Jake Johnson took the responsibility of writing, directing, and acting in ‘Self Reliance,’ a comedy thriller movie that chronicles the mundane life of a disillusioned man named Tommy Walcott who lives alone and works a regular job. Soon, his dull life takes a thrilling turn when he gets approached by the famous actor Andy Samberg in a limousine. Consequently, he receives an invitation to participate in a reality game on the dark web for a chance to win $1 million. In order to take the grand cash prize home, Tommy must stay out of the crosshairs of assassins who attempt to murder him for 30 days.
However, there is a big loophole to the game — Tommy cannot be attacked or killed when he is in the company of someone else. So, to increase his chances of winning and surviving, he tries to get help from his friends, family, and strangers, and get them to stay with him all the time. As the protagonist navigates the streets of LA, dodging attacks from hunters, the viewers can’t help but wonder if the shooting took place on location or not.
Where Was Self Reliance Filmed?
‘Self Reliance’ was filmed in its entirety in California, especially in Los Angeles. According to reports, principal photography for the Jake Johnson directorial took place over the course of only 19 days, around July 2022. So, let us traverse through the specific sites that serve as the backdrop in the comedy movie!
Los Angeles, California
All the pivotal sequences for ‘Self Reliance’ were reportedly lensed in and around the City of Angels — Los Angeles. Jake Johnson and the rest of the crew took over the Southern Californian city’s streets and neighborhoods, especially in East Los Angeles, and turned them into film sets to shoot many key portions of the Hulu movie. For instance, one of the suburban neighborhoods of LA is where the funny scene between an Ellen DeGeneres clone and Jake Johnson was shot.
During an in-depth conversation regarding his directorial debut, Jake Johnson revealed quite a few things about the production process. He stated, “It was 19 days of shooting. It was a madhouse. I really wanted to shoot it in LA and we didn’t have a tax break. But, I don’t like Atlanta for LA. I don’t like Vancouver for LA. I like Los Angeles.”
Jake further elaborated, “I wanted to shoot in East LA. I wanted to shoot in Highland Park and Alta Dena — parts of LA that I think have so much character. If we would’ve shot in Atlanta, we would’ve had 25 days. But I thought it’s worth it to squeeze the days in and go hard here. Man, LA is special.” The filmmaker even highlights the issue of homelessness in LA by introducing a homeless character, but to keep things light and subtle, he gave it a comedic twist.
When asked about the most challenging aspect of making ‘Self Reliance’ in a red carpet interview with The Daily Texan, Jake Johnson said that directing himself was way more difficult than he thought at first. He added, “I thought I was going to be able to blow past that and not think about it. I ended up leaning on the (director of photography) Adam Silver, Anna Borden, Joe Hardesty, and Ali Bell. It became a directing by committee where they would go like, ‘Perhaps you want to think of this,’ and I would say, ‘Oh, thank you.'”
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