Do you think you know Paris by heart? Are you sure you know where Amélie’s romantic scenes take place? Where Gil met Hemmingway in Midnight in Paris? Or where Mr. Big proposed to Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City? Well, Ask Abigail de Bruyne, The Founder of Set in Paris Movie Tour and she will answer (plus take you there), without any notes in her hands, because yes, she is curious and did manage to find those momentous spots and create this remarkable thematic tour.
Spring has come which makes it the best time to explore and enjoy Paris. Take a picture at the Eiffel Tower by night? Check. Shopping around the flea markets on Rue Tiquetonne and Les Marché aux Puces? Done. Wander around the posh and prestigious shops of Saint-Germain des Près? Yes. So what else is there to do in Paris?
Last March, I met Abigail de Bruyne (Abby) and she invited me to join her tour called Set In Paris Le Movie Tour. At first, I felt like a tourist again as I was sitting on a big bus with a big group of people. However, as the bus took us around and Abby was speaking on the microphone, I knew, this is no ordinary tour. We visited some streets and places where I normally pass by, but have in fact been used in many famous and legendary movies. While she explains about each spot, one can playback the wonderful scenes in your head easily. I couldn’t stop thinking wow whilst she revealed these hidden secrets! It was a 3,5 hour tour but it passes by very quickly. The journey finished with a little intimate party at their new office on 3 Rue Maître Albert, 75005 Paris. We were welcomed by a red carpet and wall of fame making us feel as though we were in a scene from the Golden Globes. A lovely little glass of champagne and rosé came with popcorn and some sweets creating the perfect happy ending.
Then, I met Abby for a second time and we chatted about the movie tour over coffee.
This is how it went:
Me: So, tell me about yourself?
Abby: I actually studied history in England. I did that because I love history. But, it isn’t related at all with movies.
Me: Then, how did the idea come?
Abby: It was back in 2011. I have a friend who is crazy about Sex and The City. Then, we went to Paris and were finding some spots of the scenes that took place there. Then, I started doing that with other friends, until in 2012, I moved to Paris. I was studying French and looking for a job. Suddenly, this idea came to my mind. Wait… I can do this for living. I can just show people around for a living!
Me: From Sex and The City, how long did it take to find other movies?
Abby: It took me a year to do the research. I have a huge book covering the places and locations of movies. I wandered around Paris whilst discovering the city and watched a lot of movies in order to figure out where exactly the locations of scenes were. I did that all by myself.
Me: How many movies did you watch before you actually started the tour?
Abby: Oh God! At the beginning, I was worried that I would not find enough movies to do a tour. But then, the problem was totally the opposite. I had too many movies! I found thousands of movie locations and was still counting. I knew then I had to cut down.
Me: Was it only from books and by re-watching movies yourself or did you get any help?
Abby: Yes of course. I have so many friends who are helping me out for French movie recommendations. They are just like, “Hey, have you watched this movie, this is the best French movie ever!” and I got so much help from French people. They really know about it. For example, I went to this café and the people who work there told me that they were closing for this movie and that movie, et cetera. The key is: speak French!
Me: Wow, amazing! So do you still look for other movies as well now?
Abby: Yes, and I get so much help from the people around me. Now, they will email me if they get information about movie shootings from each arrondissement. Like for example, last time, they were shooting for the remake of the movie Rosemary Baby as a TV Series. They were so excited to tell me about it.
Me: But, why Paris? Why did you start with Paris?
Abby: I think Paris is the perfect place for it and travel or tour is a good thing to start with. However, this tour will make it easier to remember. People are excited about Paris and with this, people will remember the moment as well. Plus, when I watched a movie, it’s always in Paris. Hahaha…
Me: I saw that you didn’t have any notes with you when you explained the spots to us. How can you do that and what will happen if you have a lot of tour slots?
Abby: Yeah, that’s what I am afraid of. I have notes and know in my head. When I give it to someone else, they probably couldn’t understand and I wouldn’t know how to teach them. However, I hope we could do a couple of tours in a day with several buses and still keep the private tours with a limo as well.
Me: Sounds like a good plan. So, is that how you see Set in Paris Le Movie Tour in the next 5 years?
Abby: I don’t know. Apart from having more frequent tours, I’m thinking about doing movie tours in Rome and London. But, in the next two years, we’re planning to get involved in some travel exhibitions. What I want to retain is making an honest tour. I want to make an experience out of our tours. Make it personal and make the people feel that you have friends even if it’s only for a couple of hours! I always listen to the people around me and people have experienced our tours. We are always open to any suggestions and ideas about how to improve our tours.
Me: Last but not the least, what are your three favourite movies?
After that question, the night was approaching and we finished our coffees. As the sun was slowly hiding away and the moon peeked to the night sky, we ended our lovely meeting. Sounds like a movie scene, but it was not. However, if you want to join this tour and meet Abby personally, just open the website here or directly book a tour by clicking this.
PS: She generously gave us a special 25% discount for a Set In Paris Le Movie Tour anytime you want it, but you need to book it in May. All you need to do is just like our page and put a code: psfashion on the bottom left of the booking page of the Set in Paris Le Movie Tour on this link.
Set In Paris Le Movie Tour
Package is 65€ for adult, 50€ for kids
P: +33 (0) 6 10 70 7626
By Christine Evans
Source of Picture: Set in Paris Le Movie Tour