Amazon’s ‘The Man in the High Castle‘ is an exercise of creative imagination from every aspect. The series is based on Philip Dick’s novel of the same name. An alternate history, the story takes place in a parallel universe wherein the Axis powers have won the Second World War and now control most of the world.
In this universe, the United States of America is split into two political regions. “The American Reich” is the Eastern to Midwestern North America, controlled by Nazi Germany. The Western part of North America, on the other hand, is ruled by the Japanese Pacific States. When mysterious films that show a world without oppression that plagues this alternate universe, hope for a rebellion is kindled with a woman called Juliana Crain determined to find the movie’s owner.
With such a highly imaginative plot, any form of visual adaptation demands an equal level of creative imagination to be able to aptly visualize the novel’s setting. Moreover, getting the feel of an oppressive regime in a world that is physically similar to ours can be quite tricky. However, cinematographer Gonzalo Amat proved himself to be remarkably ready for the gigantic challenge of matching the celebrated science fiction writer, Philip Dick’s imagination. He carried out a lot of research from successful movies like ‘Blade Runner’ and legendary filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick to come up with a visual style that could be fitting to the story.
An interesting question that might arise after wondering about the specifics of shooting an otherworldly tale like ‘Man in the High Castle’ would be about the real-world locations used for filming the series. Well, don’t worry. We have got all your answers. With the fourth and final season of the show being made available for streaming recently, we have compiled some interesting information about the locations that were used for shooting the ultimate season.
The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Filming Locations
The city of Seattle has continued to serve as the principal location for filming ‘The Man in the High Castle.’ It has been used to depict various parts of New York City, San Francisco and Roslyn. Some of the iconic locations in real-world Seattle that have been used for filming ‘The Man in the High Castle’ include Paramount Theater, Union Station, Harbour City Dim Sum Restaurant, Four Seas Restaurant and the city’s monorail.
New York City
New York City in the alternate universe of ‘The Man in The High Castle’ is shown to be the capital of the puppet government set up by the Nazi Germans. To depict the iconic city in a new light- under the rule of Nazi Germany involved portraying some of the city’s iconic locations which were tweaked to be set in this alternate reality. For instance, Times Square is often portrayed with large neon banners of the Nazi flag, most noticeably in the show’s pilot episode. Some of the other iconic landmarks shown are the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State building and Central Park. While these shots have been filmed at their actual locations, most of the normal New York streets depicted have been shot in Seattle.
The Canadian city of Vancouver has also been used extensively to portray scenes set in New York City and San Francisco- two cities where most of the action in the series takes place. For instance, a post office on Georgia Street, Vancouver serves as the location for filming the fictional Ahnenerbe Institute: a building dedicated to a research organisation in the Greater Nazi Reich (Eastern coast of real world USA) in ‘The Man in the High Castle.’
Moreover, the fictional city, Canon City which lies in the neutral zone of the alternate reality is shot completely in Roslyn, Washington.
It must also be noted that a large chunk of the visual effects seen in the show are created by VFX and CGI animations. This is done not only because it is the most effective way to film certain challenging scenes, but also because the show’s setting often proves disturbing for many locals who might not be aware about it. For example, the large amounts of Nazi flags and banners used are generally kept concealed with pieces of cloth till the camera is rolled. Bigger Nazi flags are mostly always created using special effects.
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