I was sitting home one weekend and my wife and I were watching an old movie, Star Trek Into Darkness on Netflix. There was one segment of the movie when I noticed something that looked very familiar.
Of course the amazing CGI work altered the context so it felt as if we were in San Francisco, set in the future. She laughed and said, “You always know where movies are taken”. I explained that after driving cross country several times when I was in college I got to know the various natural ecologies, geologies, and buildings in urban centers. So when I see a tree, a forest, a mountain, or even a building, I can recognize where the movie was shot.
Another time while watching a lower budget movie, I noticed a Quercus Agrifolia (California Oak Tree) in a background scene, even though the movie was supposedly set in Wisconsin. What is even more entertaining was spotting a palm tree in a courtyard during a movie supposedly set in Canada, far from the adopted habitat of palm trees here in Los Angeles. All and all my wife and I get a good laugh sometimes noticing “Hollywood Ecology”.