San Francisco neighborhoods are popular locations for film and TV — particularly the Castro, the Haight (When We Rise, Looking, Big Sur, Milk) and Alamo Square, where Steve Carell is shooting exteriors for Beautiful Boy this week.
Last August, Netflix series Girlboss, loosely based on the story of 'Nasty Gal' founder Sophia Amoruso, shot in the Haight. The series, which depicts the origins of Amoruso's apparel business around 2006, shows how she purchased items from local thrift shops and resold them online from an apartment at Haight and Masonic.
Now that the series is streaming, we spoke to a location scout and a few local businesses about their experience with the production around the Haight and the Castro.
Bay Area native and location scout Heather MacLean said she enjoyed working around the neighborhood, but one of the biggest issues with Girlboss was sharing space with construction crews on Haight Street—a majority of the parking was already taken up by those construction vehicles.
She and her crew worked closely with neighborhood associations and merchants because they had to find spaces to park production vehicles. To complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible, they had several crews working simultaneously down the length of the street.
“It was a bit of a circus in the area for a while, so we were just trying to make sure we weren’t inconveniencing people,” said MacLean.
She said some businesses were excited about the shoots because they were featured as themselves. (When filming When We Rise, some storefronts had to be recreated to match the time period.)
As far as crews around Upper Haight for the making of Girlboss, Sales Associate Gena Figueroa at Love Street Vintage said film crews shot a portion of the series outside the store. Some of of the production's wardrobe staff bought some items for Britt Robertson (who play Amoruso) to wear.
Figueroa said it didn’t feel like an intrusion. “They were only there for a couple of hours, and they were all really nice,” she said.
One scene was shot at Lower Haight's Café du Soleil, said co-owner Christianne Hakkou, who noted that crews started setting up about 6am and were done by noon.
“It was very professional. That’s one thing that stood out," she said. For the shoot, set decorators brought in plants and trees to tweak the café's look. Being behind the scenes for a TV show "was a neat experience," Hakkou said.
"This is truly a neighborhood spot and people get really involved here, so everyone was really excited to be a part of it," she added. "I love knowing that our little piece of San Francisco is in there."
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