Being located right outside of the Beltway has made Baltimore, Maryland a natural extension of the U.S. capital and the setting for many a movie with a political tint. Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver visited during production of their 1993 comedy Dave, as did Nicolas Cage and Shirley MacLaine for 1994â€(tm)s Guarding Tess.
But it could be said that the people who really put this metropolitan area on the map were Bruce Willis and John McTiernan, who set up shop for Die Hard: With a Vengeance in 1995. Twelve years later the smooth-shaven action star returned with a new crew to film Live Free or Die Hard, released this past week by 20th Century Fox. The new movie finds battered action hero John McClane somewhat reluctantly dragged into yet another adventure when helicopters begin a high-speed chase of his vehicle through Baltimoreâ€(tm)s city streets. When Washington, D.C. is nearly shut down by homegrown cyber-terrorists, McClane and his new partner in crime (Dodgeballâ€(tm)s Justin Long) find themselves back on their way through the Old Line State to Baltimoreâ€(tm)s Woodlawn section, home to the targeted national headquarters of the Social Security Administration.
Usually, filming at government buildings can be a tricky feat, what with permits being a daunting task to tackle. But through the Maryland Film Office thereâ€(tm)s always a helping hand, whether in the form of a much-needed location scout or free shooting and production properties, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts can help moviemakers find their niche within the borders of The District without actually being within the borders of The District. Register your project with the state for free and even receive a five percent tax rebate on some of your most essential rentals and production services, all while rolling film in one of the nation’s original seaport cities.
The works of John Waters and many others have made use of Baltimore, including:
Cry Baby (1990)
Enemy of the State (1998)
A Dirty Shame (2004)
Sound Off: Baltimore so easily passes for Washington, D.C. on film that you might not even notice the difference. What other popular movies have successfully utilized a substitute location and are worth a moviemakerâ€(tm)s tightly-budgeted money? Share with your fellow independents in our comments section!