There’s a good reason why some things aren’t as noticed when it comes to using and re-using sets, and it has to do with the fact for each movie it’s used in, a set will need to be redone and fitted to accommodate the movie. What a lot of people don’t realize however is that they’re looking at the same set with a few extra decorations or perhaps, these days, with some serious CGI added in. One could possibly assume though that with all the movies being made in various studios that elaborate sets would be used more than once, as would locations where the sets are set up. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious and at others it’s a little more difficult to tell since the set designers take great pains most times to make sure that the audience doesn’t figure out where they’ve seen certain buildings, rooms, and other locations, though the more observant audience members will no doubt recognize something, be it small or obvious, and point it out. The great thing however is that it doesn’t matter if someone does figure it out since the sets are usually being filmed differently or are done up with different designs when possible so as to make them stand out and belong to the movie in question.
Here are just a few sets that have been used for multiple movies.
5. Fox Tower lobby – Die Hard, Speed
This is where different camera angles and approaches can come in handy since it’s very likely that a lot of people might not think of the fact that these two movies utilize the same lobby since in Speed they’re moving through it so fast (ironic I know), while in Die Hard they spend a good deal of time in the lobby during the movie. But it could also have something to do with the fact that Speed is being filmed in the daytime while Die Hard takes place at night, a fact that can go a long way towards changing up how a set looks since the lighting can play a huge role in how people perceive certain sets.
4. Mansion – Billy Madison, X-Men
Realistically we don’t get to see a lot of the mansion from the inside in Billy Madison, but then we don’t get to see a lot of it from the outside with X-Men, but it is the same place, just done up a bit differently in order to make it distinct for both movies. Obviously the place is quite humongous as in one movie it’s meant to house any number of guests that are coming through due to the Madison business, while in the X-Men it needs to house several students at a time and be expansive enough to give them all their space, which is important since some of them have powers that aren’t all that great when it comes to close quarters.
3. Power plant – Aliens, Batman (1989)
Some people might be saying no way to this but a bit of extra lighting, some paint, and a lot of funky alien goop all over the place can make a world of difference when it comes to these movies since they were filmed in one and the same place. The kind of work that went in to making the plant feel as though it belonged to an alien world though was pretty extensive since the hardened resin sculptures had to take some time to put together. Yet one can’t forget that the Batman set also had to be given a great deal of care since enough had to be in place to make it look like an actual workplace and not just a set.
2. The Quality Cafe – Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Gone in 60 Seconds
Sometimes a place doesn’t even have to be open to start earning money since it sounds as though the Quality Cafe has been making more of being in the movies than it has off of its menu for quite some time now. This is especially true since more than a few movies have taken place in this spot and a lot of them are easy to remember and once the shot has been established they’re even easier considering that the main parts of the venue don’t really change at all.
1. Mount Hollywood Tunnel – Back to the Future II, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Kind of amazing that these two movies have anything in common, isn’t it? But the tunnel scene where Biff discovers Marty and then chases him is the same area where Eddie Valiant and Benny first come upon the tunnel leading into Toon Town. Unlike Back to the Future though the tunnel isn’t lit up as it leads through the dark into the animated city that might actually exist in the heart of the mountain for all we know.
There are a lot of sets that have seen use in a lot of movies.
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