BSV Forum - General - Off-Topic

Sunnydale location

Jan 20 2010 10:39 pm   #1BandS
I know this floats around the net and in everyone's mind from time to time...and yes I have a few different maps...

My problem is the actual location...Why?  Well, we all saw Chosen and the vast bit of nothingness that we'd like to all call desert, right?  I mean it shows nothing around.  I have read many sites saying this is in or near the coastline by Santa Barbara...

Problem...I envision (not sure about anyone else), from what I saw in Chosen, a chunk of California taken off then filled with water--had it been Santa Barbara location...

Because I am looking at all the details they used from those curious about this on the net, analyzing this...lol...

The places I have gone to about Sunnydales location does make sense...except one major detail.  If Sunnydale is near the ocean...which in numerous episodes says the ocean isn't far...then that big crater--would be filled with a ton of ocean.  Definitely not surrounded by desert looking area...although we know a desert isn't far, but STILL....Sunnydale not far from the ocean would suggest to me crater then filled with a ton of ocean water...

Any thoughts on this?  Anyone else have maps or ideas?  Seriously there are some who went into great detail with miles versus what was said in the episode...now that's what I call very analytical lol.

Jan 20 2010 11:04 pm   #2maryperk
I found this map some time ago, and as you can see the ocean is on one side of Sunnydale.

http://pics.livejournal.com/moss6886/pic/0000fx5t

I've never really thought about it though.
Jan 20 2010 11:50 pm   #3BandS
That's one of the maps I have...thanks though, Mary.

Surprised that no one has thought of that one detail...the fact Sunnydale was located near the water and yet there is this crater sized hole and yet still near ocean?  Makes no sense...



Jan 20 2010 11:55 pm   #4maryperk
*laughs* That's BTVS for you. 

I suppose over time the ocean water could seep in or an earthquake could cause the weak wall between crater and ocean to fall.
Jan 21 2010 12:03 am   #5BandS
LMAO...

And considering they are the writers...do they not think up these things???  LOL guess not...Totally has me going back to my own story damn...I used Sunnyvale as my location to my 'other' characters previous location at Santa Maria...NOW...I have to do this alllll over and correct that error...Or maybe it doesn't really matter...but I am going to nitpick it that's for sure lol....

Jan 21 2010 02:43 am   #6CM 
Yeah, all those overhead shots of Sunnydale were actually Santa Barbara.

No idea were they filmed the end of "Chosen", except desert. I've lived in SoCal all my life and traveled through practically all the state, but there wasn't anything specific enough in those last shots for me to identify it.
Jan 21 2010 02:50 am   #7CM 
One thing about being near enough to get to the beach. We never saw ocean directly in the background of the town. (The school and Joyce's house were both filmed in Torrance.) It takes under an hour easy to get to several beaches from several Southern California locations. It doesn't have to be a coast town to be coast accessible, you know? I've driven to Lake Arrowhead (mountains) and San Diego (way south) in an hour and a half from my home in OC.
Jan 21 2010 02:51 am   #8nmcil
I lived right close to the mall that was used for some of the location shots - the ocean is very near but there is but there is no  desert area close by -  not as suggested in the series. 
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Jan 21 2010 03:21 am   #9Spikez_tart
I think the desert is supposed to be a drive away - when Giles takes Buffy for her hokey pokey spirit walk, they have to drive for a while. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jan 21 2010 04:12 am   #10BandS 
So given that...and the fact the distance from the crater...they made Sunnydale seem very small when in fact it was a pretty decently sized town...

Am I wrong?

From what is seen in Chosen...there is absolutely nothing around...its vast dirt/sand area...looking down a road of what Joss was supplying as 'a new journey' from what I gathered.  New hope...

That still doesn't explain the fact Santa Barbara is located near the ocean...Now for those there, and correct me if I'm wrong...taking the whole city with them...uh wouldn't that idk send the ocean right on in?  They have said it was a huge crater, right?  I could go back to the comics...

So very curious because then the filming location is off...and I know who cares, right?  I do...because I would do my homework on the area I was doing my best to replicate but change...I hate when they do that...

Sorry my own pet peeve.  If you make up a place...fine...but make up places with real places...annoy me...just my thing I guess lol...

I don't know if anyone has read the Drake Series by Christine Feehan...but she did a phenomenal job of doing her homework on the place she had chosen for the sisters to have grown up in...sorry just a major pet peeve of mine when setting a stage.

Am I alone in that feeling lol...maybe and maybe not...
Jan 21 2010 02:01 pm   #11slaymesoftly
It makes me crazy when shows set in and around DC (Bones, for instance) show them driving out into countryside that looks nothing like No. VA  or MD; but that's the way filming works. Especially for TV shows where there is not budget for making trips to real locations. You use what you have - even if it has palm trees and deserts where there are no such things.


Sunnydale has docks. And ships. If not right in town, certainly close enough by to be used in scenes.  It could easily be set an hour's drive or so back from the coast (and from the desert, for that matter), but the fact that there are docks makes that somewhat suspect. I'm surprised no one has brought this up before.  A crater by the coast would indeed fill with water very quickly. 

Sunnydale's size sems to vary with the episode. Usually it seems fairly small (only one high school, everyone walks everwhere, etc), but then it has a college, docks, train station, and so on - things indicative of a small city rather than a town.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jan 22 2010 03:10 am   #12nmcil
The most obvious and biggest mistake of all in the depiction and location of Sunnydale vs "Chosen" is that The Hellmouth is right smack in the town - The beach area in the episode where the Scoobies are having their outing can be explained by simply - driving away from the town and to the coast.  Dark Willow and the coast area cannot be explained away - doesn't the action take place close to the town?   Warren running away in the bus, again driving time for an explanation - but Xander and Dark Willow happens presumably in the town.   It has been a while since I watched finale of season 6 - if I remember correctly that takes place by the coast.   In "Prophecy Girl" Buffy walks to her destination with The Master.   Using the desert area in "Chosen" makes for big gap in logical connections to Sunnydale location.   I suppose that the ending location for "Chosen" could have been the same location that Warren and Willow ended up at from the bus scene.   

I don't know why so  films and TV programs don't  seem to think the continuity of location or costuming is something that the audience will noticed or care about.  My pet peeve is the costuming for space flight films.  Like Seven wearing high heeled shoes or all those short skirts that the original Star Trek series used -
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Jan 22 2010 12:25 pm   #13CM 
No, Willow's just up on a hill/cliff to try to end the world. You don't see ocean that I remember.
Jan 22 2010 08:56 pm   #14coalitiongirl
According to an essay on Sunnydale's location (found here) the zip code for a letter to Buffy in "As You Were" is 95037. 
 
Jan 23 2010 01:23 am   #15CM 
Just to spin anyone's brain that reads the essay for location - there are vineyards south of LA.
South-east, actually, as they're in the inland area along the 15-FWY. See Temecula, etc.  But I do believe SD was north of LA, lol.
Shame the writer of the essay didn't specify what speeds those travel durations coincide with. Speed limit went to 65mph on CA highways in 1995, but few of us drive that slow. 2 hours at 65 or 2 hours at 85? (as far as I know, Google maps specifies time based on posted speed limits since it's the easiest generic measure) Taking the 5 doesn't have to be slow......just depends on what day and time you go.
Jan 23 2010 02:28 am   #16nmcil
While you are at it - if you want to read a wonderful little gem of a Spike story read her "Shades of Madness"  - this is such a neat little site - very clever and intelligent young woman that loved the Buffyverse, loves literature, posted a little of her poetry,  graduates from Oxford during the time and who know where she is now and what she is doing.

I loved her Spike story and her style -

 
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Jan 24 2010 01:47 am   #17Spikez_tart
End of S6 - You can see the ocean from the cliff Willow is standing on

http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/vidcaps/122/grave183.shtml

What I really love are TV shows/movies that are supposed to be filmed in Chicago (Harry Dresden, I'm pointing at you), but are really shot in Toronto.  Then, the characters jump in their cars and arrive in the country in about five minutes.  Sorry, but you could drive for nearly two hours in any direction without even hitting a farm.  Or, if they are filmed in Chicago, they start out in the loop, drive 30 seconds and they're 15 miles away in Evanston.  Grrr.

Desert - Santa Barbara is southwest of Death Valley National Park and straight west from Arizona.  Plenty of desert there and Death Valley is about 200 miles away.  More likely, they filmed in Joshua Tree National Park - those are the weird trees you see.  Thats about 225 miles from Santa Barbara.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jan 24 2010 09:02 am   #18BandS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RFnr0xTVYw

Yup you can so see the ocean!!!  Vaguely but if you look hard enough the ocean is there in Season 6.  Watch carefully and you can see waves...

Still boggles my mind why they (writers, producers, and directors) don't take note of these things...in series...Maybe it is the money, but one would think...like what Kevin Williamson did with Dawson's Creek...he filmed right on location...just as One Tree Hill does...On certain things like filming off site...if I'm not mistaken they actually filmed off location or did their homework recreating what is real...

Sighs and wonders if those will ever notice these mistakes...lol...darn pet peeve...giggles. 

Really 225 miles...wow and I don't know Cali that well.  Wonders if they were trying to replicate Joshua Tree National Park?

Jan 24 2010 07:08 pm   #19Spikez_tart
According to the writer commentary on the DVD, they did go on location for the desert scenes in Restless and presumably for the episode where Buffy goes on her soul search or whatever the hell it was.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jan 25 2010 04:20 am   #20CM 
Joshua Tree is east on the 10 from the metro areas.
Jan 25 2010 04:23 am   #21CM 
They were probably in Malibu or Palos Verdes, maybe, for those cliff over the ocean scenes. Easy to get to from where they normally filmed.
Jan 26 2010 01:57 am   #22nmcil
The Palm Desert area is actually very close to LA - approximately 2 hour drive - I suspect that this is the location for the desert scenes - it is a big vacation area, easy to get to for film crews.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.