The Big Short: Every Shooting Location Explored

Directed by Adam McKay, ‘The Big Short’ is a gripping tale about the 2008 economic crisis. The 2015 crime comedy-drama film follows four investors – Michael Burry, Jared Vennett, Mark Baum, and Ben Rickert – who predict the impending US housing market collapse and bet against the banks, eventually making a fortune. The film highlights the greed, recklessness, and systemic issues that ultimately caused the global economic meltdown.

McKay’s masterful direction, combined with the authentic performances of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, skillfully transports the audience back to the period of the economic recession. The realistic portrayal of situations and locations makes one wonder where the filming of the movie took place.

The Big Short Filming Locations

‘The Big Short’ was filmed in Louisiana, New York, Nevada, and California, as well as in the United Kingdom, specifically in England. The shooting commenced on March 18, 2015, in Louisiana and went on for a few months across several areas . Now let us take you through all the places where the acclaimed film was shot.

New Orleans, Louisiana

‘The Big Short’ was primarily shot in New Orleans, Louisiana. The first shoot schedule of the film took place in the Algiers neighborhood of the city. The production team was seen shooting at the General de Gaulle Boulevard at the end of March 2015. The very next month, Pitt, Gosling, and Bale were spotted filming a scene at the One Shell Square building at 701 Poydras Street, New Orleans.

Image Credit: Google Street View

McKay described his experience of shooting the film in New Orleans in an interview with Post Magazine and said, “We shot in New Orleans as our base, but then we also traveled up to New York. We did five days in New York and three days in Vegas as well. New Orleans turned out to be kind of perfect. Obviously, we didn’t have a giant budget. We got a little bit of a tax break, but they also had a really good casino.”

Though several scenes are set in Florida and Colorado, they were actually shot in New Orleans. “And on the gulf coast, they had a housing development with palm trees, which was perfect for Florida. And then they have a downtown with some high-rises for out-the-window [shots], so you could sell a little bit of New York there. And we were able to do a little Northern California for Dr. Burry, Christian Bale’s character. By the end of it, I was pretty damn happy. It didn’t feel like I compromised at all,” McKay added.

New York City, New York

A significant portion of ‘The Big Short’ was filmed in New York City. The cast and crew were spotted filming multiple sequences in the city, primarily in the Manhattan borough. The Bolivar, a co-operative at 230 Central Park West is portrayed as Mark Baum’s apartment building in the film. The rooftop of the building can also be seen in the sequence where Baum contemplates his final decision while on a call with Vinny Daniel (Jeremy Strong). Meanwhile, actor Jeremy’s portion of the same sequence was shot outside St. Bartholomew’s Church, situated at 325 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

Another scene, where Baum is on a call with the risk assessors and takes a cab, was taped at Houston Street and Lafayette Street in New York City. The cast and crew of the film were also spotted shooting for some key sequences at Mercer Street, between Prince Street and Spring Street, in May 2015. The same month, the production team utilized the lobby of the New York State Department of Financial Services to create the set of the Lehman Brothers investment firm.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas also served as a filming location for a few scenes of ‘The Big Short,’. In the film, the investors head to Vegas to attend the American Securitization Forum. The sequences involving the same were reportedly shot at various locations in the city. Another scene, where Brownfield Fund’s Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) has a conversation with an SEC employee around a pool, was filmed at Caesars Palace, a luxury hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

Malibu, California

A small part of the film was shot in Malibu, California. The much-talked-about Margot Robbie’s cameo sequence, where she sits in a bathtub and explains Lewis Ranieri’s mortgage bonds, was filmed in the beach city. Malibu has previously hosted the filming of ‘Inception,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ ‘The Fast and the Furious,’ ‘The Fabelmans,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ and ‘Friends with Benefits.’

Buckinghamshire, England

Image Credit: Google Street View

The cast and crew of the film also filmed a couple of scenes in Buckinghamshire, a scenic county in England. The sequences were shot at The Black Horse, a 17th-century cottage in the Fulmer village in Buckinghamshire. The county is also famous for being the filming location of a number of earlier productions, including ‘The Dark Knight,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ ‘The Crown,’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,’ and ‘Downton Abbey.’

Read More: Is The Big Short Based on a True Story?