Developed by Will Smith and Morgan Cooper as the creative heads, ‘Bel-Air’ is a sleek and exciting coming-of-age family drama series in the roster of Peacock TV. The story is a dramatic reimagining of the iconic sitcom of the 90s — ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ — created by Andy Borowitz and Susan Borowitz. It all started in 2019 when Morgan Cooper made a concept trailer of the same name. The video went viral and caught the attention of Will Smith, and it gradually figured into a series. The story follows a fictionalized version of Will Smith (Jabari Banks takes up the role).
A city boy from Philly, Will mingles with the lousy company, landing into trouble. Will’s mother arranges Will a second chance as he gets to stay at his uncle’s lavish mansion in the titular LA neighborhood. Will the change of scene bring a newfound zeal into Will’s life? The story takes place in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, especially in Bel-air’s picturesque estate and mansion. You may be eager to track down all the filming locations. If that is the case, allow us to take you to the places.
Bel-Air Filming Locations
‘Bel-air’ is filmed in its entirety in the US, especially in and around California and Pennsylvania. As the original series visited these two states, the creators chose the exact locations to cater to the fans. However, as Morgan recollected, the reboot has always been a Kansas City project. The idea of the reboot came upon him as he was driving down Highway 71 in the city, which is also his hometown. The short fan trailer took Morgan eight days to make. Filming of the Philly sequences took place in Kansas City within four days while he headed to LA to capture additional sequences.
After the success of the short, the project got more funding and ultimately developed into a series. Thus, the creators could adhere to the story and film sequences in Pennsylvania. Corey Kaplan, the production designer of ‘The X-Files,’ came on board to serve in the project, while Kate Weddle and Tim Eckel jointly handled the art direction department. Let us now transport you to the specific locations where the series is filmed!
Los Angeles County, California
Most of the filming takes place in and around the City of Angels, a sprawling metropolis off the coast of the Pacific in California. The city doubles as the mecca of global film industries. The filmmaking district of Hollywood caters to producers and filmmakers from all over the world.
Since the series is a dramatic retelling, the cast and crew had more room to move. Some filming presumably took place in the Universal Studios Hollywood, a major movie studio located at 100 Universal City Plaza, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County. The cast and crew headed to the beach to capture some sequences.
A few early sequences were filmed in Philadelphia. Besides being the largest city of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is also one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the US. The character of Will hails from the city, and the early gritty depiction of Philly provides a sharp contrast to the lush landscape of Bel-air. If you are a history buff, and you happen to visit the city, make a note to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other lasting monuments of the American Revolutionary War.
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