Filming Locations —

City and County of San Francisco: Embarcadero at Taylor Street in Fisherman's Wharf. Taylor Street between Union and Filbert Streets on Russian Hill. Waverly Place and Ross Alley in Chinatown. St. Mary's Square Park at Quincy Alley & California Street in Chinatown.

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The part in which the thief steals Michael Andretti's wallet was shot at Fisherman's Wharf on the Embarcadero at Taylor Street.
The second shot was cheated behind the crab shack, meaning that the view in the background is actually Telegraph Hill.

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The jump off a San Francisco hill not only spoofs the Steve McQueen classic film Bullitt, but I actually had to find the exact street
intersection where the original scene in Bullitt was filmed, namely Union & Taylor Streets on Russian Hill. The fourth picture here
(soon to be replaced with a better quality image), captured from Bullitt, shows the building that was matched in the American Express
TV commercial image directly above it. We even got a Volkswagon to appear in the shot as well.

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This composite image (hence the partial view of the
ice cream truck) shows the pan down along the gates into
Chinatown on Grant Avenue at Bush Street.
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The vehicles here are moving southbound on Waverly Place
between Washington and Sacramento Streets in Chinatown. The
extra set dressing was added by production designer Gavin Bocquet
(Star Wars 2 and XXX) and art director Andrew Lewis. Since
the 60-second version of this commercial was apparently never
released, there is actually a lot of additional unseen footage
from this location, including another small alley that the ice
cream truck plowed through (see below).

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The end of the commercial was shot at St. Mary's Square Park on Quincy Street between California & Pine Streets in Chinatown.
On the left is Michael Andretti, of course, and the ice cream man is played by Kurtis Bedford who also had a part in Scream.


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These shots are from the filming at Embarcadero & Taylor Streets in Fisherman's Wharf.

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Andrew Lewis (Art Director), Salvatore Totino (D.P.),
Peter Kohn (1st A.D.), Gavin Bocquet (Production Designer),
Leslie Hamilton (Loader), and Jan Ruona (2nd A.C.).
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At the end of the commercial, Michael Andretti walks through
St. Mary's Square Park with the ice cream cone, but this shot
didn't make it into the 30-second version displayed above.

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Part of the chase leads through the streets of San Francisco's
Chinatown. All of the sidewalk displays were set dressing so
that the ice cream truck could crash through them.
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The ice cream truck is crashing through Ross Alley between
Washington and Jackson. Shelley Ward is driving the truck
and Rocky Capella is riding the scooter. Those are wood
crates and fortune cookies that are splintering on the left.
This shot was also not in the 30-second version.

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In front of the former Hancock Grammar School on Filbert Street
at Taylor Street are Zachary Lewis and Max Lewis, both edited out,
who portrayed two surprised kids that caught popsicles flying
out of the passing ice cream truck.
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Dave Childers (Grip), Peter Kohn (1st A.D.),
Chris Palmer (Director), Peter Thomas (Gaffer),
Salvatore Totino (D.P.), and Patrick McArdle (1st A.C.).

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Anonymous Content / Gorgeous Enterprises
CAST: Michael Andretti, Rocky Capella, Kurtis Bedford....
PRODUCER: Suza Horvat, Spencer Dodd, George Young
DIRECTOR: Chris Palmer
LOCATIONS DEPARTMENT: Jack Gallagher, Mark Redmond, Scott Trimble, Saisie Jang, Sandy Louie, Donna Yick, Nanci Chin, Eric Blyler, Sarah Clifford, Mike Rosene, Becky Webster
ASSISTANT DIRECTORS: Peter Kohn, Susan Hellmann, Gabe Echeverria
PRODUCTION OFFICE STAFF: Joyce Quan, Brian Dettor, Chris Kelly, Petra Janopaul
CAMERA CREW: Ian Foster, Jesse Green, Patrick McArdle, Peter Garrity, Jan Ruona, Leslie Hamilton
GAFFER: Peter Thomas
KEY GRIP: Doug Cowden
ART DIRECTOR: Andrew Lewis
PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Terran Benveniste, Gino Caputi, Teri Lang, Annie Sloan, Mary Clutts, Allison Wurthmann, Jim Maguire, Jason Paul, Dana Palombi, Heather McCan, Paul Muldrow, Mike Highfield, Ken Wright, Morgan Johnson, Leslie Tsina, Rowan Edwards, Jessica Lapin


  • Official Website: American Express
  • Download the commercial: Quicktime / 1.2 megabytes