One Ticked-Off San Francisco Native Rants…

For some reason, this really bugs me. More than it should, I suppose.

J.J. Abrams has a new non-reality series called Alcatraz. It tells the story about the “real” reason that it closed in 1963; ostensibly, all the convicts mysteriously disappeared one night and started showing up in present day, and Sam Neill plays the head of a secret agency to track these bad boys down. It should be interesting. I was a HUGE Lost fan. I’ll expect the usual incomprehensible plot twists and unresolved mysteries. And that will not bug me.

What does irk me is that the series is not actually shot in San Francisco, but rather in Vancouver, B.C. The pilot showed footage of an action sequence on the streets of San Francisco, and being a native of the Bay Area, I was quite excited about a series being shot there. Here is an SF Examiner article from 2011 talking about how the new series will be filmed there:

Then came episode 2, which included a struggle on a roof top. And lo and behold, there were the mountains that sit right to the north of Vancouver in full view. I was not totally surprised, since an earlier scene showed an alley which clearly looked like an alley in Vancouver and nothing like what you’d see in SF. Having fled the Bay Area in 1980 to re-settle in Seattle, I am very familiar with the look and feel of our closest big city in the Great White North. I would have thought they’d try to do a better job covering it up.

As I was pondering my state of irk, I thought about the series Parenthood, which is also set in the Bay Area, across the bay from SF in Berkeley. At least that show is filmed there, right? Wrong. It is filmed on a back lot down in Hollywood, which I guess shouldn’t surprise me, since the large sprawling bungalow where the parents live is larger than anything you’d find in the real Berkeley.

Is it too much to actually film stuff where it’s set? Yes, I guess it costs too much. Vancouver is a very filming-friendly town.

Anyway, just thought I’d vent a little. Probably of no interest to anyone out there, but it’s my blog so I can vent all I want, right? (Please come back.)


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