A. They built these True Blood house sets at what is known as Greer Ranch, a movie ranch located up in the Santa Monica Mountains, at 1200 Las Virgenes Road, in Calabasas, California (on a small side road called Las Virgenes Canyon Road, off the east side of the street).
Some of the ranches were just open rural property, while others sported elaborate, permanent sets, such as Western towns. But all of them featured an open, natural setting that couldn't be found in the city: fields, pastures, trails, oak forests, streams, ponds, rural vistas... and most of them were located in the mountains that surround Los Angeles, which provided a picturesque mountain backdrop.
During Hollywood's Golden Age, most of the major studios owned their own movie ranches, but they still rented others when their own ranch didn't give them the specific setting a particular movie needed.
Most of the original studio ranches are long gone (the exception being Disney's Golden Oak Ranch), and much of that mountainous land now belongs to the government park service.
But there are still quite a few independent movie ranches, and Greer Ranch is one of them, albeit not as well-known (or as elaborate) as some of the others.
When True Blood needed to recreate Bon Temps, they knew they would need to shoot the same houses over and over (for seven years, as it turns out), and that those houses would have to be in a setting that could pass for rural Louisiana.
The easiest solution was to simply build the homes here in L.A., close together, in the same rural setting.
Here is a photo tour of sorts, of the various True Blood houses at Greer ranch,
thanks to photos from True Blood fan, Jay B. :
Sookie's house (above and below)
LaFayette's house (above & below)
Jason's house (above & below)
Bill's house (above & below)
The Bon Temps Cemetery (above & below)
And here's a map of the ranch and the locations of the various houses:(Click it to see a larger version)
Here is a Google StreetView of the entrance to the ranch:
[ Be aware that this is private property, and the entrance is gated. I've had some fans report
that they visited the ranch without incident, and some who had encounters with security.
So, be careful, obey the laws, and stay safe. ]
True Blood screenshots from the show & all related characters &
elements are trademarks of and © HBO.
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