Where Was 2012 Filmed?

From the house of prolific German director Roland Emmerich, known for blockbuster disaster chronicles such as ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ ‘2012’ is another spectacular vision of the prophesied apocalypse. Spanning across several continents, the film seeks to give a comprehensive account of the destruction. The story has several strands, but it primarily centers on Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a struggling sci-fi writer before whose eyes fiction turns into reality as the ransacked world sits on the verge of collapse.

Upon its release, ‘2012’ garnered mixed reviews from fans and critics, who, while being impressed by the graphic depiction of disaster, were not so happy about the storyline and the runtime. However, it was well-received by the audience and amassed a decent fan-following. The film features the annihilation of iconic landmarks and architectures from all over the world to capture the grandeur of the apocalypse, reaching its climax in the abode of the Himalayas. If you are looking for a complete list of locations shown in ‘2012,’ consider us having you insured.

2012 Filming Locations

‘2012’ was filmed across locations from Canada, the USA, Japan, China, and Vatican City. A grand production in every sense of the word, the director chose to film in both outdoors and studio locations. Filming was scheduled to commence in LA but instead began in British Columbia. The production team started filming in July 2008, which came to a close in October 2008. Computer-generated graphics were used in depicting several iconic cultural locations as the film moved into post-production. Let us now take you to the specific filming locations of ‘2012.’

Vancouver, British Columbia

Most parts of the film were carried out in the pastoral biodiversity hotspot of British Columbia. While the director initially opted to film the majority of the scenes in Los Angeles, California, a strike by the Screen Actors’ Guild forced them to look for other options. As the neighboring country of Canada hosts a vibrant film industry in Vancouver, the decision was not difficult to make for Emmerich. They filmed in locations such as Kamloops, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Victoria, Burnaby, and finally Vancouver. The studio work was carried out in the Vancouver Film Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In the film, The G8 summit takes place in British Columbia. The region also serves in the film as Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Jackson takes his children camping in Yellowstone National Park, where he encounters Adrian, the geologist. Later in the film, after the collapse of Los Angeles, the group goes back to Yellowstone to know the location of the ark from a conspiracy theorist and talk-show host Charlie Frost, and as they leave, the eponymous volcanic caldera in Yellowstone erupts, wreaking havoc.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is another prominent location where the production team visited to film. At one point in the film, Jackson and the crew land in Las Vegas in search of larger aviation. As they leave the city, massive clouds obscure their vision.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California, is the home to Jackson Curtis, the protagonist of the story. In a visceral moment in the film, the city of Los Angeles crumbles into the Pacific. While the production team could not begin shooting in the mecca of cinema due to various reasons, they certainly made their way back.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Another location that can be seen in the film is Honolulu, Hawaii, specifically the island of O‘ahu. Home to a rooted aboriginal culture and lush beaches, Honolulu makes for the perfect holiday destination for Hollywood productions. In the film, Honolulu and the Hawaiian Islands were destroyed by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mega-tsunami during the Worldwide Flooding.

Washington, D.C.

At the beginning of the film, Helmsley goes to a party overlooking the White House from where he is taken to the President. In a later stage in the timeline, President Wilson addresses the nation from Washington, D.C., while the world gets tossed over, leading to casualties.

Tibet, China

In all likelihood, a few of the scenes mentioned above were shot in Tibet, situated on the northern side of the Himalayas. In early development, a Buddhist monk called Nima is evacuated from his home in Tibet. His brother Tenzin takes part in the ark project. The climax of the film is reached when Jackson and the group reach China. Their plane runs out of fuel, a mega-tsunami is advancing towards them and in the finality of the chaos, the ark hits Mount Everest.

Other Locations

The production crew reportedly visited Japan and India to film a few sequences. Additionally, some shots were filmed in the Papal Palace of Vatican City.

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