Originally titled ‘La Sociedad de la Nieve,’ Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow’ is a Spanish historical adventure movie that is based on Pablo Vierci’s eponymous book, which in itself is based on a remarkable true story about the Uruguayan 1972 Andes flight disaster. Set in 1972, the narrative focuses on a rugby team heading towards Chile on a flight, which leads to disaster instead when it crashes on a glacier in the Andes.
Out of the lot, only a few survive the fatal crash as they find themselves in one of the most inaccessible and hostile conditions. In order to survive, they have no other choice than to resort to some extreme measures. Co-written and directed by J.A. Bayona, the biopic unfolds in the snow-laden mountains of the Andes and the inside of the aircraft that crashes, keeping all of us guessing whether or not the actual locations were utilized.
Society of the Snow Filming Locations
‘Society of the Snow’ was filmed in Spain, Uruguay, and the Andes, especially in Sierra Nevada, Madrid, and Montevideo. As per reports, principal photography for the J.A. Bayona directorial took place for about 138 shooting days, from January 2022 to December of the same year. During the filming schedule, a total of about 300 people worked in three units while three replica planes were built to represent the one that crashed tragically in 1972. Let us take you back in time and navigate the specific sites that stood in for the actual site of the tragedy in ‘Society of the Snow.’
Sierra Nevada, Spain
A major chunk of ‘Society of the Snow’ was lensed in the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range situated in Spain’s Granada. Setting up camp between January to late April 2022, the production team faced quite a few challenges, such as scarcity of snow and the Saharan Air Layer, making the mountains appear orange. The three replicas were placed in three different places — one in a hangar in a parking lot, another above a tarn at a height of 3,000 meters, and the other under artificial snow in Laguna de las Yeguas.
The footage of the Andes played in the background on a 30-meter-tall screen in the hangar. One of the three units was given a task to cover the dangerous mountain shots for the biopic. One of the reasons why the Sierra Nevada was chosen by the filming unit is that it is one of the ski resorts located closest to the equator. Some of the key portions were also taped around the Hoya de la Mora road.
Additional portions of ‘Society of the Snow’ were also recorded in the Spanish capital — Madrid. Situated in the center of the Iberian peninsula, Madrid’s local landmarks and attractions might feature in some scenes, such as the Puerta de Alcalá, the Gran Vía, the Royal Palace of Madrid, and the Almudena Cathedral.
After the production team wrapped up shooting the biographical movie in the Sierra Nevada, they headed straight to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. They stayed in the city till late July 2022 and utilized several locales to shoot some important scenes for ‘Society of the Snow.’ Besides that, Montevideo has hosted the production for numerous movies and TV shows, including ‘A Twelve-Year Night,’ ‘See You in Montevideo,’ ‘Montevideo: Taste of a Dream,’ and ‘Yosi, the Regretful Spy.’
Since the 1972 plane crash took place in the Andes, the filming unit decided to lens at least a few exterior portions on location. The Andes, especially the portion that falls within Argentina and Chile, were featured in ‘Society of the Snow,’ along with the actual crash site — El Valle de las Lágrimas. Apart from Chile and Argentina, the Andes extend through five more countries — Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
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