With an awe-inspiring picture perfect coastline, producers selected Monterey County as the backdrop for the new HBO drama miniseries “Big Little Lies.” As the highly-anticipated program is set to debut on Sunday, February 19, 2017, the Monterey County Film Commission is planning a launch party that evening to celebrate with local film crew members, extras and businesses who played a part in the show.  

“Big Little Lies,” starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, is based on the New York Times best-seller novel of the same name by author Liane Moriarty. The seven-episode series, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, follows the lives of three mothers - played by Kidman, Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley - whose seemingly perfect lives begin to unravel. The show was filmed for four weeks in January and May of 2016 at locations in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel Highlands and Big Sur.  

“Although the novel is set in a little coastal town in Australia, the producers fell in love with Monterey County, and the beautiful views of the ocean,” says Karen Nordstrand, Director of Marketing and Film Production for the Monterey County Film Commission.

The film commission reports that “Big Little Lies” has generated an estimated $2.5 million to local communities including jobs, lodging, goods and services, local taxes and more. Nordstrand says the production team even left behind a few added bonuses such as new stairs leading to Garrapata State Beach and a set prop, which is now the sign for Monterey City Hall.

More than 200 movies have been filmed in Monterey County since the late 19th century. Notable titles include “Basic Instinct,” “Turner & Hooch,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” “The Muppet Movie,” “We Were Soldiers” and many more.

The “Hollywood in Your Backyard: Big Little Lies Debut Celebration” will be held on February 19 at 5pm at the Carmel Mission Inn. The special event will include a screening of the first episode of “Big Little Lies,” premiering at 6pm. For a trailer and clips of the show, please visit: hbo.com/big-little-lies. As the film commission celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the non-profit group is also raising funds to help enhance its efforts. You can learn more by visiting their website at FilmMonterey.org.

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