Skip to main content

The Film "The Proposal" - or Rockport, MA posing as Sitka, Alaska

For a couple of weeks in April of 2008, Rockport, MA became Sitka, Alaska.  Disney's film crews crawled all over the town changing signs, repainting old buildings in the center of town, and blocking streets.  Not a big deal since tourist season doesn't really get started until just before Memorial Day but it was interesting to haer the stories from retailers about how Sandra Bullock and her husband shopped here and Ryan Reynolds and his future wife back then, Scarlett Johansson had stopped at the grocery store and loaded two carts with over $500 worth of food.

I will go to see the film if for any reason than to see Rockport with a huge mountain range dropped in behind it.  I've never been to Alaska but my husband had and he thinks Rockport looks nothing like Sitka.  For your entertainment I have included my photos of Rockport during filming that I managed to grab in and around shooting.  Take a look and let me know if you agree with my husband.  I've included a link to the trailer for you plus the one of the many newspapers articles about the filming.  I hope you enjoy.

Totem poles suddenly appeared in Dock Square, in front of the entrance to Bearskin Neck.

Totem poles suddenly appeared in Dock Square, in front of the entrance to Bearskin Neck.

New signs.

New signs.

Bearskin Neck's new banners.

Bearskin Neck's new banners.

Motif #1 has a new sign.

Motif #1 has a new sign.

Rockport as seen from the headlands with no Alaskan mountains in the background.

Rockport as seen from the headlands with no Alaskan mountains in the background.

Looking across at Motif #1.  In the film, mountains are across the skyline.

Looking across at Motif #1. In the film, mountains are across the skyline.


Teerr on April 05, 2015:

If Alaska were SMART (and I used to live there...), the state would provide film tax breaks to bring the movie industry to Alaska. Alaska is shockingly expensive to live/eat/hotel there--crappy hotels will run one about $300 a night, and when I lived there a few years ago bananas were over $1 a pound--and one banana was about a pound, so figure the math from there.

If the state citizens want the film industry to work in their state, then put some incentives out there.

guest on November 23, 2013:

Hi I am from Thailand. The movie really did a good job in fooling the audience. But if we think it in another way don't you think that it is a benefit instead? The movie is promoting Sitka, right?

Holly on September 23, 2012:

My husband who lived in Alaska for almost 40 years walked by the TV, glanced at it and said that wasn't filmed in Alaska. Took him less than 5 seconds.

Shellfish98 on March 12, 2012:

Im not from alaska, but from ny, and when I saw the movie, I fell inlove with alaska, didn't know that it was in Mass. I was disappointed, but i would definitely visit alaska someday.

stillajerseygirl on February 12, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

I knew I've seen "Motif #1" in this particular movie. I've been to Rockport many times, and I just loved it there. So glad to see it in a movie, brings back great memories.

etheldee on January 30, 2012:

I know it is expensive to film in Alaska - especially a remote island like Sitka (where I live). However, the filmmakers should have done their homework and visited Sitka to get ideas for backgrounds and get a feel of the town. It isn't a huge deal if a movie is filmed in an alternate location than its setting, but there were some glaring mistakes about how Sitka was portrayed. First of all, Alaska Airlines flies into Sitka; second, you haven't needed to take a boat from the airport to the main town since the 70s; third, Sitka does not have the never-ending sun like the rest of Alaska (the latest the sun sets in the summer is around 11 p.m.); fourth, we don't have quaint little shops like a northeastern town has, most of the shops here sell fishing/hunting gear and REI-type clothes - nothing exciting. Fifth, you can't really get around Sitka easily by walking and most people don't because the weather is so horrible (even the summer weather isn't that warm). I did read that arial shots were taken of Sitka and used in the movie, but no one working on the film actually came to visit the town. Oh, and sixth, people in town are not really that friendly - and they are especially rude to tourists and outsiders (I know from experience, as my family and I have only lived here for two years).

Colin cadorette on August 29, 2011:

What difference doors it make where this film was shot?it looked like alaska to me having never been there, but rockport ma I've been there a hundred times and had no idea it was shot there! The magic of film, I'm biased being from richmond massachusettes in the heart of the berkshires!massachusettes is one of the most beautiful states in this country or one of the nicest places on earth!!!!!

Alaska for Real on January 29, 2011:

Sitka, Alaska could not have hosted the hundreds of crew and support services to film because it is to small of a town with no infrastructure, like roads, hotels or sound stages. Sitka is on an island with no roads in or out. You must fly or take a marine vessel to get to Sitka. The producers did explore and researched Sitka. They did shoot 2nd unit images of Sitka. Also at the time of filming Alaska did not offer a government subsidy for Hollywood and Massachusetts did. Now Alaska offers a subsidy for Hollywood producers. Even so The Proposal would still have to film somewhere else besides Sitka as it is to small of a town to host a Holloywood film production. The producers of The Proposal did take advantage of the Alaska subsidy to film the 2nd unit footage of Sitka and the people of Sitka paid $10,000 to the producers through their local city government on top of the state subsidy to have them take pretty pictures of Sitka. Filming in a location because of the story is not in the the best interest of the budget. Film subsidies are now what makes the location and the creative is second. The Proposal could have been filmed in Hawaii if the state offered enough subsidy.

carlos henrique schelbauer on December 10, 2010:

eu quero ir de vontade na passear...

muito lindo...

Sitka Alasca

Shirley Allen (Sitkawolf) on October 31, 2010:

A friend of mine knew that I lived in Sitka Alaska for 3 years as my X husband was stationed on a Coast Guard Cutter in the 80's. She told me that this movie was filmed in Sitka. Imagine my disappointment to just learn that the movie was not filmed there at all. I love Sitka and would like to return and retire there. I agree that it is such a shame that Hollywood did not film there, and boost the Sitka economy.

slowpoke on September 28, 2010:

As someone who has actually worked on student films, budgeting and locations are incredibly difficult to get accurate, and from all the comments above, it seems like the Art Dept. could have done a bit more research and tried to include a few more details at the very least. But like Bebe said, it often comes down to how flexible/gracious a location is willing to be.

It's unfortunate that officials of Sitka did not see the potential benefit for the city. However, I do not feel like that would discourage viewers from visiting Sitka.

As several people have mentioned, movies are oftentimes shot very far from where they are set. Rockport does happen to be a somewhat frequent choice. My guess is that its quaint look (especially that of Bearskin Neck) appeals to the audience's sense of "nostalgia" for a small town feel, which I think is entertaining, since I've been there many times. My Dad's entire family is from Gloucester, so I've spent quite a few summers in the area.

For those who complained about the greedy Hollywood filmmakers: while I agree with you that this is very often the case, I also think it's commendable that a more cost effective choice was made. So many people, companies, and governments spend much more than they have that it's refreshing to see that they tried to save a little bit here and there on this film. And before anyone comments on the amount of $ the actors make, don't bother. I agree with you - it's ridiculous. :-)

Buckeye on September 20, 2010:

Even more ridiculous...the movie Groundhog Day...great movie, but filmed nowhere near Punxatawny, Pennsylvania. It was filmed in Woodstock, Ill. Because they had a better town square. Roxanne was filmed in most every movie these days. These Liberal film makers claim how great Americans they are and every chance they get, they pay foreigners to film in their cities and pawn them off as American cities. Then they expect us Americans to fawn all over them, buy their movies and give them dozens of awards for it. It makes no sense to support these people any longer. There are plenty of old classic movies to watch instead of this crap they have been churning out lately.

Jeannette on September 04, 2010:

We just visited Sitka in May and thought it was the most beautiful town in Alaska. If we were younger we would pull up stakes and move there. The bay at Sitka is so much prettier than the one in the movie. Lots of small, wooded islands in the bay. The bay used in the movie was not nearly as nice. And there is a large volcano in the back ground at Sitka that looks a lot like Mount Fujiama. But we liked the movie anyway.

Aeroman on August 29, 2010:

Wow the scenery was beautiful. I actually thought that Alaska is surely worth a visit. I checked out for pictures of Sitka and really its so beautiful but after having read that this movie was shot elsewhere actually made me realise and understand the revenue loss. People after reading that the movie was shot else where are gonna lose interest or plans to tour Alaska. But surely Alaska looks really beautiful.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 24, 2010:

Bebe, since i put up this hub i have read about Sitka, looked at a great many photographs of the area and i wish it could have been filmed there. you live in a beautiful place. thank you for your comment.

Bebe on July 24, 2010:

I live in Sitka and we were offered a deal to make the film here, but they wanted to negotiate some benefits to make the movie here. All that our mayor offered was a small discount on hotels. Therefore the movie was filmed (except for a tiny shot or two) in MA. Some of us in Sitka were upset at our town officials for their lame offer.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 06, 2010:

i've never been to Alaska but i finally did see the film. it was so odd to see Bearskin Neck with snow covered mountains blown in behind it. i simply liked Betty White and Sandra Bullock. regional politics aside, i smiled watching Sandra run around the yard offering up the little dog to the bird in exchange for her cell phone.

thank you for your comment.

Rose on June 06, 2010:

My husband and I went on an Alaskian Cruise in 2007 although we did see totum poles, but not like the ones in the movie. We've also been to Rockport, MA. Since I'm from New England I wanted my husband to see all the states in New England and after we'd seen Glouster we went to Rockport,MA. My husband said he would like to go back to Rockport he really enjoyed the area. It would have been better if the movie was filmed in Alaska! We both enjoy Sandra Bullock as an actress and have most of her movies. I'd like to say I'm also a Betty White fan. Can't wait to see her in the new sit-com.

lileagle1 on May 15, 2010:

Yes, the movie was entertaining....yes, the scenery was beautiful.....However, the only think *Sitka* about the movie - is the name! I am a former Sitkan, it will always be my home and I was greatly disappointed that it was not filmed in the most beautiful city of Sitka!! There is so much elegance and pristine beauty, how could they not have done so. Also the other disappointing thing I saw, was the *eagle* scene. That was NOT a Bald Eagle, more like Golden and that was NOT an eagle voice, it was again - a voiceover of a peregrine falcon. COME ON MOVIE PPL!! The eagles' voice is AWESOME...quit overdubbing it with a sound that is does NOT make!!

SitakGrad on March 15, 2010:

Being a former resident of Sitka, I watched the film for no other reason except to see if it was actually filmed there. Sure enough, just as I suspected, it did not even remotely resemble the beautiful city. NO COMPARISON. Very disappointing, but hey Hollywood is full of a bunch of greedy morons anyway, if you ask me. Well for the most part any way.

AK Native on February 23, 2010:

I'm from AK and disgusted with the fact that Movies claim to be in AK and aren't! It's a good movie, but if they want to film a movie in AK, then film it In AK! So Annoying!

Helloworld on February 06, 2010:

I LOVE Rockport! My family own's a shop there. So we did not mind seeing it in the backround, but i understand that people in sitka would feel like they got a slap in the face

njnancy on January 14, 2010:

I'm late to this discussion but I just saw this movie today. In the opening scene where Sandra Bullock's character is jogging and she's looking at this lovely path, I thought I recognized it as Halibut State Park. I've been down that path a million times. It's my favorite spot in Rockport. When I saw Motif # 1, then I knew for sure. I now live in NJ but love to glimpse MA when I can.

Melissa Gregory Sherlin on December 29, 2009:

One of the most amazing places that I have ever been is Sitka. Hoolywood missed the Mark on this one. I was in aww to be siiting outside to see a plane come out of nowhere over the moutains and land on the narrow runway in the middle of the water.

sitkan on December 16, 2009:

well as soon as the movie started i knew it wasn't home. There are so many humurous shot in the movie though. No shops around the town are named after one person like the movie, you don't go in the woods and find a white grandmother dancing in traditional tlingit clothing, and it's not nearly as beautiful as the town itself. There's truly no location that can potray sitka in it's fullest. I've lived in sitka all my life and if you have never been here, it's definetly a must see place.

New Alaskan on November 21, 2009:

When The Proposal first came out I was really excited and went to see it right away. I had just excepted a job on the same island where Sitka is located and was excited to get to "see" Sitka before I would be moving. I was disappointed when I had found out it wasn't actually Sitka. I think it is important to have authenticity in movies, especially with places that are very distinctive. Now that I'm living here, I must say the two places are VERY different. Rockport is definitely beautiful and picturesque, however Sitka has a very different feel to it than what the movie portrayed. The native culture and spirit is so important here and everywhere you go the arts are promoted... that didn't come across in the movie to me. The CGI of the mountains was good, but when you see the real thing - it doesn't even compare. Also, the time line of spending a "weekend" in Sitka wasn't realistic. The flight times, plus the number of days spent in town do not add up to just a weekend (even an extended weekend) by any means.

SybilAdams on November 21, 2009:

Why R U all dumping on Rockpott!!!???

I've been to Sitka and I LIVE in Rockport. They may have shot here because of the weather...although it was really quite cold and rainy during the shoot. I thought the photoshopped Mtns looked really funny. The general store--where Betty White was fitting the wedding gown--has been demolished and a beautiful new concert hall for Rockport Chamber Music is going up. Nope, not paid for by the film company. Rockport only got a few thou.....mostly for parking of trailers at the transfer station (dump).

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on November 16, 2009:

i've always been an arm-chair traveler. books, movies, documentaries on television. i'll never have the money to travel to all the places i want to go and now that my husband has died, a lot of the desire to go where we had once dreamed has died with him. having said that, i agree that if you're going to make a film about a place, a specific town to the point that you have to pay to have it "dropped in" to the film, then why not cut some corners on things like coffee, accommodation, i don't know, surely there is something that can be not quite so luxurious that would allow for actual filming in that specific location. as it is, i've only gotten to look at Google Earth photos of Sitka. not quite the same thing as watching a film with people walking and talking and interacting with their surroundings.

but i am only a film goer. what do i know?

Sitkaforlife on November 15, 2009:

Hi, sorry, I know that you've had dozens of comments, but I just think that the movie makers could have sent someone to talk to the town. Gotten to know what makes our town what it is. It's not just the scenery like everyone's talking about, it's the people, the landmarks. There's something about our town that gives off a certain vibe. It seems semi-pointless now, but even though I'm just 13 I'd like to let all most of you that haven't been here, that, even though the movie was beautiful you don't know what you're missing out on.

Jennifer on November 07, 2009:

My husband and I currently live in the "real" Sitka and watched this movie last night . . . had to check it out after all this talk about it being in Sitka. Yes, sadly, the actual movie setting has a very different vibe than the real Sitka. It's humorous to live here and see how Hollywood likes to portray it: the parts that got me: "Sitka Airways" flight and the dial up internet cafe. funny stuff. At least we are not all living in Igloos like many people think!! Sitka is such a unique place; Hollywood definitely did a disservice to the movie by not filming it here.

Charles on November 05, 2009:

i just spent the whole summer in sitka working up there and i just watched "The Proposal". i paused it in places that looked like Sitka and confirmed that there are a few scenery clips that are filmed in Sitka and then a bunch of them at airport scene at the end too.

for Sitkans- there is one shot panning through the harbor with the sea plane base and Gavin Hill in the background. another of silver bay and you can see Cross Mountain way on the far right of the screen. When the man is talking in the airport tower you can see the volcano Mount Edgcumbe on the right. also lots of shots of the Causeway, parker groups, that last airport scene. YAY Sitka!

65DegN on October 21, 2009:

I live in Alaska and have been to Sitka and Rockport is not even close. I noticed right away, no boardwalks in the movie, the foliage is completely different, so is the boat harbor.

Would have been much cooler if filmed in Sitka.

tomasino on October 18, 2009:

I haven't been to Sitka in 30 years, but I had this distracting feeling during the "Sitka" scenes that this wasn't close to what I remembered.

Too bad, I guess it was a business decision.

Socal beauty on October 15, 2009:

I lived in fairbanks alaska for 14 years. And I know every alaskan would like to see a moive filmed there but the industry is about making money not spending tons of money to ship all the equiment and get all the actors and producers up there. who cares where its filmed as long as its a good flick.

Lizabethy on October 14, 2009:

I'm born and raised south east Alaskan Tlingit, and everyone makes good points, yes lots of movies about one place are filmed somewhere else; however in this movie the rarity of where it is is a big deal, and the scenery is almost like a character. They go to Greece, new Zealand, etc to for location, it would be nice if, out of the movies that are "set" in Alaska, one really was. Alaska, especially southeast, is not easily duplicated, and was so obviously aparent to me that was somewhere far away. Usually it's at least washington or Vancouver, somwhete near by (which still annoys me) but Massachusetts is on the otherwise of the country, and their "mountains" and scenery were sad rep of alaska. I did like the movie, but the fact that the couple was going to Alaska for the weekend was a big deal, and the scenery was a bigger part than in most places, it's too bad Alaska couldn't be Alaska.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on August 10, 2009:

so many people have expressed their dismay that the movie wasn't filmed in Sitka. maybe someday film-makers will become more aware that if you say the character live in a very definitive location with distinctive landmarks, then they will try to budget to actually film there. until then, i think they will pay for CGI.

Sue on August 09, 2009:

I was so disappointed in the scenery of The Proposal. I spent much of the movie looking for something familiar (I hadn't read it was filmed in MA). There were so many landmarks unique to Sitka that the audience missed-- the church (which sits in the middle of the road), the airport, the bridge, Totem Pole Park, the Pioneer's Home, the Fort, the cannons, Front Street, Skater's Park and the old airport taxiway, the eagles, ravens, sea lions, whales...what a disservice to the city of Sitka. The actors of movies should stand up and be part of the "authenticity movement." As many previous writers stated, change the name of a place, don't try to dupe the audience. By the way, viewers can travel nonstop on big Boeing jets from Boston (or Newark) to Seattle to Sitka on Alaska Airlines. It did look like they used the inside of an Alaska Airlines plane (traditional blue diamond backdrop for First Class).

Princess Geek on August 09, 2009:

Sorry-- hit send, was discussing the Last of the Mohicans.

Anyway, they film where they can for the least money and the least hassle all the way around. I assume that it would be pretty expensive to get a crew to Sitka...

BTW-- try visiting Toronto if you've never been. You will have the strangest feeling of deja vu as it is one of the most popular location sites for clearly non-Canadian urban settings-- often subsituted for NYC.

princess geek on August 09, 2009:

I live in the Adirondacks, I agree with the earlier post, it was strange to see very non-adirondack type mountains (ours are "young" mountains, the smokeys in NC are old, therefore "softer") and I had a really hard time with rhododendrons as underbrush instead of pine trees-- I can't keep my rhodies alive in our winters much less have them growing like weeds. Having visited most of the sites where the movie was filmed and having lived here all my life, it was odd, but they couldn't get the necessary permits from the Park to film or so i've heard. Fortunately, a shirtless Daniel Day Lewis happily distracted me from my concerns and all was well.


womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on August 04, 2009:

hello, ScottJ. thank you for stopping by. as always, it was for financial reasons that they filmed in Rockport but why the script couldn't be altered to accommodate that character being from Rockport, i cannot answer. you have made a good point.

ScottJ on August 04, 2009:

Former MA resident here, now living in Oregon. We just returned from a trip to Alaska (Sitka included). While watching the movie, I immediately recognised it as Rockport, and NOT Sitka. Both pretty towns, but (as far as I'm concerned) not alike. Hell, if I can tell the difference, then anyone can. Why did they have to set the movie there, when no one would be fooled? Couldn't they have Ryan be from some place that they could actually film in?

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on August 01, 2009:

PaulaM, i'm glad you got to go see Sitka. look forward to my email for the chance to see your photos.

PaulaM on August 01, 2009:

We just visited Sitka and I loved the charm of the little place. I have photos taken 2 weeks ago of the Russian Church, a beauty set in the middle of town. I fell in love with the sacred space known as the Russian cemetery. As we entered an eagle flew just above our heads and then sang to us as we walked through the forest that contains the cemetery. The filmmakers really missed a great opportunity to film that place! I'm happy to share my photos with you - and I'll forward to you.

Thanks for the info re the film. I'm going to see it tonight..disappointed though, I thought I would get to re-live some scenery.

Kim on July 27, 2009:

So interesting to read all the different perspectives here. I'm from MA, but haven't been to Rockport in years so I thought it was totally Alaska and was thinking, "Wow, I really have to visit that place!" I guess it all comes down to movie magic in the end--emphasis on the "magic". Yes, budgets will always prevail--and if there are nearby studios and sound stages and tax incentives in place, Hollywood will film where it's convenient, versus in the actual location. I kind of wish that they'd use imaginary town names in those circumstances, though. I mean--I can go visit Rockport for my Sitka fix, but it won't feel like the Sitka I saw on-screen (no mountains!). And I can go visit the real Sitka, but again it would be different. Of course, back in the day Dawson's Creek was set in Cape Cod, MA but filmed in North Carolina or somewhere. Someday I'm sure someone will film in Sitka, Alaska and use it as a location for somewhere else. :) It's just a movie...

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 26, 2009:

Lifelong Alaskan, i completely agree. the film industry will do what it will. i like going to certain movies to see the scenery but if it's not accurately portrayed, then go for the plot.

Lifelong Alaskan on July 26, 2009:

I've lived in Alaska my entire life and not only did this film not look anything like Sitka it didn't look like any Alaskan town. I thought the scenery looked like the east coast and apparently I was correct! Movies are rarely filmed in the town portrayed in the film so it's nothing for anyone to get riled up about!

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 25, 2009:

thank you, Ron, for sharing your thoughts.

Ron on July 25, 2009:

I am a Florida resident who grew up in Gloucester and Rockport, MA before joining the Air Force. I don't get up to New England as much as I would like, so it was a thrill to see my home area in the film with the beautiful Alaskan mountain range pasted in to the background. Thanks to my parents sending backhome newspapers to me every now and then, I knew it was filmed primarily in Rockport before I went to see the movie. And yes, according to my parents, the "Paxton" house is actually in Manchester, MA. Sorry Sitka, we need the economic stimulus too....ran out of all that revenue from "The Perfect Storm". Be sure to see the upcoming Tommy Lee Jones/Ben Aflack - Boston based movie "Company Men". That house is in Danvers, MA. The Cape Ann area may not be the next Hollywood, but alot of bigscreen hits have been filmed in the area. Remember the Macolly Caulkin/ Joshua Wood movie, "The Good Son" from the mid 90's. Filmed on Cape Ann, MA and Minnesota - Maine also; I think. But made to look like all one location (with the exception of the begining scenes of the movie that were filmed outside of Las Vegas - also a thrill for me since I was stationed at Nellis AFB at the time). Hollywood has been doing what they want for about 100 years - So get used to it Sitka!

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 22, 2009:

wow. i try not to get involved in disputes but since this is my hub, i feel i need to say something here. i don't censor what people write but i do address it.

i also do not believe that state bashing does anything but hurt people's feelings. maybe Todd was simply referring to the quality of the computer graphics rather than saying it looked enough like Alaska to satisfy him. i'm sure his comment was not meant to stir any anger.

my husband's mother was born and raised in Alaska. he had been many times during his own lifetime. he loved the state. he also loved every state and country he'd been to during his childhood as an Air Force "brat" and saw the value in the people and culture in every country he served in during his years as a United States Marine.

and i was born and raised in Texas on a cattle ranch and loved the long lazy hot summer days, the beaches of Galveston and Mustang Island, the fast paced city of Dallas, and the vegetation as it changed heading towards Louisiana. the flat lands that stretch north towards Oklahoma where the ranchers would say, "nothing stands between the cold from Canada and us but a barbed wire fence" and the austere Big Bend and the austere countryside on the drive to El Paso have their own silent beauty.

i loved the Alaska my husband described. i loved living with him in Rockport by the harsh cold Atlantic where the water temperature climbs up to the 50's in the summertime. i loved growing up in Texas.

it is a film that was shot in an alternate location from where they say it is supposed to represent. people have opinions. i wish yours had been a little bit more forgiving of others opinions, but it is here as per Freedom of Speech as is Todd's and mine and everyone else who wanted to comment.

I've Seen A Real Mountain, In Alaska too! on July 21, 2009:


It could have fooled you? Really?

You said you want to visit both places...please, don't. Seriously, if you can't tell the differnece between a little hill and a ginormous mountain, then frankly, you don't deserve to come to Alaska. I bet you're from Texas. Oh, oh yeah, that just happened. We can only be thankful they didn't try to pull the whole sunset scene on the porch where the sun magically sets at 9 o'clock at the dead of winter. No. Just no.

Just stay where you are, for the good of the people. The world is not ready for the Todd.

Preach on my brother.

Yours truly

A Real Alaskan


The movie was fantastical

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 21, 2009:

if you want the real Alaska, then yes, save your money. the cameras got no where near Sitka.

AlaskaGirl on July 21, 2009:

I just recently moved from Alaska where i spent the best 16 years of my life! I missed ak sooooo much that i thought i would go see this film just to be able to get a taste of home again. Now i am not even interested in seeing it since its not filmed there!!!! Ill save my money for movies that ARE filed in my beautiful home state!!

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 18, 2009:

thank you for your comments, AkGrown. my husband had been to Sitka and always thought it beautiful, thought all of Alaska beautiful. it would have so nice for us armchair travelers to have seen the real Sitka.

AkGrown on July 18, 2009:

Wow. I use to live in Sitka, Alaska and it looks NOTHING at all like the real place. Sitka is a beautiful town, and the city they filmed the movie in has no comparison. I would of liked to see the movie actually filmed there. Sitka isn't a very known place, but it really should be. Its amazing and breath taking, it really is.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 18, 2009:

i want to go see it because i want to see Rockport again. =o)

Shalini Kagal from India on July 18, 2009:

Just saw the film and loved what I thought was Alaska!

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 18, 2009:

I am also sorry they did not film in Sitka. As always I'm sure it came down to money and who offered the better deal. I'm not sure if they even considered Sitka, asked anyone in authority in the city, or if they just gravitated to the East Coast and kept it all in one place.

Thank you for commenting and for your background, your heritage and your family's long connection to Sitka. I am sure it is a heavy insult to sit at a film pretending to be something it is not, especially when the real thing, the more beautiful reality is just up the West Coast from Hollywood.

Sitkan on July 18, 2009:

Well, I haven't seen the movie yet! However, I did see the previews and the pictures displayed here. So far I have seen nothing that comes close to the real Sitka, Alaska. I'll watch the movie sometime next week. The movie just arrived in Sitka last night.

Born,raised,and currently living in Sitka, I'm very disappointed that the movie represents Sitka. This movie is an insult to every true Sitkan. Who ever was in charge of the fliming location, must not have set foot in Sitka. You can't pretend your in Sitka, while filming on the East Coast. I need to watch the movie before I say anymore.

(My family dates back in Sitka to the early 1800's. My grandfather and father grew up here as a child. We have Russian Aleut in our blood, and are citizens of the Sitka Tribe).

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 16, 2009:

i'm sure. it takes a pretty stout heart just off Cape Ann. the warmth of the Gulf Stream has already pulled away from the coast. the water temperature reaches up only to the middle to upper 50's in the middle of summer, and they filmed it in April. not exactly sure where they filmed that falling off the boat scene, but for Sandra's sake, hopefully south, closer to Cape Cod.

PetersburgAK on July 16, 2009:

Reember the scene where Sandra B. falls intothe water off the boat near a buoy?There was no way they were filming in AK. If you fell off a boat in those waters I doubt you'd so easily recover.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 16, 2009:

"Sitka" was most definitely filmed in Rockport, Gloucester, and Manchester, MA with mountains compliments of CGI. New England's mountains are about 2 hours away from Rockport.

Feline Prophet on July 15, 2009:

I saw the film last night, and thought Sitka was so pretty! Did they actually add those mountains in the background then?

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 15, 2009:

good feeling, isn't it, Shelly. =o)

it's so rare for me that i savor it.

Shelly on July 15, 2009:

I KNEW it was Rockport. My husband's family lives in Boston, and during a visit one year they took us to Rockport for a visit. During the movie I told my husband that "Sitka" had to be Rockport. Yeah! I love being right ;-).

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 13, 2009:

thank you, sitkabay. i visited your website and it makes me long for the funds for a vacation. my husband had been to Alaska several times and always found peace there. your photographs show you are in a gorgeous location, from the windows of the lodging, too. i, too, wish they had been able to film in Sitka. i think it would have only enhanced the movie's cinematography. i have bookmarked your site. thanks again.

sitkabay on July 13, 2009:

As a long-time Sitka resident I was very disappointed that the studio decided not to film here. But I blame our (then) mayor and city assembly for that decision. Disney was looking for some tax incentives and our city leaders decided it was not worth it. Sitka relies heavily on tourism and I feel that we lost far more by turning down their request. Come visit Sitka. There's really no place on earth like it.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 09, 2009:

hello, SitkaGirl, and thank you for writing. i have seen images of Sitka on Google Earth and agree with you that it is a great place though I've never been. so the sign is under a bridge? I didn't know that. maybe you should write a hub about your town with photos so we all can see the differences. And as for being only 15, you still have a voice. you have a mind and opinions. it is perfectly fine for you to speak and expect to be heard. after all, in 3 years you get to vote.

again, thanks for saying what you think and feel. you are welcome here.

SitkaGirl on July 09, 2009:

Wow. I personally would have liked to seen this happen in the real Sitka, AK.It's a great place.I'm only 15 and I live in Sitka, AK.But none of those pictures don't look like the real SitkaThe only thing that looks like Sitka is the "Welcome To Sitka" sign in the first picture.Except here, that sign is under a bridge, which usually welcomes tourist.Because that's were mose of them come in.Other than that, those pictures make it seem like Sitka is old fashionedAnd it really isn't.I really would have loved to see the real Sitka, AK filmed in the movieThat would've been great.I know I'm only 15, but that really would have made a difference.To me, at least.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 07, 2009:

thank you for sharing your thoughts, George. Sarah Palin? i'm not a fan.

George on July 06, 2009:

As usual, If Governor Palin (oops, I mean soon to be ex-governor Palin) were smart, she would offer incentives to film in Alaska, but as usual, her head is up her ass.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 05, 2009:

i also would rather see the real place, especially when it is so distinctive.

myfavoritethings on July 05, 2009:

Having spent many summers in Rockport and Gloucester and returning for visits after moving west, I recognized Motif #1 and the church in the distance immediately. I turned to my husband and said that looks more like Rockport than Sitka. Then I saw the mountains. Later in the movie I recognized Bear Skin Neck nd knew that I was correct. We were in Sitka several summers ago and didn't really see a close resemblance between the two locations.

Love seeing familiar places in movies.

Ann on July 04, 2009:

The movie "The Last of the Mohicans" was about the area of Lake George, NY but was filmed in North Carolina. The Adirondacks are beautiful but Lake George has so many hotels, motels, estates that they had to go to NC to the Blue Ridge Mountains to film it. Would have loved to see our area in it though.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on July 04, 2009:

i agree.

Susanne on July 03, 2009:

I'm a bit dissapointed that the movie wasn't actually filmed in Alaska but I think from the pictures both are very picturesque. Of course I'm not surprised. "New in town" with Rene Zellweger was also not filmed in Minnesota where it starred but in Canada somewhere. It's a bit dissapointing that those movies aren't filmed were they actually are set at.

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on June 25, 2009:

Very interesting. The photos look like Rockport to me -- at least, how I remember it (fondly, but it's been quite a few years). Film companies routinely film in locales and pretend they're somewhere else.

Maybe Governor Palin should consider offering Hollywood better deals to some and film in her state...

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 25, 2009:

this is not gospel but it is my belief from living in Rockport during the filming that the "Paxton homestead" was a private home, a beautiful place in Manchester, MA. there was filming done at an expansive old home on Gales Point Road, off Smith's Point Road, that overlooks Manchester Harbor.

that was the talk of the community, that Rockport was Sitka but the house used wasn't in Rockport though there are some lovely old homes along the shoreline and also just up the road in Gloucester off Bass Rocks.

if anyone knows anything different, please let us know by leaving a comment. thank you.

pineapple on June 25, 2009:

Can someone tell me where the "Paxton home" was filmed?

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 25, 2009:

thank you both, Anita and mlou, for dropping by and leaving your comments.

i realize that film making is a business and the bottom line will always have the loudest vote but i wish there was some way to budget around actors astronomical salaries, and the perks demanded by some, and every other thing that needs to be paid for to make the film, to remember that a historical landmark is a huge location identifier and will send the message that Hollywood believes audiences are too stupid or too much like lemmings to care.

i haven't seen the film yet. might when it comes to DVD in the redbox for a $1 but it will be to see my beloved Rockport since the reference to Sitka is a fake.

my opinion only. no one needs to agree.

mlou on June 25, 2009:

I saw the movie last night. The second I saw "Motif #1", I thought...what is Rockport's famous landmark doing in Sitka? Then I noticed all the other familiar Rockport places. The only reason it was filmed in Massachusetts is the usual Massachusetts smartly gives great tax incentives to companies who film here. They are in the process of building a huge studio " Plymouth Rock Studios", which they hope will be known as Hollywood East. It will be a great boon to the area. If it's easy to make Rockport into Sitka by dropping in a moountain range, I can imagine you can make a movie look like anyplace.

By the way, Rockport is a beautiful place, if you ever get the opportunity, go visit.

Anita on June 24, 2009:

As a SE Alaska former resident, I was too busy during parts of the movie checking out the background looking for something familiar that I think I missed some of the movie. At one scene when they first land in Sitka, you almost see something that could be mistaken for the Russian Orthadox Church, but don't see it again. Otherwise, I didn't think it looked like Sitka at all. When Alaska lost the logging and the fishing is going downhill, all we have to look forward to is tourist season and the possibility of a movie. Yet we struck out....again. Loved the movie, missed seeing one of my highschool rival towns on the big screen.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 22, 2009:

thank you, gretchen, for this insight into the priviledges film makers believe they deserve and are owed.

gretchen on June 22, 2009:

Downtown Los Angeles serves as every major city in the film industry. In random parking garages across a 7-10 block radius, you can find [fake] NYC taxi cabs. As someone who lives downtown, I can tell you that they do filming every week, if not every day, in downtown with little regard for the permits/limitations/law. They use megaphones outside of my window until 2-3:00am, they completely block off major streets, they have floodlights at night (shining in my window) making it appear to be day... Having said that, dear Alaskans, you don't want hollywood to come to your town. They're disruptive and disrespectful. (I moved to LA for a job not in the film industry. I love the city, but I definitely need to move out of downtown because I wasn't prepared for this.)

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 21, 2009:

Todd, thanks for your thoughts.

Carolyn, i'll have to google the Russian Orthodox Church for some images. i wish they had filmed it in Sitka as i love authenticity.

a3v, i haven't seen the film yet but i do like Sandra Bullock. as i said above, i like my film locations to be authentic. it's pure voyerism on my part. i will never get to actually see Sitka in person so going to a film would have been my escape. ah, well. filmmakers will do what they will. it's all about convenience and the bottom line.

a3v on June 21, 2009:

My wife, son and I just got back after watching "The Proposal".  Good movie. As residents of Alaska, it would be great if they filmed in Sitka.  Not only because of its beauty and that's where the story is set, but economically it would have helped the community.  Location authenticity is huge.

I've heard MA is beautiful in the Fall, with the leaves changing, and we're looking forward to visiting that part of the country.

Carolyn on June 21, 2009:

I've been to Sitka and there were some obvious differences in the harbor and the mountains but they did a good job with the feel of this hilarious movie. Would have been nice if they could have filmed in Sitka and captured some of the beauty of this city--missed the Russian Orthodox Church, etc.

Todd on June 21, 2009:

I just saw the movie and they could've fooled me. It looked like the mountains were really there and the small town feel looks all the same. I'd like to visit both places.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 20, 2009:

the line forms at the right, Barbara. =o) i think people will go see it simply because they like the actors or the storyline, but as for the setting.....Rockport is a beautiful place and Sitka is a beautiful place. write the story for where it's being filmed or film the story in the setting it's written about.

Barbara on June 20, 2009:

I am disappointed that it wasn't really Alaska.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 19, 2009:

Alaskan4life, you've made a good point. when you see a location film that isn't shot in LA or New York, and the scenery is gorgeous, you want to go visit. film makers focus so much on the reality of the violence and love-making and pass on the reality of the scenery. they just seem to say, "we'll CGI it." not the same thing and the film is less for it. too many have seen both Sitka and Rockport and know the difference.

Alaskan4life on June 19, 2009:

I, also an alaskan resident, agree and am totally disgusted with the film industry. Like in "snow dogs" We all know that's not the ted stevens' international airport. Come on, sure it might cost a little more to actually film here, but it would be worth it in the revenue you would get from the alaskans who realize "HEY! that's actually alaska, let's go see it, it might actually be worth our time to see our own state in a major motion film!".....

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 15, 2009:

i whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments. it should have been filmed in Alaska. it made no sense to film the show on Cape Ann. since i wrote the hub i've looked up photos of Sitka and i agree with my husband, Rockport looks nothing like it.

Susan Fischer on June 15, 2009:

As an Alaskan I am offended that Hollywood doesn't film Alaskan cities from their film here in Alaska. Come on lets get the landscapes correct by being the real city.

womanNshadows (author) from Charlotte, NC on June 02, 2009:

There was a huge controversy over the loss of revenue for the town of Sitka and why Hollywood would cut a deal with Boston and Rockport/Gloucester and then have to "blow in" the mountains rather than have everyone go to the real community of Sitka for the actual reality.

Lance Johnston on June 02, 2009:

Hollywood didn't think the 9000 residents of Sitka would notice? How about the hundreds-of-thousands of cruise ship passengers who visit Sitka every season?

Related Articles