For Patrick Mignano, Long Beach is more than just home; it’s a place to make movie magic. Learn more about the Long Beach native who is best known for working closely with Clint Eastwood on films like “American Sniper.” (From our August 2018 Magazine Issue)
Patrick Mignano is a local resident who has brought several film projects to Long Beach in his 28 years as a location manager. Formerly residing in the 908 on E. Second Street, he now lives in Lakewood and is always on-the-go scouting locations for, most notably, Clint Eastwood. Mignano is currently on-location in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but called in to talk with 908 Magazine about his experience as a location manager in Long Beach.
What project are you working on right now?
Patrick Mignano: I’m working on a Warner Bros. project called “The Mule,” starring and directing Clint Eastwood.
One of the notable projects you brought to Long Beach was “American Sniper” also directed by Eastwood. What are some of your memories of being the location manager on that film?
We used an apartment complex there on Bixby Village Drive to shoot where [U.S. Navy SEAL] Chris Kyle’s future wife lived in the film. And we shot it there because it worked for the scene and because we paired it with the work we shot in Seal Beach. We shot at O’Malley’s on Main Street and we shot out on the pier; we were doubling Seal Beach for Oceanside.
What did Clint Eastwood have to say about the locations here? What’s it like working with him?
He’s a really nice man, a real professional who knows what he wants. There’s not a lot of wasted energy with him. He’s got a pretty tight-knit crew; a lot of the guys have been with him almost 30 years. I’ve been working with him for 11 years. We shoot fast and we’re very fiscally responsible for what we do and he’s producing great movies. He liked the Long Beach locations and he loved the bar [O’Malley’s]. We created an arcade at the beginning of the pier where Chris Kyle wins a stuffed bear for his girlfriend playing a target game. Clint thought it was a great look.
What other movies have you brought to Long Beach as a location manager?
I’ve done a bunch of movies in Long Beach. I remember “Starship Troopers” in 1996 and we shot at the [Walter] Pyramid at Long Beach State. There is a scene where the characters play a futuristic football game, and we used the inside of the pyramid as their football stadium. I did another movie called “Phoenix” with Ray Liotta….We filmed at the Blue Cafe. We filmed in the alley behind it as well and there was a taco stand on the other side of the alley. I also remember there were some apartments on Carson [Street,] east of Atlantic Avenue, where we shot Ray Liotta’s apartment in the film.
Do you remember Ray Liotta saying anything about the locations in Long Beach?
It’s funny, I do. I remember Ray Liotta came up to me—and Ray is an intense guy....I thought he was mad, and he goes, “I just want to let you know these are really great locations, these locations are great,” [laughs]. So that was really nice.
What is it about Long Beach that makes you keep coming back and showing directors like Clint Eastwood locations down here?
Long Beach is great, of course I live down here, but I like it because it’s got a lot of varied looks; Tasha Day [at the film office] is great, very proactive. The city is very film-friendly and everyone works really hard to accommodate film crews. It’s a pleasant place to do business.