By Nina J P Evans

Sunday, November 09, 2014


A very popular concept is to visit film locations. I’m guessing primarily that a lot of research needs doing, as it would be disappointing to discover the background sets were CGI or a mock-set, filmed entirely in the studios that doesn’t exist otherwise. New York is notoriously rich in film locations from the Hollywood years to present day. With such greats as: An Affair to Remember to Breakfast at Tiffany’s and  Ghostbusters and Bridge of Spies. These concept photographs by Chirstopher Moloney were first featured in the classic Vanity Fair magazine.

He describes the original concept of FILMography as film and photography fused together. As seen from the photographs he matches movie scenes with their present day location: kind of like movie selfies if there is such terminology, it adds a certain authenticity to the endeavour that otherwise could be mistaken for being photoshopped. I like his upbeat thoughts discussing the art project, describing how he’s re-created a remarkable 250 location photographs around the city of New York, and finds it a little hard to believe that very different directorial styles and genres coexist within the city districts of the same New York. The photographs featured are credited at the bottom of the article to encourage a bit of guesswork. Here are just a few examples please do checkout FILMography. The piece below was written by Jonathan Pace, Chris Rovzar and Jeremy Megraw, and decided to include as is.

Journalist Christopher Moloney walks to work through Central Park on most days, and last Summer he made an observation. “Every day I walked past tons of locations from popular—and not-so-popular—movies,” he explains. He decided to start printing out stills from the films and comparing them to their real-life counterparts. “Since then, I’ve re-created more than 250 scenes around the city.” His work—which includes movies as varied as Midnight Run, The French Connection, and Shaft—can be found at his Web site, FILMography. “I’m actually surprised that locations used in the 1940s and 1950s haven’t changed that much,” he says. “But places used in movies last year are virtually unrecognizable.” New York also changes depending on the director, Moloney adds. “You can tell just how much filmmakers like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee love the city. It’s sometimes hard to believe that those three very different places are all the same city.”

References: Filmography: Matching Cinematic Stills with Real Life

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, from Annie Hall, on 68th Street in Manhattan.
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, outside their apartment building on 71st Street, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Jane Fonda in Any Wednesday.
Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sleepy’s, from Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Whoopi Goldberg and Patrick Swayze walk past Lower Manhattan’s Federal Building in Ghost.
Jane Wyman and Van Johnson stroll in Central Park during Miracle in the Rain.
Cary Grant passes the entrance to the Plaza hotel in North by Northwest.
Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro walk by a largely unchanged information 6 booth in Grand Central during Midnight Run.
Midtown’s Grace Building makes a cameo in Superman.
Cary Grant at the New York Athletic Club, on Central Park South, in That Touch of Mink.
A subway tunnel at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue in The French Connection.

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