June 1, 2009 – New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Commissioner Katherine Oliver today launched the “Made in NY: Walking Tours of Film and Television Locations in New York City.” Narrated by actors Julianna Margulies and Matthew Modine, these free and downloadable podcast walking tours offer listeners an informative and fun way to learn about the rich and fascinating history of film and television location shooting in New York City.
“Now New Yorkers and visitors will have the opportunity to experience the City’s rich filmmaking history for themselves,” said Commissioner Oliver. “The podcasts highlight so many of those iconic moments that have made New York City synonymous with film and television. There’s cinematic history on practically every corner, and these podcasts serve as a testament to the thousands of production professionals – both past and present – who call New York City home.”
Inspired by the recent illustrated book Scenes from the City: Filmmaking in New York (Rizzoli, 2006), the podcasts were written by award-winning writer and architect James Sanders (editor of Scenes and author of Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies, Knopf, 2001). “For more than four decades, filmmakers have been shooting movies and television shows on the streets of lower Manhattan, burnishing its already familiar image as one of the best known urban settings in the world,” said Sanders. “The Mayor’s Office’s free walking tours will be a wonderful way to let people explore that heritage for themselves, by tracing the actual locations where some of the most memorable filmic scenes of the last forty years were first brought into being.”
The first two podcast tours take place in the extraordinary landscape of lower Manhattan – one of the most consistently popular sites for film and television production of every kind – offering a variety of insights and commentary about the significance of each location to New York’s filmmaking tradition and to the City itself. Guiding users as they walk from one location to another, narrators Margulies and Modine provide fascinating “behind-the-scenes” anecdotes about the various locations on the tour and intriguing historical, architectural, and cultural background about the locations themselves.
“I am thrilled to support the efforts of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting by participating in this project – what better way to highlight the dynamic relationship between the City and film and the enormous contribution the production industry has made to the City’s economy,” said Margulies, whose credits include the soon-to-be released film City Island and the upcoming CBS series The Good Wife, both “Made in NY” projects.
“It’s a pleasure to be involved in this audio project which highlights so many unforgettable scenes from films and television shot in New York,” said Modine, who came to New York to pursue his career and has worked in theater and film in the City ever since, like Married to the Mob. “It’s so cool to be guided to the locations that were filmed on our City streets and in front of such iconic buildings. It is also important for people to understand how film production adds to New York’s economic well-being. All in all, yet another reason to love New York.”
Tour 1 begins in the heart of Tribeca at the permanent home of the Tribeca Film Festival and features locations from films and television shows like Ghostbusters, Law & Order, Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, Annie Hall, Green Card and The Wiz. Tour 1 ends at City Hall right where Tour 2 picks up, featuring such films and television shows as 30 Rock, Enchanted, Wall Street, Desperately Seeking Susan, Patterns, Working Girl, and Men in Black. Tour 2 wraps up in Battery Park at the foot of Manhattan on the waterfront promenade with its spectacular views of New York Harbor, the site of classic films for nearly a century.
The two tours, each approximately an hour in length, are linked together so that they may be enjoyed separately or in sequence. The podcasts have start and end-points near major subway stops, making them accessible and convenient for New Yorkers and visitors.
To download the “Made in NY: Walking Tours of Film and Television Locations in New York City” podcasts, view maps highlighting the routes of both tours, and to learn more about the Mayor’s Office of Film Theatre and Broadcasting, click here. Also on the site, you can click on a link to see an overview of the location stops on a Google map created by NYC & Company, the tourism and marketing arm of New York City.