Monday, November 21, 2011

We Bought A Zoo was made in my back yard.

Just when I was half-wondering why Cameron Crowe moved Mee's Dartmoor Zoo in We Bought A Zoo to the states, I found this snippet over at Collider.com.
In Cameron's own words, from a tweet:
“The story was set in Boston when I first read Aline’s script, and she really made it sing as a universal story.  I watched Benjamin Mee’s BBC documentary, and read his great book a few times and knew that Ben’s story (while very much set in the UK) was largely a personal one.  I also knew a ton of places in ‘inner’ California that felt like my ‘Dartmoor’… places that felt far removed and would support a struggling zoo.  Then we found the Greenfield Ranch location, outside Westlake Village, and we all fell in love with the property.  Plus, I wanted to work with Matt Damon, and I think he gets things done pretty well with his natural accent… so we started casting American actors, reading with them, setting the story here in California… and the real Benjamin Mee gave us a thumbs up… and that’s a mighty thumbs up.  We filmed in ‘out of the way’ California, places that don’t normally turn up in the movies. "
The funny thing for me is that I live about five miles from this location and didn't have a clue they'd been filming! It does clear up the mystery though why, when I went into one of our local second hand bookstores, The Bookaneer, looking for a second hand copy (ie cheap) of the book, the owner told me. "Sorry I don't have it. But you know, a few months ago the set decorator for that movie came in and bought up a huge load of our books. Said it was to use in the house." We live about 45 minutes from Hollywood, not exactly prime shopping territory for set dec but being just a few miles from the actual set? It all comes into focus.

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