Drive-Away Dolls: All Filming Locations Explored

‘Drive-Away Dolls,’ helmed by director Ethan Coen, takes us on a comically ill-fated road trip to Tallahassee with Jamie and Marian. Jamie is losing her faith in love after yet another breakup, while Marina is too uptight for her own good. Struck with a plan to get over their rut, Jamies suggests the two of them embark on an impromptu road trip to make a fresh start. However, upon having a mix-up at the car drive-away, the two happen to find themselves with a case of valuable cargo in their trunk and a bunch of hapless gangsters pursuing them.

The raunchy queer road-trip comedy traverses a slew of vibrant settings, from neo-noir clubs and alleyways to sunbathed country roads and diners. Its whacky and absurd narrative is accentuated by these stylized backdrops, leading to further light-hearted and outrageous fun. With the creative team having paid clear attention to its diverse sets and backgrounds, one may be inclined to investigate the filming sites chosen for depicting these scenes.

Where Was Drive-Away Dolls Filmed?

‘Drive-Away Dolls’ was filmed in Pennsylvania across locales in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area and its suburbs. While much of the movie was filmed on location, a Pittsburgh studio was used to simulate a number of its sequences. Initially titled ‘Drive-Away Dykes,’ shooting for the feature film took place between August and October 2022. Allow us to take you through the specific locations utilized in creating ‘Drive-Away Dolls.’

Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area, Pennsylvania

Featuring a diverse catalog of filming locations, the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area saw most of the filming for ‘Drive-Away Dolls’ taking place around it. Sitting at the trijunction of the Allegheny River, the Monongahela River, and the Ohio River, Steel City’s urban bustle and surrounding townships became a center for the production of Ethan Coen’s film. The production team headed to 3 Rivers Studios on 4100 Steubenville Pike to set up shop for lensing many of the movie’s sequences.

3 Rivers Studios is a state-of-the-art studio complex with 5 soundstages in a 130,000-square-foot facility. One of its stages was used by the film crew of ‘Drive-Away Dolls’ to create a neon nightclub set complete with a bar, strings of LEDs along the sides, and glittery drapes. The set housed the initial scenes of Jamie and Marian at a gay bar, where Jamie goes overboard with the drinking game and Marian awkwardly attempts conversation. It also featured a psychedelic segment of Miley Cyrus singing.

The production design team led by Yong Ok Lee created a huge bathroom set in the studio’s auxiliary room adjacent to Studio B. The set is featured in a few scenes of the movie, with its dark tiles, multiple mirrors, and glass shower. Lacking drainage built into the room, for shooting showering and bathing scenes, water has to be brought in and manually pumped or managed so as to prevent flooding in the room. The studio’s large green screen stage was utilized in creating interior shots of characters driving and having dialogue during travel. Cars were brought into the studio, and the actors delivered their lines sitting inside while editing work brought in the background of moving scenery in post-production.

Much of the movie’s on-location filming in October 2022 took place in Hopewell Township, a suburb northwest of Pittsburgh. Known for its rolling hills, lush forests, and quaint rural charm, this township became the perfect site to shoot several scenes of the characters driving along winding roadways and countryside locales. With its picturesque landscapes, historic charm, and convenient location, sites around Pittsburgh have been home to several prominent productions, including ‘Out of the Furnace,’ ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ ‘One for the Money,’ ‘Love & Other Drugs,’ ‘She’s Out of My League,’ and ‘Adventureland.’

Tallahassee, Florida

With the canonical destination of the film set in the capital city of Florida, we can spot the city in establishing shots. Jamie and Marian begin their road trip in Pennsylvania and travel to Tallahassee in order to get their act together, encountering tons of outlandish and surreal scenarios along the way. Tallahassee is a historically rich and abundant city renowned for its prestigious universities. Furthermore, Tallahassee’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico provides access to stunning beaches and coastal vistas, adding another dimension to the city’s appeal.

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