George Clooney in Fullerton
George Clooney came to Fullerton in October 2016 to shoot scenes on Ash and at Nicolas Junior High School for a Matt Damon and Julianne Moore movie.


Where is that on Ash? Looks so familiar. The white picket fence and some of the trees may be props, and the crew may have painted the house.
The production company will pay the City of Fullerton anywhere from $100,000 up for the right to film there, and block or impede traffic on that street for a certain number of hours, plus more for shooting at Nicolas School. The owner of that house will be paid anywhere from $50,000 up, depending. 
The production company may send their own "atmosphere" (movie extras) to Fullerton, or they may also have recuited people from Fullerton to appear in the movie, the latter for probably $200 or more a day. It's all been planned many months ago. 
If you go over to watch, you have to be patient, because shooting scenes for a movie is a very slow process. Take a folding chair if you can, and binoculars. You may get some quick looks at Clooney, Damon and others. The police may have placed signs and ropes to keep spectators well back. Above all, you won't be able to talk, only whisper. Maybe your grandchildren would enjoy seeing it all for a few minutes. It may be extremely crowded, too.  Everyone working will be extremely busy, so don't necessary expect autographs. 
Believe it or not, kids who live on Ash, at least west of Euclid toward Nicolas and South Basque, now go to the newer Parks Junior High School, located ABOVE Sunny Hills High School. Sarcasm: that way they can travel 2.5 miles a day each way, instead of 1/4 a mile. Saves the school district maybe negative $500,000 a year in gas and upkeep of school buses. (!)






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Linda Flock Dykes, ‘67 on October 16, 2016 at 8:55 PM said:

Just to clarify where on Ash it was the 1300 block of W Ash Ave.
between Basque and Lee. They are also filming tomorrow between 7 and 3. And to also clarify I don't believe any of the homes were paid up to $50,000. Well under that. It has been a fun experience and the movie people love our neighborhood.

COMMENT: The fee paid the homeowner depends on what modifications are made to the home and the lot, where the home is, how large it is, how long the film company will use it, and more. This particular shoot is extended. Thanks for your comment, Linda. - Paul
PETER PERRONE, '64 on October 16, 2016 at 11:20 AM said:

I grew up at 1442 W. Ash, which is near the corners of S. Basque and Valencia. Charlie Marquis lived just up the street from me.

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By about 1960, all the major Hollywood studios began to sell part or almost all of their huge back lots. These lots with their dozens of sets and soundstages, were sometimes as big as Brookhurt to Euclid and Commonwealth to Orangthorpe. If a studio wanted to film a suburban scene (like this one in West Fullerton now), they'd use existing lots, and change and decorate it to look as they wanted. Same with urban sets, Western sets, New York City sets, Paris sets, and so on.  Most of the location shooting -- going away from the studio to shoot scenes and movies) took place in Western sets in the San Fernando Valley, including Calabasas, Newhall, Agoura and other places, and sometimes sites in Arizona, Utah, and so forth.

The foreign location shooting was extremely expensive, so producers would usually make deals with the government of Spain, or Greece, or maybe France or Brazil, and some of the corporations there to shoot their movies there. For the countries themselves, it was tremendously valuable publicity and brought hundreds or thousands of jobs to them. Indeed, some of these foreign locations took many months to shoot, as in "African Queen", "Robin and Marian" in Spain, throughout Europe for "The Longest Day", and hundreds of others. The most extravagant example may be "Apocalypse Now", filmed for over a year in the Philippines.

Things began to change around 1948 when the courts banned "block booking". Book blooking was a distributioon arrangement where the studios would sell distribution rights to a theater chain for a one or more big movies, and insist that the chain also screen several smaller movies. That way the studio got optimal payment for smaller features. When that practice ended, the studios began to have significant losses in income, and it was also the time when television started to become popular.   

That's when studios began to make deals with foreign countries and more US states to film on location, with the favorable payments mentioned above. For example, now the studios became to shoot the "spectaculars", in particular the Bible and gladiator epics, and later huge war movies, musicals and more. 

By around 1965, the way films were made had changed almost completely. The old studio system had become obsolete, and many of the studios rented their facilities to production companies that shot TV shows. For the first time, it became profitable for a group of investors to form a movie company to film a series of movies themselves, instead of a studio doing it

A group of investors, usually including one or more major movie stars, would form a corporation and approach banks for loans to make a certain number of movies. The group would be obligated to do everything a studio did, but without the enormous upkeep of a 500 acre studio and all the employees it had to pay. The group would make their movie, maybe in Spain with additional scenes in Marin County, CA and outside Las Vegas, and make another deal with a distribution company to negotiate agreements to show the movie in 1,000 theaters across the US. A successful movie would earn enough to repay the banks  and the distrubution compoany, and leave a certain amount for the original film company., Usually they'd spend the money for their next movie. If a movie flopped, a firm companyu might go out of business, or have a much harder time finding financing for their next movie. 

By around 1970, individual movie stars or small groups of them would form these movie companies and go through the same process themselves. That's the situation we have now in 2016, except that hundreds of smaller, independents movie producers have entered the business and some have achieved major successes. 

All this is why when you go to a movie, the opening credits might say: 

Robert DeNiro

Catherine Deneuve

Daniel Day Lewis 

and Sophia Loren 



based on a novel by Paul Saevig

A Paul Saevig Film 

In association with the Whitfield-Smith Company 

By the Tim Twombly Company 

A  Sunny Hills Production 

Of a Santa Rosa Corporation

In association with North of Malvern Productions

and Ninety Nine Beers On The Wall, Ltd. 

Detention Suspicion-Hillside Features

Allende San Miguel Corporation

A Silver City Film 

for Twentieth Century Fox 

In association with Sony Pictures

and Valencia Entertainment, Ltd. 

Produced by Tom Stuhley  

Directed by Martin O'Scorsese


To go a step further, such a movie might not be filmed in Sunny Hills at all. The company the producers hire to scout locations might find a little town in Idaho, Utah or Oregon thay looks like Sunny Hills in 1958. We'd go their for principal shooting, By the way, it would be a relatively inexpensive movie, maybe costing just $50,000,000 or $75,000,000, but the major stars would require as much as $30M each, plus a share in the net profit. If this movie didn't earn, say, $40M in its first weekend of release, it would probably be a failure. It might bring in more revenue overseas, but the producers would already have arrangements to sell the movie to cable companies or maybe TV companies. All of us Lancers would lose our shirts! Or else have elaborate financial arrangements to limit oour own losse, or even make a profit. 

They've been saying for decades now that accountants make movies, not studios. 

Making movies has always been about money, huge sums of money, and always will be.