Fox’s hit action series aired their season 3 opener that ended with a cliffhanger – an epic tsunami barreling down on the Los Angeles coast line as the characters look on in fear from the west end of the Santa Monica Pier. 9-1-1 premiered in 2017 and explores the experiences of police officers, firefighters, dispatchers and other first responders who manage disasters every day. The series has put their characters into many disasters in LA including a massive earthquake at the beginning of season 2. The feature-film special effects and gripping story lines has made 9-1-1 a smash hit for Fox.
The show stars Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, and Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Love Hewitt (The Client List, Ghost Whisperer). They join Oliver Stark, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Rockmond Dunbar, and Ryan Guzman, who are series regulars.
To shoot the disaster scenes for the Santa Monica Pier, the show’s producers replicated many assets of the Pier, including the famous Pier sign and portions of the Pacific Wheel, at Baja Studios in Mexico. The studios are home to some huge water tanks originally built to shoot for James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film Titanic. In scenes leading up to the tsunami and subsequent flooding, the production spent 2 days at the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park with a huge crew and cast of extras.
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This isn’t the first time Hollywood has looked to the historic pier for something to blow up. Last summer, Universal Pictures had a giant Kaiju crawl out of the ocean to step on the Pier in Pacific Rim: Uprising.
The Santa Monica Pier might be one of the most filmed beach locations in the world. Pacific Park is been featured in over 1,000 movies, music videos and TV shows. Hollywood has been using the Pier as a destination for their stories since at least 1917 when Harold Lloyd lauded as lifeguard down on the sand next to the Pier in By The Sad Sea Waves. Notable films set at the Pier include The Sting (1973), Iron Man (2008), and Forrest Gump (1994).
Whether Hollywood sends monsters from the deep or 100 foot waves, the Pier will be here as a back drop, location, and stand in. Be sure to tune into Fox to see episode 2 of 9-1-1, Sink or Swim.