Air: Where Was the Nike Biopic Filmed?

The Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck sat on the director’s chair for ‘Air,’ a biographical sports drama movie based on actual events surrounding the origin of the world-famous basketball shoe line Air Jordan. Inspired by a 2021 Black List script titled ‘Air Jordan’ by Alex Convery, the narrative follows a revolutionary shoe salesman named Sonny Vaccaro and how his instincts led Nike to pursue the would-be greatest athlete in the history of basketball — Michael Jordan. He decides to take a career-changing gamble, puts everything on the line, and negotiates with a mother who knows her son’s immense potential.

‘Air’ doesn’t only portray Nike’s revolutionary shoe line but also gives us a glimpse into the anticipation of the then-rookie Michael Jordan becoming something legendary himself. Alongside Ben Affleck and his long-time friend Matt Damon, the drama movie also features stellar onscreen performances from a talented cast comprising Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis. Set in the 1980s, most of the movie unfolds in the Nike Headquarters and several exterior locations where Sonny moves heaven and earth to revolutionize the basketball shoe industry.

Air Filming Locations

‘Air’ was filmed in California, particularly in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Principal photography for the sports drama movie reportedly commenced in June 2022 and wrapped up after a month or so in July of the same year. Even though Michael Jordan had no direct involvement in the movie, he met Ben Affleck before the start of production to suggest some things and give him his blessings.

Jordan suggested casting Viola Davis as his mother and wished for his friend and Vice President of Nike’s Jordan Brand, Howard White, to be included in the movie. This led to Affleck casting Chris Tucker for that role. Now, without wasting time, let us walk you through all the specific locations that feature in the biographical movie!

Los Angeles, California

For taping most of the pivotal sequences, the production team of ‘Air’ set up camp in and around Los Angeles. They supposedly redecorated certain streets and neighborhoods in the city to make it stand in for the 1980s era flawlessly and recorded several exterior shots against suitable backdrops. As for some indoor scenes, they were seemingly lensed on a soundstage of one of the many film studios in and around LA.

The City of Angels features some iconic and popular landmarks, some of which you might spot in the backdrop of some sequences in the Ben Affleck directorial. They are the Capitol Records Building, the Hollywood Sign, Wilshire Grand Center, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Venice Canal Historic District. Apart from ‘Air,’ Los Angeles has been a prominent production location for numerous film and TV projects. Some notable ones are ‘The Fabelmans,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Euphoria,’ and ‘House.’

Santa Monica, California

Several key portions for ‘Air’ were also taped in Santa Monica, with the filming unit utilizing various locales of the city for the production. According to reports, the scenes involving the Nike Headquarters in the 1980s were lensed in a secluded location in Santa Monica. During the production of ‘Air,’ the production team realized they exceeded the budget in three areas — construction, cast, and food trucks. In Santa Monica’s set, they always had at least five food trucks in their little office parks. This included a coffee truck, a Korean barbecue, and a Mexican truck.

Read More: Is Ben Affleck’s Air Based on a True Story?