waterfront, Tammany Hall, the Five Points slum and thirty buildings on Lower Broadway.
No Surprises here, right? All the major studios have a NYC backlot. A large percentage of TV series that are set in New York City actually film on one of several studio LOs Angeles studio backlots, even our beloved How I Met Your Mother was filmed in LA. Warner Bros has the Hennessy Street area. The Paramount lot has facades built to look like Little Italy, Brooklyn and the Upper East Side. Universal lot has a realistic Wall Street, back alleys and more.