Known for his action-packed thrillers with serious character development, ‘American Made’ sees visionary auteur Doug Liman team up with Tom Cruise following their collaboration in ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ The action-comedy drama film provides a fictionalized account of true political events of the late 1970s and 80s, especially the Iran-Contra scandal. It follows the story of Barry Seal, an enigmatic personality who was central to the affair, and the consequences of actions this adventurous spirit couldn’t handle.
Starting off as a playful pilot, Seal has a family he needs to care for while being away all the time to work for the CIA. Cruise is joined by Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons, Sarah Wright, and Jayma Mays in this adventure to depict Seal’s lifestyle. The film provides an adrenalin rush on land and in the air, where there are plenty of scenic moments, which were performed by Cruise himself as a licensed pilot. Since the movie is based in different parts of the country, it naturally raises questions about where it was taped.
American Made Filming Locations
‘American Made’ was filmed in several locations in Georgia, Colombia, and Louisiana, specifically in Atlanta, Medellin, and New Orleans. While principal photography commenced on May 18, 2015, in Georgia, it took significant time to film different parts of the movie in plenty of specific locations. With the Georgia locations wrapped up by July 12, 2015, the team moved its filming to Colombia, where Tom Cruise and Liman decided to be adventurous and explored the jungles to scout locations ideal for the shoot.
After a decision was made, the part of the filming in Colombia began on August 26, 2015, and concluded on September 11, 2015, coinciding with a real-life tragedy where two people were killed in a plane crash when the crew members of the production team were returning to Medellin. After this incident, the filming resumed much later on February 3, 2016, in Louisiana and wrapped up just a few days later by February 11, 2016. The filming process post mostly involved reshoots back in Georgia in 2017 from January to February. Let’s learn more about the specific locations where the film was taped.
Cherokee County, Georgia
Most of the filming for ‘American Made’ took place in Georgia, with a very crucial part shot in Ball Ground in Cherokee County. In the movie, the Seal family had to flee their house in Louisiana for a safer home in Mena, Arkansas. The filming for all the scenes set in Mena was actually done in Ball Ground, at Gilmer Ferry Road, where the set for the ranch house was prepared.
The set decoration team progressed in its efficiency along with the plot, adding plenty of renovations and additions to the set to depict the result of Seal’s financial success from his dealings with the cartel. Even the streets of the area were modified slightly to provide the feel of the 80s era, including the installation of plenty of payphones that Seal had to keep using. Even the Nicaraguan airstrip, from where Seal conducts his operations, was shot at the Cherooke airport, located at 1350 Bishop Rd, Ball Ground, GA 30107.
Many other scenes for the film were shot in and around Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia. A lot of scenes show Seal on a plane, especially in Atlanta, which were shot at Atlanta Media Campus at 6305 Crescent Drive in Norcross. Close to Atlanta, the scene where the CIA operative gives Seal a private aircraft to fly at a hangar is shot in Candler Field, Williamson. Another training facility was prepared within two days just north of Atlanta in Roswell, where an empty field was chosen as the filming spot.
Interestingly, the scenes set in Louisiana’s Baton Rouge, where the Seal family initially lives, were actually shot in Roswell, too, on the first day of filming. These were exactly taped at 640 Brickleberry Court. Plenty of other scenes and sets had to be located in different parts of Atlanta and some surrounding areas that were chosen within Georgia, such as Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett. Other locations that were a part of the film were Morgan, Madison, and Pickens within Georgia. The sets like the CIA office and even offices for George Bush and Olive North had to be built from scratch.
Since a friendship between Seal and Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel is depicted in the film, some scenes were also shot in Colombia, especially in Medellin. However, due to the unfortunate incident with the production crew, the shooting was wrapped up in a few days. Some parts were also filmed in Santa Marta in Colombia, where the scenic locations proved to be ideal, especially for the flying scenes. A few scenes were likely lensed at Aeroparque Juan Pablo II, a famous waterpark at Cra. 70 #16, Guayabal in Medellín. Nonetheless, all the shooting in these areas was wrapped up within a couple of days before resuming the reshoots in Georgia.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The initial part of ‘American Made’ is based in Baton Rouge, which is a few miles away from New Orleans in Louisiana. This part depicts the time in the lives of the Seal family before they shifted to Arkansas. It showcases the members residing in their suburban home when Seal is still a commercial pilot. As per reports, the shooting period in Louisiana was very brief, with a few aerial shots over Bayou State and one scene in the film at the airport where a vintage New Orleans poster is visible.
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