The Disaster Artist, directed by and starring Palo Alto’s own James Franco, is now playing in theaters, satirizing the filming of the 2003 independent film The Room, a cult classic hailed as one of the least intelligible pieces of cinema ever concocted.
Writer, director, actor, and possible space alien Tommy Wiseau shot many of The Room’s most unforgettable (for better or worse) scenes in San Francisco, in some cases just a few blocks away from where Franco’s acclaimed movie now screens.
Obsessive Room fans are known to guide their own tours of film location spots. But as Room aficionado Adam Hollett notes, numerous maps and tours are incomplete, leaving out or misidentifying key sites.
In fact, an unimpeachable guide to Wiseau’s rampage through SF may be impossible; San Francisco Film Commission Director Susannah Greason Robbins tells Curbed SF the original shooting permits no longer exist.
“Our permits are physical documents, so every five years we throw them out,” says Robbins.
Of course, that assumes they ever existed; as Room co-star Greg Sestero writes in the The Disaster Artist (the book upon which the film is based), Wiseau had a habit of just filming guerrilla-style—i.e., shooting anywhere he wanted without asking.
Here now are a few key locations that helped bring The Room to life and seared into the minds of its many fans.
- The Room [Wiseau Films]
- The Disaster Artist [A24]
- Tour Of The Room [Adam Hollett]