Cold Copy (2024): Where Was the Movie Filmed?

‘Cold Copy’ is a drama-thriller film that marked the feature film debut of its writer-director-producer, Roxine Helberg. Upon its premiere, the movie received widespread attention for its subject matter—people’s obsession with media and how it could lure them into siding with misleading sources. Starring Tracee Ellis Ross as the vicious and manipulative journalism professor Diane Heger in a truly evil outing, ‘Cold Copy’ uses the backdrop of similar darker aspects of investigative journalism and people’s self-indulging ambitions.

It follows Bel Powley in the protagonistic role of ambitious journalism student Mia Scott, who tries to follow into the shoes of her idol, Diane. Jacob Tremblay co-stars as Igor, the troubled teenage son of a famous novelist whose suicide invokes Mia to look deeper into and bring the truth out in the open. From the opening scene, the screenplay begins to highlight how journalism can become an individual’s entirely different personality. To distinguish between the worlds of a successful journalist and a struggling student, ‘Cold Copy’ smartly utilizes its filming locations, a move that dramatically shifts the movie’s entire tone.

Cold Copy Filming Locations

A micro-budget independent production, ‘Cold Copy’ was reportedly shot in merely 20 days in September 2022 in the westernmost province of British Columbia. Its confined approach and the cinematography handled by Matteo Cocco add multiple layers of anxiety and intrigue, fuelling the movie’s already intense environment. To add a partially thrilling and noir touch—resembling that of ‘Nightcrawler‘— to its visual style, the location scouts made use of various real locations—iconic and more—in the Pacific Province.

Vancouver, British Columbia

‘Cold Copy’ was thoroughly shot in a single schedule in Vancouver, the sprawling port city in British Columbia. To highlight Mia’s extreme efforts, her character is shown to be involved in tiresome everyday choirs until she begins to climb new heights and work on something much more meaningful. Mia’s numerous driving scenes were shot at various locations around the city, the most notable being Hamilton and Howe streets. In a carefully shown evolving pattern, the sequence where Mia crosses the Lions Gate Bridge was also filmed on location on the eponymous road. Scenes featuring the apartment of Mia and her friend Kim (Nesta Cooper) were likely recorded in a real place, as evident by the visibly claustrophobic spaces and the use of close-ups to emphasize the characters’ inner conflicts and the gravity of their situation.

Mia’s interactions with Diane often occur in spaces that symbolize power and authority, such as the newsroom or Diane’s office, highlighting the mentor-mentee dynamic and the pressure Mia faces. To create such visuals, the production team took advantage of various urban locations to invent the perception of social-economic differences. From the sterile and clinical environments of newsrooms and classrooms to the more personal and intimate settings like Igor’s luxurious family mansion, each location plays a significant role in the story. The exterior shots of the said mansion and neighborhoods surrounding it were shot at Tsleil-Waututh Nation School, also known as Siʔáḿθɘt, located at 3075 Takaya Drive in North Vancouver.

The cultural centers and libraries at Squamish and Musqueams Avenue served as the luxurious backdrops of Diane’s workplaces. Additionally, a nuanced friendship between Mia and Igor appears to evolve, serving as an escape from her otherwise active work schedule. The story gives their conversations a touch of realism as they both discuss their common struggles. As the relationship progresses the pair changes their hangout spots from rich neighborhoods to more accessible, private, abandoned spaces like empty rooftops or sugar factories, conveying a sense of escape and the underlying emotional disturbances. The area around Vancouver Harbour was chosen to serve as the primary backdrop of their interactions.

Filming also took place at Alliance Grain Terminal Ltd at 1155 Stewart Street, where some crucial footage-within-footage was recorded. In addition to clarifying the contrasts in Mia, Igor, and Diane’s worlds and how Mia transforms among those, a pivotal sequence offers a much darker side of Mia since, this time, she attempts to lure Diane into her confined space. Shot extensively inside Miraj Hammam Spa, a real location, the extremely claustrophobic scene—literally and metaphorically—delivers a convincing twist to the tale. Diane’s structured, controlled, and authoritative world, as witnessed earlier, might not be so inaccessible to Mia’s chaotic and unstructured spaces, after all.

Read More: Cold Copy (2024): Is the Movie Based on a True Story?