Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher films on location in Pittsburgh
Tom Cruise’s new film Jack Reacher shot on location across Pittsburgh, attracted mainly by Pennsylvania’s filming tax credit. The movie tells the story of a maverick detective uncovering a criminal conspiracy against the backdrop of a series of sniper murders.
“One of the initial challenges was simply navigating Pittsburgh,” says Location Manager Sam Hutchins: “It is a city built on hills and in valleys, intersecting three rivers. I've worked in many different cities and Pittsburgh was the hardest one to get my bearings in.”
The production spent 55 days in the city, with the shoot focussing on the Strip District and Downtown regions. Much of the schedule was dedicated to a centrepiece car chase, which the team wanted to be able to rank alongside the greats of cinema history like those of Steve McQueen classic Bullitt and the more recent Ronin.
“Our [chase] takes place at night,” Hutchins adds, “and we shot anamorphic so the lighting needs were extensive. We spent a great deal of time just securing all the necessary lighting positions.”
Aside from lighting concerns, the only changes the team made to the filming locations were for sequences set in Florida and Iraq. “It snowed the day we were shooting the exterior shot set in Florida,” Hutchins continues, “so we had to burn the snow off the lawn and strategically place some palm trees. Some locals were watching and thought we were nuts.”
Our [chase] takes place at night and we shot anamorphic so the lighting needs were extensive. We spent a great deal of time just securing all the necessary lighting positions.
Sam Hutchins, Location Manager
Despite initial navigation problems, Hutchins describes Pittsburgh as a “truly production-friendly place to work”.
Pennsylvania offers a generous 25% location filming incentive and doubled for Gotham City in The Dark Knight Rises in 2011. Officials are currently lobbying for a boost to the state’s annual film fund, which at the moment is worth USD60 million.
Jack Reacher is on general release from late December 2012.
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