‘Joe Bell’ is a biographical drama film that follows one man’s journey as he attempts to cross the country on foot while making sense of his son’s tragic death. Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg) embarks on the walk to raise awareness against bullying after his gay son is driven to suicide from being relentlessly bullied in school. The film depicts the events leading up to the tragedy and Bell’s subsequent journey where he attempts to make peace and understand his son’s experiences.
The somber tale that shakes viewers emotionally is set amidst sweeping landscapes that the titular character finds himself walking through. As he makes his way across the country, the grieving father and the audience bear witness to a variety of different scenes from various towns, cities, and countrysides. Curious about where ‘Joe Bell’ was filmed? We’ve got the story.
Joe Bell Filming Locations
Joe Bell and his family are depicted as living in Oregon, but the film was shot in Utah, where a particular town was used as a stand-in for Bell’s hometown. Locations in Summit, Salt Lake, and Tooele Counties were also used for filming. Principal photography started on April 15, 2019, and wrapped up on May 24, 2019. Let’s take a closer look at the film’s specific filming locations.
Summit County, Utah
The film was shot extensively in the city of Kamas in the southwestern part of Summit County, which stood in for the city of Le Grande, Oregon, where the Bell family is depicted as living. The South Summit High School, located at 45 South 300 East in Kamas, was also used to film both indoor and outdoor scenes of Joe Bell’s son at school. The school’s football field, as well as its team, was used in the production.
Reportedly, Mark Wahlberg visited the city of Le Grande in Oregon in January 2019 in order to research his role in the movie. The mountains near the city of Coalville in Summit County, Utah, were also used for filming outdoor scenes featuring the famous actor.
The city of Oakley in Summit County was also used in the production, with the crew reportedly looking for around 300 extras for scenes, including one that required many spectators.
Multiple other locations around Summit County were used to depict Bell’s journey, including the towns of Henefer and Francis. The census-designated area of Wanship was also reportedly used for filming a few scenes, as was Park City.
Salt Lake County, Utah
The production crew also filmed in a school in Salt Lake County. Both campuses of Cyprus High School in the metro township of Magna were used. Since filming took place on a weekday, there was reportedly a palpable air of enthusiasm amongst students at school, some of whom even got to be extras in the film. The possible presence of Mark Wahlberg on the school premises added to the excitement.
The two campuses where filming took place are located at 8623 West 3000 South and 2935 South 8560 West in Magna, Salt Lake City County. Filming also seemingly took place in nearby Salt Lake City, which is the seat of Salt Lake City County.
Other Locations in Utah
Multiple other locations around Utah were used to depict the story’s changing backdrop as the lead character travels on foot. Tooele County hosted the production crew for some time, where lensing took place in the city of Grantsville and Skull Valley.
The unincorporated community of Croydon in Morgan County, as well as the city of Ogden in Weber County, were also briefly used for location filming.
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