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Shot On Site - Ecto-1 Caught On The Flip Side

 By Paul Rudoff on Jul. 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Filming Locations , Tags:
Welcome to Spook Central's special "Shot On Site Summer" event. All throughout the month of July, and possibly the rest of the Summer, I will be posting Shot On Site articles on Spook Central detailing newly-discovered Ghostbusters filming locations. Click here to view the current schedule. As with most of the other newly-discovered Ghostbusters filming locations, this one was identified by Matthew Jordan. During the "Ghost Fever Grips New York" montage in Ghostbusters, we see a FLIPPED shot of the Ecto-1 turning a corner. Here's what the shot looks like when corrected (all instances of images taken from this movie shot have been corrected). (You can also view a collage of the entire corrected shot created by Matthew Jordan.)


You'll notice that the car appears to be coming away from a park and has come up an incline in the street (notice how the background is lower than the foreground). This piece of the landscape was key in helping Matthew determine that West 116th Street & Broadway is the location. The car starts on W. 116th and turns onto Broadway.


The large curved building seen behind the Ecto-1 on the right side of the corrected movie shot is known as The Paterno, named after developer Charles V. Paterno. Its distinctive facade was instrumental in piecing this all together.


As the Ecto-1 makes the turn onto Broadway, the camera follows it, and due to the motion blur and the newspaper cover sliding in from the side, it becomes a lot harder to identify buildings here. That said, the white building on the corner of the next block over (West 115th Street & Broadway) can be identified satisfactorily enough.


Now here's where things get really interesting. If you stand at the corner of West 116th Street & Broadway facing the same direction the camera was facing when it shot the Ecto-1, and then turn around 180 degrees you would see this:


For those of you who don't know, this is one of the entrances to the Columbia University campus. More specifically, this entrance opens into the quad where the majority of Ghostbusters filming took place: the title shot, Peter and Ray's talk, the walk back from the library, etc.

That the Ecto-1 flipped shot location is right across the street from the Columbia University quad, just adds more proof to what Matthew and I have noticed: a lot of the Ghostbusters filming locations are right near each other. This is especially true of the one-shots, like the Ecto-1 flipped shot. I would imagine that while one crew was setting up for a shot at one spot, a small camera crew walked across the street and filmed something else. That way the production got more accomplished without having to go to many different locations. Very economical :-)

For more information about Ghostbusters filming locations, be sure to check out the rest of Spook Central's Shot On Site articles, Spook Central's Filming Locations page, and Chris Stewart's Shot On Site articles. Thanks Chris for letting me use your awesome title.

1 comment

Matthew and I have noticed: a lot of the Ghostbusters filming locations are right near each other.
This is important to remember when finding locations. Also, deleted scenes/publicity photos also help. It seems the location scouter knew how to get the most out of a location. This was done both to save money, and make the shootings take less time. One more interesting note, Going south on Broadway, you can stop and eat at Tom's Restaurant (from Seinfeld tv show). Its on 112th street.
Jul. 12, 2012 @ 12:29

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