New York Film Locations

 





otsoNY in 2009: Two Weeks Notice

16 October 2019

The film ‘Two Weeks Notice’ was originally set to be shot entirely in Toronto due to cheaper production costs, but producer and star Sandra Bullock insisted that a film about New York City must be made in New York City. It ended up being shot entirely on location within a 17-week span. The film revitalised the economy of New York City after the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001 and allowed businesses to flourish once again, and in honour of the cast and crew's contribution to the city, 11th December 2002 was named Two Weeks Notice Day by the Mayor of New York City.


Film Poster: Two Weeks Notice

The film’s storyline followed Harvard educated lawyer Lucy Kelson, played by Sandra Bullock, following in the footsteps of her lawyer parents, whilst using her career for social activism and hiding any sense of femininity behind her work. George Wade, who was played by Hugh Grant, was the suave public face of the Manhattan-based Wade Corporation, a development firm that Lucy routinely opposed and whose true head was George's profit-oriented brother, Howard Wade. George, who had a reputation as a lady's man, and of whom has had as his legal counsel a series of beautiful female lawyers with questionable credentials, and who have more primarily acted as his casual sex partners was in need of a real lawyer. So upon a chance meeting, he offered Lucy the job of his legal counsel. Despite warnings from her parents in working for the enemy, Lucy, who had no intention of being the latest in his bed partners, accepted the job as she felt that she could do more good from the inside, and as George had promised not to demolish a community centre in a heritage building as part of a development project near her childhood Coney Island home where her parents still lived. “This was the first film shot in New York City since the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” stats otsoNY’s creator Mark Rogers. “And I was interested to see as many of the locations that the filmmakers had used, with one in particular that had bothered me for a long time.”


Sandra Bullock on the set of Two Weeks Notice

Before Mark visited New York in 2009, he spent months researching, and in some cases managed to obtain images taken by the paparazzi, of which included Sandra Bullock on the set of ‘Two Weeks Notice’ exiting what looked to be a Legal Aid Office. “Looking back now, I was very naive when it came to film locations,” says Mark. “I literally took what I saw as the truth, and simply didn’t consider that sign on a door or a window might not be real. I spent hours searching on Google Street View for Legal Aid offices, but nothing quite matched the one that Sandra Bullock was standing beside. I even made contact with one of the photographers who had originally taken the onset photographs, but as you can imagine, several years had passed, and his faded memory only led me to the Upper East Side.”


315 East 83rd Street between First and Second Avenues was used at the Legal Aid Office

Further weeks of research followed, until Mark stumbled across the apartment building with the number 323 printed above its doorway. “I suddenly realised that I was onto something. This point in the street was where the two characters had embraced at the end of the movie and would surely lead me to the Legal Aid office. I remember frantically clicking my mouse pointer to move along the street until I came to where I thought the office might be, but what I found didn’t quite match.” Unknown to Mark at the time, but the unit at 315 East 83rd Street between First and Second Avenues was vacant at the time of filming, and so the set designers turned it into a fake Legal Aid office, even adding window signage and office furniture inside. Also unknown to Mark was the fact that the unit had already been used as an office in Woody Allen’s film, ‘Small Time Crooks’ the previous year.


Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant on East 83rd Street

In the next article of this series, Mark talks about the film, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and the little shop around the corner.





 


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