Have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to live your life or run your business as though you knew everything would always work out? That you could take huge chances with no fear? That you could be Ferris Bueller? Besides the fact that it’s a hilarious comedy, I think that fantasy that the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off creates is a big reason why I love the film so much.
The death of the film’s director, John Hughes, just a few weeks ago, inspired me to make a documentary about me visiting the Chicago area locations from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Last weekend I went on a quest to find the lesser-known suburban locations in the film. My search led me into a very strange sequence of coincidences, which in the end allowed my day to work out brilliantly.
A great Web site, www.movie-locations.com, which tells the shooting locations of tons of films, directed me to the performing arts center attached to Glenbrook North high school in Northbrook Illinois for the spot that Ferris and best friend Cameron pick up his girlfriend Sloan.
While I was driving next to the school I asked a young woman walking her dog where the performing arts center was and told her about my documentary. After giving me directions she revealed to me that her own house’s backyard was actually used in the movie when Ferris is running through neighborhood backyards to get home before his parents.
She allowed me to come over to her house in the suburb of Northbrook to have a look. Her parents told me that when they moved there in 1989 they were told that their yard may have been in the film for a few seconds when it was shot in 1985, however they believe that yard next door to theirs was a featured spot, the location where Ferris does his dramatic slow motion jump on the trampoline.
After the tour, the family asked me where I was from, which is a suburb that’s over an hour away. After I told them, we almost immediately found out that they were close friends with the parents of a girl I had had a huge crush on in high school.
I also knew the girl’s parents well so I think that put me in pretty good standing with them. They then offered to ask their neighbors for me if I could go over to their house to film.
Amazing what can happen if a person isn’t afraid to ask a few questions.
Question: Which are your favorite scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
Watch the video below to see movie clips from some of the locations Noah scouted