After Glow - Los Angeles magazine

After Glow

Film shoots that happen when the sun goes down turn Los Angeles into a hypersaturated wonderland

By Amy Wallace

Photograph by Gregg Segal

Hollenbeck Park
January16, 2003
(Unknown production)

At night, because of the city’s ambient light, “the sky acts as this soft box. All the lights are trapped in the atmosphere and bounced back, so it’s a lot brighter than if you were out in the desert,” says Gregg Segal.

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Photograph by Gregg Segal
Downtown L.A.
November 27, 2012
(Unknown production)

Film L.A., which issues permits for the city, keeps a list of what’s being shot where on a given day, but not whether the shoots are being done outside or indoors. “If you happen to see a shoot going on, that’s great,” says Segal. “But if you’re looking for it, it seems you never find it. I had a lot of failed attempts where I drove somewhere and found nothing. So when I saw this light coming through the building,I was like, ‘Yes!
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Photograph by Gregg Segal
Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium
October 19, 2012
(ABC’s Scandal)

Segal liked the building’s design and the intensity of the light. “It’s like, ‘What’s going on here?’ ” he says. “You can see the crane, and it reads as ‘film production,’ but just barely. And that crane kind of echoes the palm trees.”
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Photograph by Gregg Segal
Hollywood
January 21, 2013
(Iron Man 3)

This scene in the movie lasted about two minutes, but the crew spent an entire night shooting. “There’s no celebrity present and yet there are huge crowds,” says Segal. “I liked the cop, because cops are ubiquitous on film productions in L.A. And I love that the globe light is where the moon should be.”
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Photograph by Gregg Segal
Altadena
September 12, 2012
(CBS’s CriminalMinds)

Segal is intrigued by the juxtaposition of night with light—the “artificial, purposeful, directed light” we don’t normally see. “I’ve always liked the idea of not shooting what everyone else is looking at.”
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Photograph by Gregg Segal
South Pasadena
November 5, 2012
(AMC’s Mad Men)

At this location the lights “are a stand-in for looky-loos who peer in, hoping to see Jon Hamm,” says Segal. “I was standing on public property, but when the show’s security detail saw my camera, they had somebody shadow me. I was like, ‘I don’t want to see Jon Hamm! I’m here for the lights.’
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Photograph by Gregg Segal
Altedena
January 31, 2013
(Unknown
production)

What appealed to Segal in this tableau were “the quiet of the shot—the absence of people—and the perpendicular lines of the production truck and the palm tree. Those two elements are so quintessentially L.A.”
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