Fantasmas: All Locations Where the HBO Show is Filmed

From the uninhibited mind of Julio Torres, ‘Fantasmas’ sees a fictionalized version of Torres embarking on a fantastical journey through an alternate version of New York City in search of a golden oyster earring. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters who prompt reflections on themes of purpose, meaning, and connection. As Torres navigates this dreamy landscape, we are treated to introspective, eerie, and comedic vignettes that delve into the inner lives of objects and concepts.

From consulting jobs with Crayola to rebranding constellations for NASA, Torres’s fanciful life clashes with societal expectations, all against the backdrop of a dystopian New York City. With its kaleidoscope of color, surrealism, and heartfelt storytelling, the HBO show creates an alternate world that explores human connection in an increasingly isolated world.

Fantasmas Filming Locations

Filming for ‘Fantasmas’ takes place in Kearny, New Jersey, and New York City, New York. Principal photography began in January 2023 and wrapped up for the first season in about four months by April 2023. The team behind the show seems to go all out in letting their creative juices flow. Cast members particularly praised Torres for his vision and capability. “He has really taught me how to move my way through these channels in order to get something made,” said comedian Spike Einbinder in an interview. “He’s helped me reframe it in a less selling-out way and more like a subversion, infiltration type of thing.” ‘Fantasmas’ makes clever use of filming properties and a studio to stitch together its surreal narrative.

New York City, New York

‘Fantasmas’ is also filmed in New York City in the Big Apple. The production team of season 1 initially set up shop in a movie studio in New York City in January 2023 under the banner of Irony Point Productions, known for its indie comedy films. Since the narrative takes place in an alternate version of the city, establishing shots featuring its landscapes were utilized in the production. With the cornucopia of special effects required to create the mind-bending sequences of ‘Fantasmas,’ a soundstage, green screens, and dynamic lighting become essential tools for the crew.

New York City has long been a vibrant hub for movie production, offering a diverse range of locations, talented professionals, and state-of-the-art studios. A large number of movies and shows are set in the metropolis but find themselves only visiting The Big Apple for a postcard shoot. This is because of the high filming costs associated with the city, the difficulty of acquiring permits and conducting on-location shooting. One of the key elements contributing to New York City’s status as a movie production hub is its abundance of production studios, which aren’t hindered by many of these setbacks. Some of the projects housed here include ‘Eric,’ ‘IF,’ ‘Elsbeth,’ ‘Euphoria,’ ‘All About Eve,’ and ‘Pose.’

Kearny, New Jersey

Nestled in the heart of the Garden State, Kearny serves as an intriguing and lesser-known filming location for ‘Fantasmas.’ The film crew shot most of the first season of ‘Fantasmas’ in the town to the west of NYC between February and April 2023. Adding a distinct flavor to the series’ visual narrative, Kearny has charming neighborhoods, quaint architecture, and industrial landscapes, providing a backdrop that is both familiar and unconventional. The town’s historic charm and eclectic vibe serve as a compelling backdrop to create a unique version of NYC for Julio Torres’s whimsical adventures.

Moreover, Kearny’s proximity to New York City allows for a seamless transition between the filming locations but with substantially lower shooting costs. One significant aspect of Kearny’s appeal is its industrial heritage, characterized by warehouses, factories, and waterfront areas. These settings offer filmmakers an authentic backdrop for gritty urban scenes, industrial landscapes, and period pieces. Additionally, Kearny’s historic architecture and tree-lined streets provide a charming contrast, allowing filmmakers to capture a range of visual aesthetics within a relatively compact area.

Kearny is also home to the 10 Basin Studios located at 10 Basin Drive. Established in 2022, the studio has a 36,000-square-foot soundstage with attached office and support spaces. The studio has succeeded in marking Kearny on the map for filmmakers and drawing a greater number of movie projects to the town. Some movies and shows featuring the quaint town in the background are ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘A Murder at the End of the World,’ ‘Coyote Ugly,’ ‘Jersey Boys,’ ‘Anger Management,’ and ‘Little America.’

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