There is Hollywood, the city. And then there is Hollywood, the film industry in the abstract–the “place” where Sunset Boulevard evokes the shattered dreams of Norma Desmond and not the street on which to shatter dreams with $5 well drinks and an ill-fated ride on the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch.
That Hollywood of the mind is the subject of this exhaustive cartographic experiment by British designers Dorothy, who yanked assorted avenues and parks and rivers off the silver screen and plotted them out on paper to create a fictional map of the movies–a fantasy world of the ultimate fantasy world.
The map, a followup to the designers’ comprehensive atlas of song names, is loosely based on a vintage street map of Los Angeles and features more than 900 places in films, including Sunset Boulevard, Mean Streets, Nightmare on Elm Street, Valley of the Dolls, and Chinatown. There are film-famous bars (Rick’s Cafe Americain, the Slaughtered Lamb, Nat’s Bar), and film-famous landmarks (Cape Fear, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, National Lampoon’s Animal House). There are highways (the Human Highway, the Lost Highway); spans (Bridge to Terabithia, The Bridge on the River Kwai); and what might be the world’s most terrifying public park: The Temple of Doom, Pan’s Labyrinth, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Murders in the Zoo all fall within the perimeter of Jurassic Park.
“It took us months of research to pull this map together,” Dorothy’s Ali Johnson tells Co.Design. “It was much harder than the Song Map, but that was partly our fault because we ended up using 900 titles, as opposed to the 400 titles for the Song Map.”
The designers started off with three core movies they wanted to include: Nightmare on Elm Street, Jurassic Park, and Mean Streets. “Then we built on this,” Johnson says. For research, they perused their own DVD collections, consulted the bible-like Halliwell’s Film Guide, and scoured the web for film titles with names like park, avenue, lane, road, and street in the title. “Where possible we tried to group streets based on themes or genres, but this sounds a lot easier than it actually was,” Johnson says. “We did pay our own personal tribute with a district dedicated to Hitchcock and also Cult British Horror films. And we also included a Red Light District–that was [my colleague] Phil’s idea not mine!”
Open-edition prints of the film map can be purchased for 25 pounds (about $40), plus shipping and handling. Limited-edition signed and stamped prints cost 100 pounds (about $155), plus S&H. Buy them here.