Helmed by Zack Snyder, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ is a 2004 action horror movie that serves as a remake of the eponymous movie by George A. Romero. The story begins when Ana discovers her zombified neighbor who attacks her husband. As the zombies overrun her neighborhood, she somehow manages to escape and meets Kenneth, a police officer. Along with other survivors, they take shelter in a shopping mall, but reality hits when they run out of supplies.
Now, the group must band together and survive hoards of zombies as they escape from the mall. Snyder uses a bleak and gritty look for the movie and makes the surroundings look like an apocalypse. If you want to know how the filmmaker achieved that and where ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was filmed, we’ve got you covered.
Dawn Of The Dead Filming Locations
‘Dawn of the Dead’ was filmed in Ontario, California, and Florida, mainly in Greater Toronto, Universal City, Clearwater, and Channel Islands. The principal photography for the zombie horror movie commenced on June 16, 2003, and ended on September 6 of the same year. Most locations were transformed into chaotic scenes, with cars overturned and zombies roaming the street. Ontario, California, and Florida have always fostered a film-friendly environment with excellent tax incentives and production facilities. Now, without any further ado, let’s look at each location that can be spotted in the Zach Synder directorial!
Greater Toronto Area, Ontario
Most parts of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ were lensed in the Greater Toronto Area, a diverse and dynamic region with world-class attractions, including multiple thriving cities. The production team set up camp around Thornhill, a community in the Regional Municipality of York. They used the Thornhill Square Mall, a commercial center with diners, florists, and boutiques. Fans of the movie can still visit this place, which is also a shopping center, at 300 John Street. Moreover, the Thornhill Library at 7755 Bayview Avenue doubled as the hospital in the movie.
Some pivotal scenes were taped in Toronto, a bustling city with historic neighborhoods, modern skyscrapers, and waterfront areas that stands in for places like New York, Chicago, and Boston in various films. The cast and crew chose to lens the marina shots at Ashbridges Bay, a scenic waterfront along Lake Ontario. They also utilized a film studio, which is no surprise because most are equipped with high-end devices and some of the best facilities.
A spacious property at 5 Garden Wood Avenue in Caledon stands as Ana’s home in the movie. The team filmed around Caledon, capturing its posh residential area, shops, and restaurants. Lastly, Brampton, a dynamic and welcoming city, was also featured in the movie, and some of its main attractions are museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.
Universal City, California
The cast and crew set camp in Universal City, a San Fernando Valley community. Their central shooting spot was Universal Studios, at 100 Universal City Plaza. They also included scenes from Park Lake, an artificial lake on the studio’s backlot. In addition, the Universal Studios backlot has other iconic locations such as Courthouse Square, New York Street, and the Western town of Six Points, Texas.
The explosion scene toward the movie’s end was taped in Clearwater, a west coast city renowned for its serene beaches, warm weather, and enthralling cultural scenes. It has consistently ranked amongst the top beaches in the country due to its soft white sand, crystal-clear water, and various amenities, including beachfront bars, restaurants, and shops. ‘Lethal Weapon 3’ and ‘Shark Season’ are movies with similar themes filmed in Clearwater.
Channel Islands, California
The sailboat scenes were filmed on the Channel Islands, known for their natural beauty and unique wildlife, as well as their rich history and cultural significance. The destination is a string of eight islands, and one of them is Santa Catalina Island, where the sequence was recorded. It is a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, camping, kayaking, and wildlife-watching opportunities. The islands are worth a visit for the Scorpion Anchorage, Painted Cave, and Prisoners Harbor. Two other movies shot on Channel Islands are ‘Male and Female’ and ’12.’
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