Movies - TV
How Escape From New York Found The Perfect Location For Its Dystopian Version Of
The City
By TRAVIS YATES
For the 1981 film “Escape from New York,” writer and director John Carpenter had to create a dystopian New York City on a meager $6 million budget. To make it happen, Carpenter left New York altogether and set his sights on the unlikeliest of locations: The Midwest, on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The filmmaker found a workaround by shooting in St. Louis, Missouri, where the city had suffered a fire in the mid-1970’s, leaving part of it in ruins. “They had a lot of decrepit stuff around,” Carpenter recalled, adding, “so we found a location that worked that let us get the spectacle that we needed.”
Carpenter also used matte paintings and additional locations in and around Los Angeles. "We knew it was going to go because it had a green light, so we were going to shoot the movie no matter what," Carpenter said. "The question was how big a spectacle could we afford to make."