Since most Star Trek scenes are set in space, aboard the Enterprise or on distant planets,
I usually don't tend to think about their filming locations, because I assume that most of
the scenes were filmed inside studio sound stages. And that's often true.
But in the case of 2013's "Star Trek: Into Darkness", a surprising number of well-known
Los Angeles locations were used in the filming (albeit, enhanced with CGI).
But before we get to those real-life locations, let me first get this out of the way:
The movie opens with a scene on a red planet, as Kirk & McCoy flee through
a scarlet jungle, with a tribe of angry alien aborigines hot on their trail.
That scene, as well as the scene with Spock in an erupting volcano (on the same red planet)...
were shot on sets built on empty land in Playa del Rey, California (near
Marina del Rey), next to the old Howard Hughes "Spruce Goose" hangers
that have been turned into giant sound stages by Raleigh Studios.
The climactic scene of Spock battling Khan in hand-to-hand combat, on a
floating platform, was also shot on this same Playa del Rey property.
( The producers put up a temporary wall around the perimeter, during filming,
in an attempt to keep out prying eyes , but it didn't work - a photo of
Spock applying the neck-pinch maneuver to Khan leaked early...)
(The bridge of the Enterprise was built on a sound stage at
the historic MGM/Sony studio in Culver City.)
This empty land is located just west of The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center,
an upscale shopping center that houses one of L.A.'s early IMAX theatres,
just west of the 405 Freeway, and just south of the Marina del Rey freeway.
The adjacent sound stages are located at the corner of Campus Center & Bluff Creek Drives.
Here is a Google
StreetView of the area.
|OK, now that that's out of the way, let's move on to some filming spots in L.A. that you can actually visit (indeed, where you might have even been before, if you've explored Los Angeles),
but which you might not have recognized, thanks to the film's
sneaky/clever use of CGI to alter and add to the original location...
0:11:04: We see what is supposed to be "Royal Children's Hospital", perched upon a hill. This is where
a distraught couple (the Harewoods) visit their dying daughter, Lucille, and where Khan tells the
desperate father that he can save the girl (with a blood transfusion) - in return for a deadly favor.
Although this is supposed to be somewhere near London, it's actually right here in sunny Southern
California. And it's not a hospital in real life - it's a home (or at least, it used to be).
This is none other than Greystone Mansion, at 905 Loma Vista Drive, in Beverly Hills.
The massive home was originally built in 1928 by oil tycoon Edward Getty, but a following
a family tragedy at the house, the estate was willed to the City of Beverly Hills.
Now part of Greystone Park, its grounds are open to the public, so feel free to drop by.
A lot of movies have been filmed here, including "X-Men", "The Social Network", "The Muppets"
"National Treasure", "The Bodyguard", "All of Me" and "Indecent Proposal".
The movie's shot of the home is a bit deceptive - like many of the scenes in this movie. It starts with a
pan (left) from a fake landscape, then we see the side of the mansion, with a helicopter parked nearby
(as a futuristic hover-car passes), revealing a full view of the mansion at 0:11:06.
They also used CGI to add the words "Royal Children's Hospital" to the side,
and also added a fake glass wing behind the mansion.
Below is a more realistic view of the mansion, minus the CGI enhancements: