Making a movie is never a simple endeavor. The path from script to screen is invariably plagued by infinite complications, obstacles, challenges and bumps in the road, with directors, producers and studio heads facing endless problems and complicated decisions each and every day of production. Though many behind-the-scenes dealings may seem trivial to the uninitiated (the color of a costume, placing a set piece here or there, rewriting a throwaway line), when added together, the minutiae can add up to magic onscreen. Art is all in the details, as they say.
Those who want a front-row seat to the process should look no further than “The Offer,” Paramount Plus’ recent limited series chronicling the extensive trials and tribulations that rookie producer Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller), Paramount Pictures chief Robert Evans (Matthew Goode) and novice director Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) experienced in delivering one of the most celebrated films of all time to the screen, the 1972 classic “The Godfather.” As the show’s executive producer Russell Rothberg recounted in a behind-the-scenes featurette, “The story of Al Ruddy trying to get this movie made and what he and Coppola and everybody went through to get it made is just astounding!”
Filming “The Offer” was quite an ambitious undertaking, as well, especially when it came to the series’ locations, with production designer Laurence Bennett and his team utilizing over 175 different spots to bring the 1960s/1970s-era true story authentically to life. Set in such far-flung places as Texas, New York, California, Mexico and Sicily, the show was shot in its entirety in Los Angeles and its environs. Though the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood played front and center to most of the action, a different production facility was also notably featured. Los Angeles Center Studios, located on the northwest edge of downtown L.A. at 450 S. Bixel St., regularly popped up as Gulf + Western’s New York headquarters, the supposed Columbus Circle office building where Austrian-born business titan Charlie Bluhdorn (Burn Gorman) reigned supreme with his acerbic tongue and brash wit.