Written and directed by Matt Ross, ‘Captain Fantastic’ is a heart-warming tale of a family that lives in the wilderness but has to suddenly move to the city. Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is the family patriarch who, disillusioned by the capitalist and opportunistic society, decides to raise his children away from its cacophony. He trains his children in various life skills and teaches them concepts ranging from quantum physics to political science.
A dire situation forces the Cash family to reintegrate into social life—a journey from wilderness to the city that becomes a learning curve for the children. The film depicts some sprawling natural locales where the family makes their home. Beautifully captured, the locations’ paradisiacal verdancy intrigued us, and we decided to look further into them. Here’s what we found out!
Captain Fantastic Filming Locations
‘Captain Fantastic’ was extensively shot in the Pacific-Northwest, especially in the state of Washington. Apart from the natural settings captured in Washington, the film was also shot in New Mexico and Oregon.
The Wilderness of the Northwest, especially in Whatcom County, served as the location where the Cash family lives. Artist Point’s breathtaking beauty, situated about 5,000 feet above sea level, is captured in the film. It is near the end of Mount Baker Highway and offers a splendid view of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker.
Matt Ross spent his childhood in the Northwest region of Washington. He wanted to film his project in Washington and teamed with the location scout, Dave Drummond, to select the perfect places. The filmmakers worked with the US Forest Service and the Department of Natural Resource to film in the Washington wilderness.
Other than Whatcom County, the film features beautiful places situated in Western Washington. Locations in ‘Captain Fantastic’ include Camp Korey in Carnation, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Deception Pass State Park, Pack Forest, west of Mount Rainier, and Fall City Roadhouse, a restaurant near Snoqualmie Falls. The Smokey Joe’s Tavern, a bar in King Street, Snoqualmie, is also seen in the film.
Index town Wall, a hiking trail in the Central Cascades, and the city of Sultan in Snohomish County also served as the filming locations. The Gold Bar Elementary school and Gold Bar Family Grocer located in the eponymous town are also featured in the film. Apart from these places, ‘Captain Fantastic’ also showcases other locations in Washington like EvergreenHealth Hospital in Kirkland, O’Sullivan Sportsman Resort in Othello and some areas in Chehalis.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
‘Captain Fantastic’ was also filmed in Albuquerque as it features the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, located on the city’s Paradise Boulevard. Besides Albuquerque, the film was shot across Las Cruces and Mesilla, both located in the Doña Ana County of New Mexico. Las Cruces is situated on the Chihuahua desert periphery, with the majestic Rio Grande River flowing through its landscape.
The Downtown skyline and Tom McCall Waterfront in Portland, Oregon are featured in ‘Captain Fantastic.’ Portland is the largest city in Oregon and also has the maximum population in the state. Oregon has lucrative tax incentive schemes that provide a 20% rebate on goods and services and 10% on labor associated with projects that are produced in the state.
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