North Country so special it has to be simulated in movie!

On Wednesday,  I saw the Steven Soderbergh movie “Haywire” at our local theater.  An action-packed flick featuring a beautiful ex-CIA  lady who beats up large men, I nevertheless thought it was pretty good, with a unique use of sound (or lack of it) and some beautiful scenery.  This included sequences of sunny Barcelona,  urbane Dublin, and several important scenes featuring “Upstate New York” in the winter!

These scenes included a car chase on a typical North Country road, which degenerated into a snowy back-country chase, which eventually ended with a deer through the rear window of our heroine’s car!  I was convinced that it was shot in St. Lawrence County, and although I didn’t recognize the exact spot on the road, the state “route 56” sign pinpointed the scene to somewhere between Sevey’s Corners and Massena (Route 56 is only 50 miles long!)

Screenshot from "Haywire" trailer

the chase

Anyway, I was WRONG!  Here’s a snipped of an Emanuel Levy interview with Production Designer Howard Cummings:

“New Mexico stood in for upstate New York in scenes in which Mallory (the heroine) leads police on a wild car chase through snow-covered woods.

The filmmakers prepped an area in Bandelier National Forest, starting two months before shooting. ‘Because Bandelier is a national park, we were required to get permission for everything we did,’ says Cummings. ‘The greens crew came in ahead and packed down the road by hand. We compressed the snow to about a foot and then took in snowmobiles to make specific tracks. In order to make it feel as if she is in deep woods, we brought in shrubbery and trees and lined the path for about a mile. A lot of it had to be brought in by sled so we didn’t ruin the road that we had established.’

I’ll bet $10,000 it would have cost less to simply shoot it in South Colton! (just kidding)

2 Comments on “North Country so special it has to be simulated in movie!”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    No, you are correct. Hollywood loves to spend money
    But this brings up a complaint I have with movie locations.
    So often I watch a movie or a TV program and know darn well the outdoor scenes were not shot on location or even at a place reasonably like the location where it is supposed to take place.

  2. Terence says:

    Imagine the budget meeting for that one:

    –Rather than actually film in Upstate New York, we propose lining one mile of Southwest roadway with trees and shrubs. Obviously, after hand-packing the whole thing with man-made snow.

    –Sounds reasonable.

    Are we that horrible up here? Not enough light? What’s going on?

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