Dexter Filming Locations: In the Trunk


The location: In the Trunk.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. An unidentified stretch of road.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Somewhere in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 11 (of Season 3), "I Had a Dream".

    In the last few seconds of the previous episode (10), while getting out of his car, Dexter was suddenly grabbed from behind, his hands taped behind his back, hooded, and tossed into the trunk of a car, which then sped away.

    Since we saw Miguel Prado sic The Skinner on Dexter moments before he was grabbed, it appeared that he has been abducted by the serial killer.

    As this episode opens, we see Dexter still locked inside the trunk, assuming that the Prado has sent someone to kill him.

    The camera switches to an outside view, of the car speeding down a curving street at night.

    Back inside the trunk, Dexter has another fantasy vision of his father, Harry, urging him not to give up.

    As the car pulls into its final destination, Dexter manages to rip the tape from his wrists and free his hands.

    When the trunk opens, Dexter springs out and punches someone - but is in for a big surprise.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A public street - but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This brief scene was shot in one of the "Dexter" crew's favorite filming spots: the Shoreline Village area of Long Beach.

    To be more specific, it was shot with the car headed east on E. Shoreline Drive, near (as best as I can determine) 275 or 300 E. Shoreline.

    That's just east of Shoreline Village Drive and west of Linden Ave, close to Rainbow Lagoon Park (but on the other side of the street).

    The irony is that, in the shot, the car is actually headed away from its real destination (the dock where they filmed the party boat scene).

    Here is a Google StreetView shot of the same stretch of road. (Because the telephoto lens used in the original shot exaggerated the size of distant objects, the 40-mph sign looks farther away when seen in Google's wide-angle view.)

    Here is an aerial photo of the area. And here is a map link.

    I shot the photo below in 2009, heading east on Shoreline Drive, showing a wider, daylight view of the same scene.

    This area is very close to where they filmed many other third season scenes, including Prado's Cuban Festival, the second Skinner killing, the Wendell Owens murder scene, the scene under the bridge with the bloody shirt, etc.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I've driven Shoreline Drive often enough that I had a hunch it was it, even though it was filmed after dark and there weren't many details to go on.

    So I blew up the photos in PhotoShop and lightened them to magnify the details, then got out the aerial photos and Google StreetView, and began trying to pin down the exact spot.

    Fortunately, there were a few clues to work with: a 40 MPH sign, two other small signs, the shape of the street lights, that cluster of palm trees, etc. Plus, it was obvious that it had been shot at a point where the road curved sharply to the left. There was only one logical spot along Shoreline Drive that fit that description, and Google StreetView allowed me to match up the smaller details.

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