Filmmaking / Directing : Paris Je T'aime for Wishful-Thinking Wednesday? by Karen "Kay" Ross

Karen "Kay" Ross

Paris Je T'aime for Wishful-Thinking Wednesday?

LET'S PLAY A GAME! If you could choose any location in your city to film a short film that highlights a unique or iconic part of your city, what location would it be and why?


Apparently planning for a vacation is just as satisfying as taking the vacation. So, while we're all waiting to get out of the house and get on set, I hope this game gives you some satisfaction and inspiration for when the lockdown lifts! Also, what a cool way to learn about your city and other filmmakers! Time to show off that hometown!

I think one of the best parts of filmmaking is getting to explore and highlight real locations. In the delightful film Paris Je T'aime (2006), well-known directors were asked to choose from iconic locations around Paris and create a short film that would blend into a series of vignettes. If you haven't seen it, give it a watch and tell me what you think!

I'd like to nominate Terrell Lamont Francesco Volpi and Brooklynn Fields to play along!

HAPPY Wishful-Thinking Wednesday, Filmmakers! 

Karen "Kay" Ross

Hi, Adeel! Thanks for the like! Don't forget to comment, too! We want to get to know you, encourage you, and have you give encouragement to others through participation. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Frank Blaney

In any town I have lived in I would shoot in the Chinatown. I lived in Chinatown Los Angeles for five years and am currently in Hawaii. Chinatowns have the most awesome shooting locations for the type of films I am interesting in creating---Asian Action/Thriller Genre. Thats my take.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Frank Blaney What a great suggestion! I just moved to LA, so Chinatown is definitely on my list to check out - especially at night with the lights. Is there a building or park you would suggest? Perhaps with a history? I loved how "Paris, Je T'aime" used a mosque as one of its locations, and an important one, as I recall.

How are you liking island life in Hawaii?

Frank Blaney

There is a Daoist Temple across the street from Alpine Park, which is awesome. But the coolest area is the alleys behind the main buildings and restaurants on the north side of Hill Street. Very old world. LA Chinatown was built in the 40's when they relocated it from its original site near Union Station. Hollywood folks were instrumental in the project, so it has a Hollywood "style" to it. Hawaii is a good place to be in quarantine. Our beaches are still open. lol

Karthi Karunanidhi

I'm from Chennai.. I'll recommend the Akkarai beach and Connemara Library, it have perfect cinematic locations..

Stephen Carter

Cool idea, Karen E Ross. I nominate Eve Hayes & Robert Russo.

I live in a burg called Oregon on the Bay, it sits on Lake Erie, just outside of Toledo, Ohio. I've been percolating an idea for a feature about a typical low key Ohio family, patriarch, his wife, their two sons, maybe a cousin/nephew and his wife who lead normal lives, work hard, play hard (a motto around here), and run a white slavery ring. Proximity to the lake and easy access to Canada make it a hub for that type of activity. Location-wise the lake, downtown & impoverished sections of Toledo, the rural farmlands, and small towns, the truck stops, local bars, and the Ohio Homeland Security offices would all add texture to a short or feature film. The concept also has potential as a series. Maybe the next project on the list after the one I'm currently working on.

Eve Hayes

Haha ...Thanks Stephen Carter for the nomination. Karen "Kay" Ross I love this. I think I like this so much, as I'm quite proud of where I live, which is Cape Town. And I guess the location has to be TABLE MOUNTAIN, but just because it's hard to choose one, I added the Cederberg (Stadsal Caves) as this has interesting rock formations that are prehistoric looking and would make a great location for a sci-fi. But I prefer dramas - and I have written an historical drama (Irish) that ends up in the Cape. -- Also it's ironic you talk about Vacations - because I'm planning something beyond special for next year for Screenwriters - it's a SAFARI, as I'm pretty sure we all going to want to be in some open wide spaces and take some writing inspiration from that too. --

So I nominate Chaun Lee, Dorothy Harris and Maria Johnsen. Can't seem to tag them though?!

Eve Hayes

Above - Cederberg (a few hours outside Cape Town)

Below - Table mountain - near where I live in Cape Town)

Stephen Carter

I see you figured out how to tag another member, Eve. I'm still stuck. What's the secret? Love the locations. I figured. you'd have something up your sleeve down there in Cape Town.

Robert Russo

I live in San Antonio TX. The most notable place in my city would be the Alamo, which is not the best place to be filming because it is a big tourist attraction and considered sacred soil for Texans. But it is very close to the Riverwalk, which is a river that runs through the city that is surrounded by restaurants and bars/clubs. It would be more fitting for a movie to take place in and around. There is one place in particular I enjoy a lot called Howl at the Moon. It is a piano bar with life music and a very talented group of musicians and singers who play live music by request. It would be the perfect spot.

Caroline Osmont Patiño and Harri-Pekka Virkki are my nominations, but I am not sure how to link their names.

WL Wright

<----error------> I didn't post that twice and I couldn't delete it.

Junior Fletcher

Charlotte, NC...Noda district because it's artsy and colorful

Ghassan Salti

I am from Amman, Jordan. The first place I would recommend for filming is the Citadel of Amman. It is the highest point in the city and it is located in old Amman. From there, you can have a great panoramic view of the whole city. From one angle, you can see the old city and the Roman Amphi Theater, and if you look from another angle you can see the modern high rise buildings. Amman is the capitol city of Jordan and it has a population of 4.5 mil people. There are many other locations that I would recommend but it all depends on what I am filming about. Jordan is an ancient country that has thousands of years history, and at the Citadel you can find Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Ottoman and even you can find Iron age ruins. But that is not in Amman alone. I recommend Petra the Rose city as your next destination (3 hours drive from the Capitol). Wether you are looking for filming destination or just tourism, Petra is the place to be (see picture enclosed). See you after the lockdown and Be Safe.

Vital Butinar

Hi everyone I'm from Ljubljana Slovenia (city of love Ljubezen = love and sLOVEnia has love in the name). There are so many cool places to film around here but where I would shoot is a cool street that I've been looking for an excuse to shoot and it's actually nicknamed Brooklyn because I guess it reminds people of Brooklyn.

I nominate Leya Marincic . :)

Stay safe everyone and see you soon.

Thom Reese

I live in Las Vegas, so the obvious choice would be the Strip. But I'm going to go with Red Rock Canyon.

Ashton Alexander Webb

I'm up in Portland. There's a total abundance of beautiful locations in Oregon, but one that has my eye in particular is Snow Lakes State Park:

Taylor C. Baker

Here is Austin, TX we have a TON of glorious "southern tropical" watering holes and secret swimming spots full of some pretty epic natural beauty - like Hamilton Pool (pictured). You would never guess you were in the middle of Texas when you are hanging out in a cave and swimming under a waterfall.

There are some hiking trails nearby (like the Greenbelt and the River Place Nature Trail) that every time I am there I want to write something akin to "Romancing the Stone" with some fish out of water style adventure in the wilderness!

Victoria A. Johnson

Here in Chicago, I use The Forum which has a lot history but has been vacant for years. I think it would be a great backdrop for horror film. I'm new to the Forum so I don't have alot of friends

Vital Butinar

Dan MaxXx cool! Where is that?

Dan MaxXx

Vital Butinar Westfield Mall, World Trade Center, NYC

Vital Butinar

Dan MaxXx thank you. Cool that would be a cool motorcycle chase to shoot.

Onwukwe Abraham Ogonna

Here in Nigeria, I will chose Calabar. Calabar is the land of tourism with beautiful infrastructure.

Laurens de Groot

I'm from a town called Zoetermeer, in the Netherlands. Not a very cinematic city at all, since they started building most of it since only 1960. There are two bridges I'd like to mention. Both not pretty, but would work well for a nice chase scene. It's the Nelson Mandelabridge going over the freeway and the Jan Waaijerbridge, a rusty brown one in an open landscape with long views. But if I have to pick just one it's the Dorpsstraat, the only remaining bit of old village. It's a long street on a dike with two old churches and houses dating back to the 1600s.

Sandeep Sharma

Karen "Kay" Ross and S32 Folks,

I took Karen's game and ran with it!! 4 locations that have inspired me and where I have made films. Can you guess which places?

Debbie Croysdale

Apart from London and India theres a couple of wild cards, so I’m guessing the flat strawberry farm is in Norfolk or Kent and the other Norway cos I seen similar port towns when I worked in Scandinavia.

Louis Tete

As being from Paris, would love to shoot something in the Catacombes tunnel

Prabhjot Bhatia

I am from London. There are hundreds of places in London. Would highly recommend colourful Borough Market and Billingsgate Fish Market for character and history.

Astrid Schulz

Hello, I am also from London. My favorite area is the East End, especially around Spitalfield, up to Brick Lane. There is so much history still present, from Roman leftovers to 'Jack The Ripper'. And so many different culture have lived there to the present day. A broad scope to draw inspiration from.

Niina Pekkarinen

Hi there, well, even though I'm from Finland I currently live in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. This place is beyond awesome and it keeps surprising me every day with its beauty. The whole island of Gran Canaria is quite small, so you can drive around it in about 1,5 - 2 hours (although not now with the restrictions). There are so many cool places: rugged mountains near crystal clear waters in the small town of Agaete on the west side of the island; dry desert like land pretty much everywhere, lush greenery if you go just 30 min into to the center of the island (eg Santa Brígida); deep barrancos (ravines), cacti, palm trees, awesome beaches ... you name it, we got it. Snow we don't have but that you can experience in the highest place of Spain (the mountain of Teide, on the island of Tenerife) which can be seen from Gran Canaria.

I realize this sounds pretty much like a tourism advertisement but what can I do, this place is gorgeous. The town of Las Palmas has beautiful parks, a wonderful old town and the long, long beach of Las Canteras. Here's a pic I took yesterday.

The Canary Islands have a growing film industry, so maybe we'll see some of you here one day. And if not for that, stop for a holiday once the world is back to somewhat a normal state.

I can't nominate anyone yet as I really have not had the time to network yet, but would be great to get to know you! All the best, and stay safe. xx

Kara Coonrod

You know, I've been thinking about where I'd shoot in my city (Houston, TX), and it's been incredibly tough to pin down.

For all of its sprawling medical, scientific, and industrial quality, Houston has so many hidden (and not so hidden) gems to offer... Downtown has parks, music venues, and large outdoor artworks scattered amongst the mostly drab gray skyscrapers, Texas Medical Center has a bevy of sculptural and art works amid the multitude of hospitals and clinics, Montrose is rich in the studio arts, Chinatown is enormous and full of vibrancy, and the various wards have their own respective historical significance and features.

Art and history have deep and tangled roots, here. What I find most odd, though, is how unused the city has been, as a backdrop for filming, given how 'generic but unique' it comes across as, to the everyday person.

Also, I don't have a broad network yet, but... how do you tag people?

Sandeep Sharma

Kara Coonrod you can tag people (which I just learned by the way) you put a @ sign just before their name and a sub menu should pop up and you choose the person.

Brie Seaton

I live in Utah currently and I would probably go south and film in Moab and then there are some beautiful canyons as well! Filming with the snow in the winter could be challenging but it would make for a beautiful scene!

Brie Seaton

Wasatch mountains in the winter

James P. Neblett

I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I am simply an American who got very lucky. and was given a wonderful opportunity! I would film in and around our harbour here. It really is quite stunning! Especially when all the yachts are out sailing upon the pristine waters... pretty awe inspiring.

Louis Tete

James P. Neblett , jeez N.Z! What an awesome and marvelous playground.

Nabil Shaban

Hello Karen, thank you for your comment and suggestion. I have seen "Paris, Je T'aime", partly because a British producer friend wanted me to see it, as he had an idea to do something similar but with all the vignettes set in London. Although I put myself in London, I don't actually live there but I do know it well, as most of my work has been in London. Last year, for example, I was performing at the National Theatre for nearly 5 months (David Hare's play "Peter Gynt").

While I was staying in London, my wife and I did a lot of exploring, and typical of me, I always had a camera with me. For example, I have an affection for buskers or street performers, because I first earned money in my career as a performer as a busker, so last year whenever I came across a street musician I would film at least one musical piece where possible in its entirety. The following is the compilation film I put together, entitled "I Love Buskers".

Nabil Shaban

Another film I made while staying in London last year was of the Waterloo Underpass Graffiti. The music soundtrack is my own.

Ashley Byron

I live in Lexington Ky and I would film a scene either at Rupp Arena famous for Kentucky basketball or Keeneland because of the famous horse racing track considering Lexington Ky is the horse and college basketball capital of the world.

Donald Cadman

I live near Boston, MA, so there are so many locations to pick!

The North End could inspire a film or documentary about Italian and Irish immigrants in Boston during the early-to-mid 20th century. I could detail how the cultures clashed with each other while they dealt with cultural discrimination as well as organized crime.

On a lighter note, I love the theatre district, and my grandma was an opera singer. Since her family was Italian, my film could express how opera gave Italian-Americans both cultural and artistic identity in the United States during the mid-twentieth century.

Joe Arjona

I'm from Cordoba Spain,. Maybe the most iconic place in my town is the ancient quarter, a neightborhood of a thousand years.

Max Edward Woertendyke

I'm late, but I might pick the Newton Creek Nature Walk in Brooklyn.

Florin Şumălan

Interesting question, Karen. I live in Deva, Romania. Maybe a good location would be on the hill (in the photo I posted). There is an old fortress there, you can see the city from that place and also the hill is covered with a forest. If you want to see more, this is an aerial video:

What location would you choose from the city you live in, Karen "Kay" Ross?

I would like to nominate (this tag thing seems not to work well. I put a "@" before the names, but not all the names appear or no name appears) @Alessandro Fantini, @Giresse Kassonga and @Nicolas Matteo.

Hidde Simons

The best, this! Thanks all for sharing, a nice small holiday from home. The best way to see cities is shown by locals or even better local filmmakers.

In my last film, 平安 - HEIAN - it is on my page, my city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was a big part of the story.

I would like to show you the neighbourhood I live in: De Baarsjes. A lifely piece of Amsterdam. It would be so nice to sit at this terrace again!

Brent Bergan

Old town Alexandria, just across the river from DC is a really cool town on the Potomac, with rustic buildings, great restaurants and bars, and is very walkable.

Eoin O'Sullivan

Hi Karen,

I live in County Kerry, Ireland. There are far too many places to choose for film locations, what a dilemma to have :) - if anybody is familiar with the recent Star Wars films, Luke's retreat was filmed on Skellig Michael.

I probably shoot in Dingle - great mix of outdoor scenery, old world charm and a infusion of modern Irish life.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Can I just say how happy this post has made me? Not just y'all's willingness to play along, but the various range of responses, and the pictures!

I'll do more individual response this week, but until then... Is anyone else inspired to actually do the next Je T'aime?! Who is going back out there and filming already?

Uzoma Ibekwe

Hi! All, I'm from Lagos, Nigeria.

If I were to choose an iconic place from there, it wouldn't be a location per se, rather, it would be the house that takes us round the several wonderful places: Our Yellow and Black striped buses, locally, fondly and sometimes insultingly called 'Danfo'.

Why a bus? It's because there's no better representation for our varied cultures, religion, personalities and economic statuses, other than the Danfo. It houses us all.

Inside a Danfo, we learn tolerance, develop tough skin, find love, acquire street wisdom and a lil bit of craziness (The craziness is necessary).

Danfo represents our struggles (physically, they've been through a lot), it represents our hope (they are the most illegally taxed, abused by authorities, yet still continue to operate), it represents our resilience in the face of ever increasing challenges (A Danfo will ALWAYS find a way out of traffic or trouble with mind boggling stunts, you'd believe if they told you a Danfo drove in the air!), it represents courage (it's not for the feint of heart. Absolutely "anything" can happen, like for instance, having to jump down a speeding Danfo. P.S it's more common than you think)

Basically, Danfo represents the reality of the people. And we both hate it and love it for that.

There are many other buses and means of commuting, but none like the Danfo. It is the true symbol of Lagos.

I end with this, if you haven't had a Danfo experience, you haven't lived on the exhilarating edge of life.

P.S I'm actually working on a spoken word poetry about the exciting peculiarities of a Danfo. I'll be sure to share the link when it's ready. For those interested that is :-)

Debbie Croysdale

@Uzoma enjoyed hearing about yellow and black literally "flying" bus. "Danfo" is a force to be reckoned with and you're right, a location is the sum total of all it's people.

Alex Mill

If islands can play the game, I'm nominating Ibiza. [the picture is literally from my backyard] Before I moved here last October, I didn't know that it's not just THE party island. We also have a huge spiritual community and a large British expat group as winter residents. This year is special because probably we'll have the least amount of tourists and we get to enjoy the island for its beauty without the overwhelming summer crowd, so if anyone is interested in coming over and shooting something [whether doc style or narrative], let me know and we can organise it!

Issie Mathurin Saminou

I would choose a small remote village called MATONDO meaning THANKFUL.

The small village holds so many memories during the war of 1997 in Brazzaville and used to accommodate people from other city.

Although the place is now a bit deserted, most part of it is uncultivated and there is plenty of bush/forest to play an horror movie or even a movie about lost people.

Sophie Jay

Ooh, London has so many cool locations... If in central then Postman's Park as it has so much history and stories attached to it or St. Dunstan in the East... If somewhere near me then Richmond Park has some beautiful forest really near my house that I have been planning on going to do some test shooting :)

John Ellis

Alex Mill I'd love to film there - maybe some day!

I live in Reno Nevada, so of course there's the casinos downtown. We're also only 40 minutes from Lake Tahoe, which has its own well-documented locations. Then there's Pyramid Lake (pretty awesome) and Virginia City. The alpine Sierra mountains, white sand desert near Fernley, the Black Rock area (Burning Man), the 50s military style campus of Stead Airport...somebody stop me!

Nominating: Kelly Krause Frankie Gaddo

Jack Graham

I've lived along the Northern Irish coast for my whole life and then some. If I had to choose a place to film it would be remote and or abandoned.

Dunree Fort is an old disused military base in donegal that still has a few dozen barracks that are now over grown and falling apart.

Ryan Drescher

There are so many amazing, beautiful places in Vancouver. One of the things I love most about this city is how much green space there is. You can be in the middle of the city and also the middle of a deep sub-tropical forest and the same time. But if I had to choose one place here to film, it would have to be the shipyard in the Vancouver harbour. It's one of those places that's always been a mystery to me, and I find the docks of port cities so fascinating, they're the throbbing (often tar-filled) heart of those cities and places people don't often get to see up close.

Perhaps this is cheating, but I've only lived in Vancouver for the past year, my previous home was Calgary, Alberta, and I wanted to add a second selection for that, because there is a generally under-appreciated beauty to prairies, and so for Calgary, I would want to film somewhere outside the city at an old abandoned farm or homestead. There's the fantastic area just west of the city that is elevated above the flat regions further west, and affords an absolutely stunning view of the foothills rolling up to the Rockies, entirely unobstructed, so possible there or else in the badlands of Drumheller.

Debbie Croysdale

@Jack Dunree Fort gives me the creeps just looking at it, I'm a firm believer in lay lines and psychic stamps left in physical places, this is dread and unresolved conflict.

Sophia Bryant-Scott

Ryan Drescher Vancouver is so beautiful. It doubles as so many cities in movies, but so few productions actually use it as Van itself. The view from the water looking up into the Rockies... sigh. I miss the west coast.

I'm based in NYC now, but the forests of BC still inspire me so much. Plus, every inch of NYC has been shot three times over at this point. In light of that I'm suggesting Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island:

Trees higher than you can see. Trunks wider than two people together can wrap their arms around. The light that filters through is green and the air is dampened by morning dew and. The forest floor is carpeted with layer upon layer of pine needles and dead leaves sewn together by moss and ferns. People whisper because it feels like something holy, something separate from the mundane world. It feels wrong to disturb the echos of the wind, the birds, and the quiet streams that swell during the rainy (read: most of the year) season.

Christiane Lange

My short would be "A Day in the Life of Kallimarmaro." Kallimarmaro is the ancient stadium in Athens that was rebuilt for the first modern Olympics in 1896. There is an entrance for tourists in front. But in the back there is a free entrance for residents, which gives access to the surrounding park and the jogging track at the top of the stadium. There is a whole community of people who walk their dogs, jog, exercise etc. at the stadium, and the track has spectacular views of the city.

Anna Mantovani

I live in Turin, a city in Northern Italy famous for his occult reputation- according to the legend, the Holy Grail is supposed to be hidden in the Gran Madre Church and at the opposite side of the city centre, in Piazza Statuto, there is a door to hell. I've written a series of urban fantasy novels set there that are inspired to the local legends. I would love to show the gems of the city- the art nouveau buildings with ornate facades and railings, the little streets where you can still find traces of the medieval city, the park near the Po river.

I'd like to shoot it in a way that you can sense its mysterious, dark aura.

I nominate @WayneJarman!

Martin O'Toole

Greetings from Bali!

I currently live in a tiny seaside town, so I'd probably opt for a location nearer Bali's spiritual hub Ubud instead. Out of town and surrounded by rice paddies, there's a very cool sound healing space called the Pyramids of Chi, where you can meditate/do sound healing inside one of three pyramids. An unusual location for sure...

Karen "Kay" Ross

Has anyone else felt the innate secondary benefit from participating in this post? Now, we all get to travel around the world doing "location scouts" from home. I LOVE IT! Thank you for participating!

Adrienne Gittus

Although I am currently in limbo in Fiji, I am from Nelson in New Zealand. Although it is a city by NZ standards it is just a small town by most of the rest of the world. The Maitai river runs from the hills around Nelson right through the middle of the city and out to the estuary and finally the sea. It a place enjoyed by people biking, hiking, kayaking, walking their dogs or perhaps taking their lunch breaks. I think it would be a pretty cool journey to follow the river from its source to its final outlet joining the ocean.

CJ Hightower

Hello Im living in Jacksonville,Fl its a very Beautiful city Nice beach wonderful people great place to shoot a movie.

G Robert Frazier

The Bat Building in Nashville. I'm just betting Batman and the Joker are probably lurking somewhere inside.

Ann Oldham

I live in Pagosa Springs, CO, this is where Colonel Pfeiffer (5'5", red hair and beard) fought the giant Navajo over the sacred Pagosa Hot Springs. They were nude and their weapons were Bowie knives.

Marion Mithamo

I live in Nairobi, the ever-going heart of Kenya! I would choose the African Heritage House this beautiful house that is home to some of the most interesting art pieces from all over Africa.... There’s so much History and culture housed under that one roof! Also, you get to see the Nairobi National Park sprawled out before you, with chances to see wildlife like Giraffes, Zebra or buffalos...

Kevin Marshall Pinkney

Promontory Point in Chicago. It's a seahorse-shaped park that jetts out on Lake Michigan, seeing the entire downtown skyline from south to north. It's a location that's not normally filmed- so many opportunities to pull focus. Perfect for those two-person conversation scenes

Effector Dhanushanth

Jaffna, I guess (Sri Lanka). It's seen its share of unrelenting stigma and mass genocide, the works of the macabre; over the past -say, from the very year I'd been borne into this ball of rut (1983) till 2008. That's 25 years of bloodshed of the country's minority diaspora. It'd be a great setting.

Huzaifah Abu Bakar

I would love to make a thriller in the Australian Outback. The vast emptiness of tbe landscape. It is so beautiful and so foreboding. Which is a perfect place for a psychedelic western in the vein of 'Dead Man' by Jim Jarmursh

Roger Hewett

Karen "Kay" Ross suggested I visit here. I wish I could nominate 3 friends but I'm a little too new to impose!

I would mention the quirky little town where I now live though.

Leamington, Ontario is affectionally known as "The Tomato Capital Of Canada". At this time of year, the small town features multiple tractor-trailers hauling fresh, ripe tomatoes to the Highbury Canco plant in the centre of town, ready to be made into Heinz and French's ketchup, amongst other things.

I originated from Norwich, in the UK, home of Colmans Mustard.

I guess one could say I moved from one condiment to another...

Karen "Kay" Ross

Oh, that was PUNNY, Roger Hewett!

Richard Thrift

Roger Hewett I am from Leicester in the UK and live in Manchester NJ (lol) and my mother was born in Leamington Spa in the UK. Lol

Roger Hewett

Richard Thrift ...Wow! Now there's a random string of parallel coincidences!

Tanatswa Taruvinga

I'd love to make a TV series in Cape Town, South Africa and a movie in France (not in Paris), I'd like to explore other parts of France and show the world that it's not just the city of love but the country of love.

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