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  • I am exactly thirty miles away

  • from the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard

  • in downtown Los Angeles.

  • This is part of the boundary of the studio zone,

  • a thirty-mile circle that sweeps through southern California,

  • and which explains why a lot of planets in science fiction look kind of the same.

  • See, if I were filming a movie and I asked my cast and crew

  • to meet me here, outside the zone,

  • I'd have to pay them for their time and mileage getting to the location.

  • But if I just walk a few paces this way, inside the studio zone,

  • then cast and crew get paid from when they arrive here, from their call time.

  • Filming inside the zone is significantly cheaper.

  • The headquarters of pretty much all the movie studios are inside the zone,

  • and so are a lot of places that you'll have seen in film and television.

  • Griffith Park and Bronson Canyon are well within the zone,

  • close to the centre of Hollywood, so that's where Adam West's Batcave was,

  • along with where the walls fell for Captain Picard, and along with, well,

  • pretty much any American TV show that's ever needed that sort of landscape.

  • And Vasquez Rocks, which have been used in so many TV shows, films and music videos

  • that there is a separate Wikipedia page just listing them,

  • is conveniently twenty-nine miles from the centre of the zone.

  • If those rocks were slightly further away from Hollywood, then who knows?

  • Perhaps Bill and Ted would have been killed by their evil robot doubles somewhere else.

  • Why thirty miles?

  • Union rules.

  • Hollywood is a union town, and long ago, it was negotiated

  • that thirty miles was "local" and anything outside wasn't,

  • presumably after many, many disagreements going back and forth

  • between union reps and the studios.

  • Now, exceptions have been added over time: the rules are complicated,

  • and I couldn't explain them all if I tried.

  • Production coordinators generally have that job.

  • But in summary: this thirty-mile zone, this TMZ,

  • and yes, that's where the gossip site got its name from,

  • this border is why, sometimes, it looks like the crew of the Enterprise

  • are boldly going where quite a lot of people have gone before.

I am exactly thirty miles away

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Why Sci-Fi Alien Planets Look The Same: Hollywood's Thirty-Mile Zone

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/01
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