New York Film Locations

New York Film Location Books

Title: Scenes from the City: Filmmaking in New York
Author: James Sanders
Hardcover: 288 pages
Published: 2006

Informative with great photographs, but this all comes with a price tag!

Scenes from the City (Filmmaking in New York) was edited by James Sanders with contributions by Martin Scorsese and Nora Ephron and produced with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. The book celebrates the extraordinary heritage of location filmmaking in America’s largest and most cinematic city. From such classics as Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, When Harry Met Sally to Law & Order and Sex and the City, many of the most iconic moments in movies and television over the last four decades have been created on the streets of New York, thanks in large part to the Mayor’s Office, the first agency of its kind in the world, whose founding in 1966 sparked a dazzling explosion in film production around the five boroughs.

Scenes from the City traces this glittering cinematic parade decade by decade, recalling some of the best remembered films, places and moments of each period, while touching down in between to look at some of the famed New York neighbourhoods and districts from SoHo to Times Square, the East Village to the Upper West Side, Coney Island to Harlem that have been unforgettably captured on celluloid.

Opening with a survey of landmark location films from the late 1940s to the early ‘60s (from On the Town and On the Waterfront to Breakfast at Tiffany’s and West Side Story) and closing with a round-up of memorable television scenes filmed on the city’s streets (from David Letterman to Sesame Street, Cagney & Lacey to The Sopranos), this lavishly illustrated volume provides not only a vivid testament of the forces that have reshaped American film over the past four decades, but a startling portrait of the changes that have transformed the city itself in those same years.

Filled with more than 200 rare and unusual photographs, along with the insightful words of the directors, actors and other filmmakers themselves, Scenes from the City explores as never before the astonishing enterprise of bringing cameras, equipment, crew and some of the world’s most famous performers onto the streets of one of the busiest, most dynamic and most compelling urban stages in the world.

otsoNY Comments: Scenes from the City was actually the first film location book I read and I guess in some ways it sparked my fascination with film locations in New York. The book has some amazing on set photographs as well as promotional shots and is extremely informative. There are special sections for New York Landmarks, Chases through the city on foot, in cars and even on horses, Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center, New York Moments, Location Stunts and Tricks, Central Park, Historic Recreations, New York Backlot, Rooftops, Times Square and the Cable Revolution for television shows shot in New York. Unlike OTSONY, the book falls short on providing the reader with actual street addresses for many of the films featured and instead opts for a general cross reference and in some cases just the name of the place. This is not a book that would carry around the streets of Manhattan with you as it weighs over 4 pounds and is 10 inches wide, nevertheless, this is still a very useful book and I would hope that there will be a follow up version as the current addition only runs up until 2006.


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