Filming at Disney Hall: Always ready for its close-up

In its first 10 years Disney Hall became more than a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, it also became a destination for photographing advertisements and filming commercials, television shows and movies.

Howard Sherman, vice president of operations at the Music Center, said the product of Frank Gehry’s imagination works on film because the hall can be so many things to so many people. “If they want futuristic stainless steel curves, this is where they come. If they want a space to do a formal black tie gala in a traditional environment, this is where they can come,” he said.

Disney’s lobby served as an airport security area for the TV show “Brothers and Sisters.” Its intimate BP Hall has starred as a New York performance space in “Glee.” The concert hall itself has hosted scenes in “The Soloist,” various documentaries and much more. The first “Iron Man” used the hall’s outside staircase as the entry for a charity party. An episode of “The Simpsons” paid homage to Gehry’s twisted exterior.


TIMELINE: Walt Disney Hall through the years

Kokayi Ampah, who works as a location manager, said he selected Disney Hall for the film “Get Smart” because it could be easily identified as Los Angeles, and for “The Soloist” because the hall was in the film’s script.

“We could’ve used another facility, we could’ve used something else, but it’s the crown jewel of L.A.,” Ampah said. “It says you’re in L.A.”

In “The Soloist” (based on the book by Times columnist Steve Lopez), film crews captured Disney’s stainless steel exterior as well as the concert hall in which Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) rehearsed and performed. “Get Smart” featured many of the hall’s mind-bending angles including the exterior, where an aircraft touched down on Grand Avenue in front of the building, the underground parking garage where the president and his Secret Service entered for a concert, the concert hall and underneath the stage.

INTERACTIVE: Disney Hall inside and out

Anyone who has watched broadcast television has likely seen a new car speeding by the hall’s exterior. “I think every car commercial in the span of about four years was done here,” Sherman said. “It seemed like a law that you had to do it at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.”

Here are some the most well-known appearances of Walt Disney Concert Hall in television and movies (with dates they were filmed):

“After the Sunset” (2004)

“Fast and Furious 3" (2005)

“24" (2006)

“Justice” (2006)

“Get Smart” (2007)

“Numbers” (2007)

“Brothers and Sisters” (2007)

“Iron Man” (2007)

“The Bachelor” (2008)

“CSI NY” (2008)

“Director’s Bureau” (2008)

“Transformers 2" (2008)

“Entourage” (2008)

“The Soloist” (2008)

“Heroes” (2009)

“The Biggest Loser” (2010)

“MasterChef” (2011)

“Just Desserts” (2011)

“NCIS” (2012)

“Glee” (2012)


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