A SF Classic filmed at Bradbury Building
As a writer, I try to go the extra mile for my readers. I do so by ensuring accuracy in details. In my latest novel the protagonist from Anything Short Of Murder, Tom Logan, returns. He’s got himself one humdinger of a case which finds him visiting many sites around the City of Angels. It has always been my aim to make my stories feel real, and in effect, give my readers a true sense of being there. To do this convincingly I realized that I had to make them feel real to myself first. I discovered that the best way I could accomplish this was to travel and experience them firsthand. I did it successfully with Hawaii in The Curse of the Crimson Dragon, so naturally I was up to applying it again. Therefore, earlier this month I made a special trip to several locations (being written into my latest novel) in or around the downtown Los Angeles area- landmarks that have stood since the book’s setting, circa 1930. I thought I would cover these over a series of short articles, the first examining the BRADBURY BUILDING.
This building could be overlooked by the uninformed
First off, the building is not named after author Ray Bradbury. Having gotten that misconception out of the way I can say that it was commissioned by L.A.mining millionaire Lewis L. Bradbury, designed by George Wyman, and completed in 1893. From the outside, the property at 304 South Broadway doesn’t seem remarkable (brown brick, sandstone with terra cotta panels), but pass through the front door and you’re in for a surprise.
Magic happens when you cross this portal
If you feel a certain amount of déjà vu when you observe its unique interior, you’re not alone. It has been the location for numerous television and feature films, most notably: Blade Runner (1982) with Harrison Ford, I, The Jury (1953) with Preston Foster, D.O.A. (1950) with Edmond O’Brien, Marlowe (1969) with James Garner, and Chinatown (1974) with Jack Nicolson. These are just a sampling of features. For television- to name a few: The Outer Limits, Mission Impossible, Banyon, and The Night Strangler.
A view from the ground floor
The architect, Wyman had been influenced by the 1887 science fiction novel Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, hence its unusual design, and perhaps why it was utilized for Blade Runner.
One of the caged elevators
My FACEBOOK friend, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s film adaptation of her novel, Pay it Forward, was also shot here. And it has been the location for numerous novels, comics, and even a setting for music videos.
A view from the first floor landing
With its film noir connections, I think you can see why I chose the Bradbury Building as a setting for my next novel. As a writer, film lover, and former member of the entertainment industry, I design my books like the classic movies I love. I relish playing director, or location scout searching out properties that will add something visually to my storytelling. It is one of the perks of being a writer, and quite frankly I am enjoying every minute of it!
Author Tony Piazza at Bradbury Building
An additional note: The most recent film to utilize The Bradbury Building was The Artist (2011).
UPDATE: The novel mentioned above was published in 2013, its’ title, A Murder Amongst Angels, and was well reviewed and an Amazon as a bestseller.
Look for the new Tom Logan mystery coming in 2015
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His second novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was next released early 2012, and in July of 2013, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. A new Tom Logan novel has been completed and is scheduled to be released in 2015. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.
Tony Piazza is a member of three prestigious writer’s organizations: Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the SLO NightWriters.
NEW! COMING SOON!
The novel that started it all. The first in the Tom Logan mystery series- read by actor James Romick,will be available on Audible, Amazon, and I-tunes.
My earlier bestselling novels, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” and “Anything Short of Murder” now joins “A Murder Amongst Angels” on Amazon’s Kindle at a new, low price of $2.99. Now you can have hours of adventure, thrills, mystery, and romance for the price of a cup of coffee- and just as stimulating! Look for it on Amazon. Print versions have also been reduced.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels is discounted for e-book.
Find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.
Marilyn Meredith says
I grew up in L.A. and as a kid I explored this building and rode in the elevator. No one stopped me. It was back in the day when my mom let me and my cousin from the age of 10 on go downtown on our own. We had rules, but not going into interesting buildings was not one of them.
Looking forward to your next book. That is an interesting biilding.