New York Film Locations

Interview with Author Dallas King

15 October 2017

otsoNY recently caught up with Dallas King, the talented Scottish author behind the highly successful and self-published book, “Ext. New York City - Discover The Reel New York On Location”.

Dallas King, who currently resides in the Scottish city of Aberdeen, first visited New York with friends in 2009 to celebrate his 29th birthday. Whilst there, Dallas quickly became mesmerized by the city and how much it truly reminded him of many of his favourite movies. Since then, he has returned to the city every year thereafter in a bid to gain knowledge of past and present film locations for what would eventually materialise into a full-scale publication.

Dallas recalls, “After a couple of visits I found myself recognising buildings and locations from various movies and started to wonder if I could put together a book for film fans like myself that could provide some history to the city as a film location and handy guide as to where to find some of the best locations.”

(Dallas King)

Work on the book began in early 2015, and would eventually reference 100 locations. “All of the information that I had collated over the years was split into chapters,” explained Dallas. “I decided to focus on ten specific films that highlighted the evolution of filmmaking within New York, together with a list of the most iconic locations. There are also chapters dedicated to topics such as shopping, bars, hotels and travel, all of which were highlighted on maps.”

(Dallas King at Sutton Place Park)

During the research process, Dallas travelled the length and breadth of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn to photograph recognisable buildings, townhouses, streets and avenues. "I took my dad along and his trusted SLR camera,” continued Dallas. “We walked for miles and were able to take all of the pictures that I needed for the book, although there were a few disappointments along the way as I would have liked to have seen the famous Chelsea Hotel without being covered in scaffolding as well as the cinema featured in the classic Woody Allen film, “Annie Hall”, but alas it no longer existed. I did however visit FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue before it sadly closed its doors for good, and managed to stand on the life-size piano made famous for its appearance in the Tom Hanks film, ‘Big’”. Dallas added, “Initially during the research process, I was drawn to my favourite areas of the city, such as the Lower East Side and Central Park for its sheer scale and beautiful tranquillity.”

(Dallas King outside Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue)

(Dallas King outside 204 East 13th Street, famous for its appearance in Taxi Driver)

Another much-loved area of New York for Dallas King is the virtually secluded Sutton Place Park, made famous for its appearance in the Woody Allen film, ‘Manhattan’, and a place where Marilyn Monroe, whilst staying in the city, would often spend her days away from the paparazzi. “Sutton Place Park was the perfect place to proposed to my wife, Lucy,” smiled Dallas. “When we first started going out, one of the first films we saw was ‘Blue Jasmine’ and bonded over a shared appreciation of Allen’s work. We were in New York for New Year's Eve and I didn't want to be clichéd, so waited until our last day. It was very early in the morning and the park was quiet and completely empty, or so I thought. As Lucy posed for a photo, I got down on one knee to take the picture and then I took out the ring and proposed." Dallas added, "After Lucy accepted my proposal, I realised there was a couple watching from the entrance. After a few moments, the couple came over to congratulate us and were kind enough to agreed to take our picture.”

(Dallas King and his wife, Lucy outside the Friends apartment building)

Besides the works of Woody Allen, films such as ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Elf’, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘John Wick’ top the author’s favourite list. “It was difficult during the writing stage, as I knew that there would always be more films being made in New York City, and for that reason I decided to put together a Internet Blog under the same name.”

(Dallas King and his wife, Lucy in Central Park)

After several months in post production, the 128 page book was finally completed and published in October 2015 by “It had taken me roughly ten months from start to finish to complete,” explained Dallas. “I had a book launch at the cinema where I worked and it was one of the proudest moments of my life.”





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