How did they manage in the film “Vanilla Sky” to film Tom Cruise absolutely alone in Times Square, in the middle of Manhattan?

This spectacular scene was filmed very early on a Sunday morning. It was produced without special effects, without computer-generated images.

Times Square, one of the most touristy places in the world, was simply closed to the public for three hours.

It had never happened before and it hasn’t been done since.

The feat was possible thanks to special authorization from Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time.

Tom Cruise and the film’s producers went to see him before filming to validate the project.

Giuliani agreed to grant them this exceptional favor on one condition: that director Cameron Crowe changes the way he works.

In fact, the mayor’s team had inquired before the meeting and discovered that the director was known for doing numerous takes of each scene.

Fearing that the filming could degenerate and block the neighborhood for longer than expected, the municipality wanted to ensure that no overflow would occur.

Cameron Crowe promised that wouldn’t happen, preparing the sequence from top to bottom for several weeks before filming.

And the preparation paid off because on the big day, the planned sequence was completed in 1 hour 45 minutes out of the planned 3 hours. Having Times Square still to themselves for an hour and 15 minutes, Tom Cruise then suggested shooting additional shots of him running around the deserted square.

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