Based on Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff’s book titled ‘Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry,’ ‘BlackBerry’ is a biographical comedy-drama movie co-written and helmed by Matt Johnson. Set in the second half of the 1990s, the narrative follows the two founders, namely Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, of a struggling tech company called Research in Motion. Things turn around when a relentless businessperson named Jim Balsillie becomes the CEO of the company and pushes Lazaridis to create a prototype of their invention and put it on the market.
From then, the company BlackBerry Limited takes birth and gains a huge amount of success in a few years’ time. But sooner rather than later, Lazaridis and Balsillie can see their business crumbling due to personal grievances, questionable business dealings, and the introduction of the much more successful iPhone. The setting of the late 90s coupled with the backdrop of the office of Blackberry Limited and other interesting locations tend to spark some questions in viewers’ minds, especially related to the filming sites of the movie. If you are one such curious soul, we have got you covered!
BlackBerry Filming Locations
‘BlackBerry’ was filmed in Ontario and California, particularly in Hamilton, Oakville, Waterloo, London, and Burlington. As per reports, the principal photography for the comedy-drama movie commenced in May 2022 and wrapped up in August of the same year. Now, without further ado, let’s traverse through all the specific locations that feature in the biographical film!
The production team of ‘BlackBerry’ chose the port city of Hamilton as the primary production location for shooting the biopic. Some key sequences were lensed in and around the sports and entertainment arena FirstOntario Centre at 101 York Boulevard in Hamilton. Established back in 1985, the arena has a capacity of up to 19,000, which is put to good use by hosting various sports events.
Thanks to the city’s diversity of locations within close proximity, Hamilton is considered one of the busiest stops for different kinds of movie productions. This makes the shooting process convenient and efficient for filmmakers, which is supposedly the reason why the filming unit of ‘BlackBerry’ decided to tape the majority of the film in this city. Over the years, its locales have also been featured in ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Finding Forrester,’ and ‘The Cutting Edge.’
Other Locations in Ontario
Additional portions of ‘BlackBerry’ were also taped in other locations than Hamilton across Ontario, including the cities of Waterloo and London. During the filming schedule, the cast and crew members were spotted by many locals and passersby recording important scenes in the 5-Drive-In movie theater at 2332 Ninth Line in the town of Oakville, which is situated in Ontario’s Halton Region.
In real life, Balsille and Lazardis used to hold important meetings and discussions regarding their company in a Waterloo Region diner in the mid-1990s. Since the original place has been shut down permanently, the production team utilized the premise of Russell Williams Family Restaurant at 20 Plains Road East in Burlington and transformed it to make it stand in for the actual diner. Reportedly, Ontario International Airport also features in quite a few scenes of the comedy-drama film.
Silicon Valley, California
It seems that some of the scenes of ‘BlackBerry’ that are set in Silicon Valley were recorded on location in the Northern California region. Given the fact that Silicon Valley serves as one of the most important global centers for high technology and innovation, and is home to many start-up and global technology companies, it makes for a suitable filming site, especially for a movie like the Matt Johnson directorial.
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