Little Wing: Where Was the Coming-of-Age Movie Filmed?

Under the direction of Dean Israelite, ‘Little Wing’ tells the story of a troubled young girl who finds herself on an unlikely path of self-discovery after stealing a racing pigeon. Kaitlyn is a 13-year-old who is grappling with strenuous situations at home. Her parents are getting divorced, while the family is on the verge of losing their house. Learning of a valuable racing pigeon in the possession of an old man in her town, Kaitlyn concocts a plan to steal the bird and sell it to relieve their financial burdens.

However, she is discovered by the veteran, Jaan, who understands her motives as pure and decides not to press charges despite his emotional connection with the bird. Realizing the harm she has caused the kind man, Kaitlyn offers to help him find the pigeon, unknowingly starting on a path of pigeon-racing herself. On the way, she tries to make sense of her life and starts to doubt everything, including her capabilities for the sport.

Nevertheless, with Jaan’s wisdom and her wits, Kaitlyn begins to piece herself together, learning to live despite her hardships and seemingly insurmountable challenges. Based on the eponymous article by Susan Orlean, the coming-of-age Paramount+ film takes us on an introspective yet heartwarming journey amongst the urban sprawl of Portland. The movie’s atmospheric environment might lead to inquiries about the authenticity of the film’s backdrops.

Little Wing Filming Locations

True to its setting, ‘Little Wing’ was filmed in and around Portland, Oregon. Principal photography began in April 2023 and was wrapped up by June 13, 2023. The cast and crew seem to have really enjoyed their time behind the scenes and proudly shared their experience of working on set. The lead actress, Brooklynn Prince, essayed Kaitlyn as a thirteen-year-old herself and had previously experienced adversity similar to what her character goes through.

“Playing Kaitlyn was an emotional canvas for me. It’s a story I wish would have existed a year ago when I was going through one of the hardest times of my life, but instead, God used me to tell it,” she wrote in the caption of an image she posted online. Let us take a closer look at some of the shooting sites put to use in the making of ‘Little Wing.’

Portland, Oregon

‘Little Wing’ was shot entirely on location within filming sites in Portland. The film crew rolled cameras amidst the city’s diverse neighborhoods, picturesque parks, and distinctive landmarks, capturing the essence of Kaitlyn’s journey of self-discovery amidst the misty cityscape. In particular, the Hawthorne Bridge and the neighborhoods around Denorval Unthank City Park in North Portland can be seen in the movie.

One of the prominent filming locations in Portland was Hawthorne Bridge, an iconic landmark spanning the Willamette River. The bridge’s distinctive architecture and scenic views can be seen in several sequences of the film. Against the backdrop of the bridge’s towering arches and shimmering waters, Kaitlyn can be seen looking out of a car window, deep in thought. Another segment on the bridge involved Kaitlyn and Adam cycling across it at night while carrying out their pigeon heist. Just before shooting on the bridge began, graffiti removal trucks were deployed by the city to improve the presentability of the site, as the south sidewalk of the bridge was also featured in the movie.

Additionally, a neighborhood around Denorval Unthank City Park, at 3920 North Kerby Avenue, emerged as a key filming site, utilized to depict Kaitlyn’s home and community. Nestled amidst tree-lined streets and historic homes, the locale provided a picturesque backdrop for intimate moments and character-driven scenes for much of the film.

In addition to interspersed natural settings, the film crew largely made use of North Portland’s eclectic neighborhoods and vibrant streetscapes. The city’s unique character seems to pour through the overcast and misty Oregon mornings. The region includes a slew of verdant sites, from parks and quaint stretches along the Willamette River, to the marshy terrain of the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. When it comes to diversity in urban environments, Portland offers a range from the quirky boutiques and cafes of the Pearl District to the historic charm of the Alberta Arts District, each location contributing to the vibrant culture and dynamic energy of the city.

One notable aspect of Portland’s cinematic history is its portrayal in various films, showcasing the city’s distinctive character and gloomy atmosphere. Some prominent productions shot in the city include, ‘Twilight,’ ‘Grimm,’ ‘Into the Wild,’ ‘Coraline,’ ‘My Own Private Idaho,’ and ‘Captain Fantastic.’

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