Long Beach often a Miami stand-in


Is Long Beach, Calif., the new South Beach?

As far as "CSI: Miami," "Dexter" and "Nip/Tuck" are concerned, it is. All three shows, set in Miami, have filmed in Long Beach as well as other locations in and around Los Angeles. "We go to Long Beach all the time," "Dexter" exec producer Clyde Phillips said.

One of the challenges posed by shooting in Los Angeles are the hills that appear in shots of the horizon. Shooting in Long Beach eliminates that problem. The productions also have found that the beaches in the area can mimic Florida's, complete with office buildings near the waterfront.

"The way the town is built, I can pretty much duplicate some of the feeling of South Beach in Long Beach," said Don Tardino, a producer on "CSI: Miami."

"CSI: Miami," which also shoots in Marina del Rey, doubles Long Beach's El Dorado Park for the Everglades, while "Dexter" has a location that can double as one of Miami's signature causeways.

Because of its larger budget, "CSI: Miami" is able to use high-end locations that it pays to shut down for filming. But some of the show's signature large-scale interiors actually are sets in Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach.

"Dexter" shoots its interiors in Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, sometimes via translights, a technique involving the photographing of actual locations and replicating it on set.

Borys Kit