David E. Kelley’s “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal” both take place in Boston but the creator of “Snoops” has turned his latest show into an homage to the left coast, in particular, the Westside of Los Angeles.
The private investigators’ agency, where Gina Gershon and all her cohorts play with their computers, is based in Santa Monica and hardly an episode goes by without a shot of the beach, pier, Wilshire Boulevard or something else that defines the Westside.
Alice West, co-exec producer of “Snoops,” sees herself as a Westside expert and is eager to point the camera at whatever strikes her fancy while roaming the streets. But ultimately it depends on the storyline as to which locations will be used.
“It’s all script-dependent,” West says. “It’s whatever services the story. We just did a story that called for an area of lower-income homes so we shot in the downscale area of West Adams.”
While some shows will film rows of palm trees as a symbol of L.A., West likes to use the offbeat locations to show how the city is a “beautiful and diverse place.”
Money, of course, plays a factor as to where they can shoot and some cities charge more than others. Plus, rules and regulations also come into play, especially if there’s early morning or nighttime shooting to be done. Shooting from a helicopter is free, however, so you’ll usually find no shortage of aerial shots during the hourlong drama.
For one episode, the cast and crew had to spend a night inside the posh Neiman Marcus department store on Wilshire Boulevard. Nothing can say L.A. much more than that.
“The women loved it,” West says.