Where Was Life Filmed?

Helmed by Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa of ‘Easy Money’ fame, ‘Life’ is a 2017 sci-fi horror movie that packs great effects, expansive visuals, a star-studded cast, and a neat twist to keep the genre fans content. The story takes the audience to the near future, where an emergent lifeform brings a threat to earth. An unhumanned space orbit is intercepted on its way from Mars to Earth by a group of scientists working in the International Space Station. Rumors are that the soil samples include traces of an extraterrestrial life named ‘Calvin.’

Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, and Hiroyuki Sanada take up the central roles in the extraterrestrial horror venture. Although it was panned by the critics as unimaginative, fans seemed to like the sweet concoction, as is revealed by its hefty box office collections. As much of the films in the genre, most of the story unfolds in the claustrophobic space station, while we see snippets of changing times from all over the globe. However, you may be curious to locate the places where the movie was filmed. In that case, allow us to guide you.

Life Filming Locations

‘Life’ was filmed in locations in and around England, the US, and Vietnam. Filming commenced on July 19, 2016, and wrapped up sometime after that. Skydance Media produced the movie teaming up with Columbia Pictures and LStar Capital. Most of the post-production visuals were added by Double Negative, who also provided effects for ‘Batman Begins,’ ‘2012,’ and ‘Annihilation.’ The eight-minute long opening sequence was put together by Industrial Light & Magic. Let us now take you to the specific locations where the movie was filmed.

Surrey, England

As it often happens in sci-fi movies, space scenes are created in studios using the green screen. Well, ‘Life’ is no exception, and the director and his team chose a studio in the Shepperton suburbs of Surrey. It was Shepperton Studios, the iconic movie studio located on the Studios Road in Shepperton, that lent its premises for the daunting production.

Founded in 1931 as Sound Film Producing & Recording Studios, the facility now features 15 fully equipped soundstages to aid filming. To emulate their suspended state, the actors were hung down from the ceiling, and the wires were omitted later in post-production. The ISS model used in the movie was sculpted by Double Negative.

New York City, New York

Sci-fi movies require an expanse of vision, and therefore, directors often choose to film them all over the world. Although Daniel Espinosa’s aim was to evoke a sense of claustrophobia, one particular scene was filmed in New York City. The sequence featuring the news clip showing a glimpse of Times Square was actually filmed in the iconic square in downtown NYC. From Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ to Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man,’ Times Square has been pivotal in the plots of several evocative movies.

Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

Lastly, a few scenes were filmed in Vietnam. In the final sequence of ‘Life,’ the dreaded pod lands in the emerald-tinted seas amidst mountains. If the scene reminded you of southeast Asia right off the bat, you were not wrong. The sequence was filmed in Hạ Long Bay, a coastal enclave in northeast Vietnam characterized by its towering limestone islands. The bay is popular among tourists for kayaking expeditions.

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