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"Yes Man" - Production notes11 Dec 2008
By TNPihl (JCO Editor-In-Chief)
Director Peyton Reed envisioned an area of Los Angeles as the film’s main setting within the sprawling city, “a very specific part of L.A. that has little to do with the film and TV business,” he explains. “We set the film in and around Silverlake, Los Feliz and Echo Park, which have a nice mix of artists, young urban professionals. It’s an area I frequent a lot. I wanted to shoot on location as much as possible, and I’m very happy with the results.”
© Warner Bros. Pictures/Melissa Moseley
Production designer Andrew Laws was intrigued by Reed’s take on the movie’s version of Los Angeles. “It is truly an L.A. story—but an everyman’s L.A., rather than creating some fantasy world within the city,” furthers Laws. “Peyton wanted to use the setting as a way of grounding the characters and telling a story that speaks to the city and the people who live there.”
One of Laws’ favorite locations was the Bigfoot Lodge, “an actual bar and a very cool place. We all thought it would be a perfect place for these guys to hang out in.” Reed had been there over the years, and enjoyed featuring it in “Yes Man.”
In addition to establishing shots of the bar’s actual exterior, Laws and his team recreated the Bigfoot Lodge on Stage 23 on the Warner Bros. lot. “We were going to spend a lot of time shooting in that bar and we knew it would be very difficult to shoot all of our scenes in the venue, or to shut it down for an extended period of time,” says Laws. “So, we basically rebuilt the entire entrance and interior onstage, with the addition of a slightly expanded back area. When the guys from the Bigfoot came down to visit us, it was very surreal for them to walk into basically their own bar!”
Reed’s affection for the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of Los Angeles prompted other location choices, including the longtime Silverlake live music venue Spaceland. Reed, a musician himself, had performed with bands there and had also gone to see many music acts there over the years. In the film, Allison and her band, Munchausen By Proxy, perform at Spaceland while a bemused Carl watches from the bar.
© Warner Bros. Pictures
“I like the personal connection I had to several of the locations, and I also appreciated that we could explore and present some of the less photographed areas of Los Angeles,” says Reed, who blended the lesser-known locations with iconic sites such as the Hollywood Bowl and Griffith Park Observatory.
“The Bowl is just fantastic and one of the most romantic places in L.A.,” observes Reed, who, along with Carrey, Deschanel and the film crew, spent two nights shooting at the historic venue. “This fantasy of being able to sneak into the empty Hollywood Bowl at night was something I couldn’t resist.”
As it turns out, the scene was suggested by Carrey, who admits, “I used to sneak into the Hollywood Bowl all the time, when I was 21 or something, playing at the Comedy Store. I snuck in there with a girl one night, so it was inspired by that. I loved reliving it.”
“It was so exciting to be on the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, when it was completely empty,” Deschanel reminisces. “It was a whole new experience for me, and something that most people will never have a chance to do.”
The Griffith Park Observatory was employed by the production for scenes involving Allison’s early morning exercise/photography class, held in the shadow of the Observatory’s familiar dome, in which she and the other joggers attempt to capture the scenery on the run. In one key scene, Carl arrives to meet Allison after an all-nighter with the boys. Hopped up on Red Bull, Carl bounds up to her, chattering away at a rapid fire pace, to the amusement of Allison and her students.
© Warner Bros. Pictures
A large ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel, near Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, was transformed into the self-help convention where Terrence Bundley presides, mesmerizing Carl, Nick and over 800 background artists, whipping them up into a frenzied chorus of “Yes!”
And that’s not the only crowd scene. At one point in the film, Carl and Allison travel to Nebraska, where they end up at a University of Nebraska football game. The "Yes Man" scenes were shot at University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium, before a crowd of more than 84,000 Nebraska fans. Back in Los Angeles, the company shot corresponding portions of the scene with Carrey, Deschanel and over 700 extras at L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum. Cast and crew were awed as they entered the historic, cavernous arena, and many could not resist throwing a football around on the fabled field, including Carrey, dressed as a Cornhusker, who attempted a few punts as well.
Read the full production notes in the "Yes Man" area.
-- Source: Warner Bros. Pictures. Click to comment this article.
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