Sunday, July 6, 2014

BOWFINGER TOUR

For those of you that remember my Blade Runner Tour of LA, you know that I love going to various film locations. Any trip to LA provides a plethora of movie locations, so last week  I decided to do a BOWFINGER tour of the City of Angels. The tour has nothing whatsoever to do with Star Wars, but I thought it was worth sharing all the same…especially since Bowfinger (1999) is in my Top 10 favorite movies of all time.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bowfinger, here’s the trailer (although this trailer really doesn’t do the film justice):



The following contains minor spoilers. You’ve been warned…

The tour begins - but where else? – at the home of Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) in Hollywood.


For exact addresses of this and other locations, check out the link at the bottom of this post. In the movie, they added columns and an archway reading “Bowfinger International Pictures.” See...


Below is a shot I took on my phone. This is roughly one of the same angles used in the film (but in the film, there was no iron gate between the house and the road).Note the Capitol Records building in the back.




From there my buddy Josh and I went to the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood which doubles as MindHead HQ in the movie. Here it is in the movie:


And here it is with Josh...


This is a really cool building all the way around with cubist architecture and gigantic sculptures – like this Mega-Chair…



From there, we went over to Westwood Village for the theatre which hosted the premiere of Bowfinger’s sci-fi film “Chubby Rain.” 



Unfortunately, they were not showing Chubby Rain. Instead, they were screening Michael Bay’s latest Transformers movie. Bummer.


From there, we went to the original location of La Dome, the real life restaurant that served up many a power lunch. It is here that Bowfinger scores a deal with Jerry Renfro (Robert Downey, Jr.).


La Dome closed shop for good in 2005 and, as far as I can tell, a few businesses have set up shop and failed in the same locale. This is my impersonation of Bowfinger’s proclamation of a “go picture!” at the one-time address of La Dome.


Next stop: the home of Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy).  In the movie, they visit this location several times: Bowfinger enters through these gates to give Kit the Chubby Rain script, they film a scene with Daisy (Heather Graham) chasing Kit’s car, etc. One scene ends with Bowfinger jumping out of the bushes and yelling “Cut!” like I’m doing here…


Perhaps the most practical location is Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica which is an operating diner that’s appeared in several films including Bowfinger


Here’s my good friend Scott and his daughter Emerson in the same area where Bowfinger’s crew realize that Jiff (also played by Eddie Murphy) is actually Kit’s brother. 


And that plant in the background is the same plant in the movie! Here's a still from the movie...



There’s plenty of additional locations I didn’t hit this tour – including the iconic Griffith Observatory (which I’ve been to numerous times - if you haven't been there, you should go). For most of the addresses and additional information regarding a BOWFINGER tour of LA, check out this link: http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/b/bowfinger.html#.U7m8U_ldX5w

My tour took only 2 days – thanks to my friends Josh and Scott chauffeuring me around. But, in theory, you could hit all the above locations in one day – with careful planning and minimal traffic. Either way, it only costs a tank of gas and a meal at Rae’s – well worth it, in my humble opinion.