1.01 - Knight of the Phoenix (Pilot)

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The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by iGav » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:56 pm

So… I ummed and arred about whether to simply post this in the locations thread, or the House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed thread, until I thought that much like the HOTRS, this is one of the holy grails of Knight Rider locations, and as such I thought it perhaps deserving of its own thread, at least for a short time.

After spending, a frankly disgusting amount of time looking for this, I finally stumbled upon it. Surely super stardom and infamy awaits. :lol:

The Comtron building still exists, looks EXACTLY as it did in 1982, and is located in Westlake Village, California and can be found pretty much on the corner of 'Lindero Canyon Road' and 'E Thousand Oaks Blvd', the best view of it can be had in Bing Maps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westlake_V ... California

34° 9'18.08"N
118°47'46.09"W

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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by Joe Huth » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:02 pm

Holy crap that's it!!! Where is it, and how did you find it??????????

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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by iGav » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:08 pm

Joe Huth wrote:Holy crap that's it!!! Where is it, and how did you find it??????????

Joe


I forgot to make the image a link to the thread. :oops: My apologies.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17499


Joe Huth wrote:how did you find it??????????


When one is not married... it's amazing how much time one can dedicate to such things. :lol:

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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by Handzus' Stupid Fro » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:20 pm

Haha so awesome. HOTRS and Comtron all within the same several days. Amazing how all of this stuff is right under our noses. I've canvassed the city a million times myself... I probable looked right over it. Search and rescue isn't in my future!

Funny, HOTRS and Comtron are very close to one another (basically a 15 minute drive down Ventura), which is pretty much what I was guessing all along.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:21 pm

Holy Wow!!! Excellent Work!!! I too have been looking for this hard core from scanning hundreds of images of california buildings to just google earth scanning areas around known filming locations! Good job!! It's finally over!! Here is a street view. Looks like the landscaping has grown up around it quite a bit. It's difficult to get a good street view from the same angle as the show. You can definitely make out the destinctive pillars and sloping glass facade.

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I was nowhere close to this place. Good work indeed.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:27 pm

That access road into the complex must have been the path the tow truck took with KITT to get the angle of the building correctly. There were far less trees in the 80s though.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:37 pm

Did some quick digging on the address, here is a pic from a real estate website:

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Sweet!!

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:30 pm

I've been unable to find anymore photos of this place anywhere. I'm currently scanning the roadway around the golf course that is just a stone's throw away from "Comtron" to see if I can match the scene with the tow truck, but so far it doesn't seem to be the same golf course.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by one_man » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:36 am

The main Comtron building is finally found and still in place in the 30th anniversary of KR!

Another Comtron location is still on the lose! If you look around the main building just disclosed,
it doesn't have any entrance that looks like the following scene, where KITT busted out of the
door to rescue Michael. This is only a minor location, but it would great to find it someday!

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by one_man » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:15 am

I don't want to go off the topic, but this is an amazing coincidence.
The Comtron building is only one mile east of the FIRM headquarter in Airwolf!

Address: 1 Baxter Way‎, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by Joe Huth » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:40 am

one_man -

According to Steve Whiteside, the location used when KITT breaks out of Comtron is the Universal Studios backlot....scanning the studio for those globe lights might reveal the exact location...

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:27 pm

Yes!! Finally found a great photo of the building!

Image


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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by iGav » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:29 pm

Handzus' Stupid Fro wrote:I do know what you're saying in regards to the "undeveloped" feel to the Comtron surroundings, but remember, it may not necessarily indicate an undeveloped area, per se.


Looking at an image of the area taken in 1980 (it was built in 1978 apparently), it's literally a combination of the two, underdevelopment in a developed area, literally… you couldn't make it up. :good: :lol:

Image

Handzus' Stupid Fro wrote:Haha so awesome. HOTRS and Comtron all within the same several days. Amazing how all of this stuff is right under our noses. I've canvassed the city a million times myself... I probable looked right over it. Search and rescue isn't in my future!


I quickly realised it wasn't Santa Clarita after scoping it out in Bing Maps (fantastic tool, much better than Google Earth for scoping), the absolute only location that raised a doubt there, was the old Lockheed Skunkworks plant up near the hills in the north of Santa Clarita, (after studying the stills I posted, I was utterly convinced it was very near to hills) and that location had the trees and the hills and was a raised location, but using Google Earth's timeline, and Historic Aerials ruled it out.

But like I said, I was convinced it was located near to undeveloped hills, so to cover more ground quickly, I used Google Earth with the timeline set back to as far back as it'd go, and focused simply on industrial parks on the edges of developed area's near to hills (which is when Google Earth's terrain settings really come into there own) thought much of the L.A. area was either too developed, or too flat so worked my way west instead, Simi Valley first, then thought I might be on to something when I saw some similarly styled buildings in Calabasa, then continued west and saw it instantly. :shock: :D

Of course, I came here to post it, then noticed you'd posted in this thread and immediately thought, sh*t… I bet I've just been beaten to it. :lol:

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by iGav » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:31 pm

Excellent work finding those pics Bryan, :good: It really is a fantastic looking building, there's something about angled pavements and perfectly manicured lawns in the California sun too… :) Still looks modern in that '70's futurist way. :)

Still can't quite believe that it still exists, even more so in such an unmolested state, you really wouldn't think that 30 years separate the still from the show that Joe posted in the other thread and the photo you posted above. :shock: 8)

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by theamblin » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:11 pm

I agree the second location looks absolutely like the outside of a soundstage, they just put some flowers there.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:31 pm

Something's been bugging me for quite some time about the location where the ladies walk across the street from Comtron. The original location on Ave Crocker that was posted just never felt right to me. Here is the image I'm referring to and also the image that was believed to be the location:

Minons making the trek:
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The location that was thought to be this entrance:
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Now for the reveal of the real location: Got to give credit to Igav since he technically found it but didn't realize it. I'm just going to pin point it out:

Image

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And there you have it!! They did in fact walk right across the street from Comtron. The moutain view and building corner with the stripe is a dead match. This is the other entrance into the Comtron complex. I could not get the same angle as the camera crew since Google earth limits where you can stop and zoom, but this is definitely it!

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by KentuckyKITT » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:03 pm

Here is another closer view. This view is as close to the original shot as I can get. It's clear to me that there is no body of water in the original shot and it is definitely the corner of the Comtron complex with the black stripe running down each side of the building. There is no guard shack, but it could have been a prop, or it might have actually been there at one time.

Image

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by Joe Huth » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:31 pm

Bryan -

You absolutely nailed it...that is 100% the same shot.

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by iGav » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:25 am

Hahaha brilliant find Bryan, :good: I didn't even think about it, I was only looking at the Ave Crocker location the other day too and didn't they were a match (no prominent road slant, mountains in the background weren't big enough) but didn't think anything more of it, and certainly not that it was the back of the actual Comtron location. :oops: :lol:

So BIG thumbs up indeed. :good: :good: :good:

So then, after all of these new discoveries, are we to surmise that very little principal shooting actually took place in Santa Clarita then? And certainly nothing in the Ave Stanford/Ave Crocker vicinity as previously thought?

With regards to Comtron, I'm assuming the only thing left to really confirm is the short-cut scene with KITT being towed by the park/golf course then? After having a little looksie yesterday, I'm convinced is located near to the Universal Backlot, currently scoping the roads around the Wilson & Harding Golf Course, but Googles Street View is limited, and Bing Maps doesn't have quite the detail needed... :| But I'm sure we'll find it. :mrgreen:

Quite a couple of weeks though, 'eh. :shock: 8)

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by David » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Amazing - well done Gav, I cannot believe it still looks exactly the same! :lol:

KITT's escape from the garage was definitely filmed on the Universal lot, he's "busting out" of one of the big sound stages - you can find it easily enough using Google Earth (think it's been posted on another thread).

I assume the ejector seat scene at Comtron was also filmed at Universal, and also maybe Michael and KITT's escape when they freak out the security guard ("I have a dog - and a sick mother!")

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1.01 - Knight of the Phoenix (Pilot)

Post by neps » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:21 am

Welcome to the Knight of the Phoenix locations thread!

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Re: The Comtron Building Location Disclosed - Finally

Post by iGav » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:34 am

David wrote:Amazing - well done Gav, I cannot believe it still looks exactly the same! :lol:


That's the best bit isn't it, that despite 30 years having passed, that they still look all but identical.

David wrote:I assume the ejector seat scene at Comtron was also filmed at Universal, and also maybe Michael and KITT's escape when they freak out the security guard ("I have a dog - and a sick mother!")


You know, looking at the scene again, I'm convinced that they actually shot both the ejector seat scene as well as the security guard scene on location at the actual Comtron building.

Just scanning back through the scene, the prominent black stripe around the top of the building is clearly visible during the eject seat scene (and the vertical cladding matches too), and the building is consistent with the scene showing KITT pulling into the car park in the dark. Also note the illuminated Comtron sign in the background when the security guard finds KITT, that can be seen more clearly in the daytime scene a little earlier when KITT is being towed.

The only significant change other than the loss of some trees, is that the electrical box appears to have been moved against the building itself, and additional boxes have been added, other than It all seems to match up with the actual Comtron location.

Does anyone live near it? It'd be fantastic to see some shot-for-shot type photos. :good:

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Re: 1.01 - Knight of the Phoenix (Pilot)

Post by iGav » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:13 pm

One of the more infamous scenes from the Pilot is when KITT talks for the first time, making Michael come to a screeching halt. This scene, along with the scene where he falls asleep, and the scenes with the police car doing a U-turn etc were all filmed along Pico Canyon Road (Michael keeps driving along the same stretch again, & again & again…).

The Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) can be seen running along the background, and just before Michael slams on the brakes, we can just about see CalArts in the background.

The area has changed beyond all recognition since 1982, seeing massive redevelopment (hills flattened, river rerouted, roads widened) but I've attached an image of how the area looked back in 1980, with an X marking the rough location of KITT's unexpected emergency stop.

Pico Canyon Road
34°22'53.85"N
118°34'38.21"W

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Interestingly, after the police spot Michael sleeping behind the wheel, and they give chase, they approach an 'S' bend (Dead Man's Curve), this location is roughly a couple of miles to the west of the above location, on a road that diverges from Pico Canyon Road, called Potrero Canyon Road that appears to be one of the private access roads to the Newhall Film Ranch, the location where the police finally get Michael to stop is only a few hundred metres further down this road.

Potrero Canyon Road

Dead Man's Curve
34°23'3.92"N
118°36'29.15"W

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Police Stop Michael/KITT
34°23'7.41"N
118°36'41.04"W

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(Right Click or Cmd Click to view the map pictures at a larger size)

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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by simon_a6 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:33 am

one_man wrote:Before this location was disclosed, I was wondering what are the words embedded in the ceiling (see red box in the picture below). It all makes sense now! The partial cue to the HOTRS was hiding in the scene after all!

TEN........GI.....C..TT..Co. <=== you can make out only a few letters!
Tennessee Gin & Cotton Co.

Image


Well I'll be damned. All this and it was right there. Tho maybe if we hadn't known these other parts to the location, that would have not meant much anyway.

Apologies for appearing dim, but I cannot find that streetmap view of the house in the background, nor the current streetview location. Can someone post a link to it so I can "park" there and spin around, at least in the bus's position.

This is truly fantastic work for any serious KR fan who really wants these places. Love it!

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Re: House Of The Rising Sun Location Disclosed

Post by iGav » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:44 am

simon_a6 wrote:Apologies for appearing dim, but I cannot find that streetmap view of the house in the background, nor the current streetview location. Can someone post a link to it so I can "park" there and spin around, at least in the bus's position.


The approximate location of the bus, give or take a few metres of course. :good:
34°10'18.02"N
118°33'43.89"W

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