Bishop, California in the Movies

Movies are often not set in the location that is portrayed in the film. Filmmakers and producers often choose locations that are cost-effective, convenient, and offer facilities that can handle the hundreds of people working on a studio film production. What may be portrayed in the movie as being set in Afghanistan may actually be filmed in California. And with today’s visual effects, movie makers can take nearly any location and adapt it for the setting they want presented in the film.

Bishop is a city of about 3,500 residents not far from the Nevada border. The city is located at the northern end of North America’s deepest valley, the Owens Valley. Bishop is at an elevation of 4,190. The Sierra Nevada Mountains rise abruptly to the west to over 13,000 feet. To the east, the White Mountains rise to over 14,000 feet.

Bishop has been the filming location for more than two-dozen movies. Despite its remote location, it a popular choice for movie producers and filmmakers as it has a scenic mountain setting, dry terrain, generally sunny conditions, and the Owens River.

Bishop is about 270 miles north of Los Angeles where many movie studios are based. It is easily accessible relative to areas in the Middle East or other areas in the southwest. Bishop is located in North America’s deepest valley, the Owens Valley.

Bishop was historically the setting for numerous Westerns. Director Sam Peckinpah’s 1962 movie “Ride the High Country” was set in Bishop as was the 1969 Film “True Grit” starring John Wayne. The 1973 film “High Plains Drifter” starring Clint Eastwood. Was also filmed in Bishop. Recently, the Bishop area has been the setting for several big budget movies.

The 2007 box office movie, “Disturbia”, opens with a scene set in a location what appears to be in Colorado or elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains. In the scene, Shia LaBeouf’s character is fly-fishing on a river with his father with scenic mountains in the background. The scene was actually filmed in Bishop along the Owens River.

Other recent movies set in Bishop include the 1998 film, “Star Trek: Insurrection”; the 1996 film “The Arrival” starring Charlie Sheen; and the 2009 film, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”.

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