SAN FRANCISCO, May 21 (UPI) -- Most of the scenes in the film "X-men: The Last Stand," which opens Friday, are from San Francisco's most famous spots, but no actor set foot in the city.
Special effects have evolved to the point where filmmakers can stage plots in exotic locations without sending a crew of actors, cinematographers and production team, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Every big action film released this season shot at least one scene using computerized backdrops.
Technology has allowed movie studios to cut costs at a time when box office receipts have dropped 8 percent from 2004 and 2005, the Chronicle reported.
Filming in premier locations such as San Francisco, Paris and New York is prohibitively high, so combining special effects with on-location shots is a way to keep costs under control.
"We couldn't film on the (Golden Gate) bridge. We couldn't get within a quarter-mile," said John Bruno, visual effects supervisor of "X-Men" who took a few still shots himself.
"The other photographs we took of the bridge were done from a helicopter -- right to the point where they waved us off," Bruno said.