Where Was The Novice Filmed?

At the very beginning of her career as a director, Lauren Hadaway created ripples in the film fraternity with ‘The Novice.’ The thriller movie follows the life of Alex Dall (Isabelle Fuhrman), who is willing to push all limits, both mental and physical, to overthrow fellow teammates of her university’s rowing team. The film takes us through the struggles that Alex endures to find success and the price she pays of being isolated from the rest of her teammates.

Based on Lauren’s real-life experiences, the story of ‘The Novice’ revolves around Alex’s university life and rowing scenes and gives the audience a full view of different parts of a university campus and several water bodies. In case you are wondering about the locations that were used for filming, we have got it covered.

The Novice Filming Locations

‘The Novice’ was set in a university including a rowing program, which is why the locations used for filming were selected according to the narration. The film’s principal photography took place in and around the month of October 2019. Here’s all that we know about the filming locations!

Peterborough, Ontario

The primary shooting location of ‘The Novice’ is the city of Peterborough in Central Ontario. According to the director Lauren, the city is odd and strangely situated, with architecture dating back to the 1960s. However, she was attracted by the breathtaking water and fog, which is just the kind of cinematic atmosphere she wanted to portray through her movie.

Peterborough is a splendid city located within the region of Kawartha Lakes. Areas surrounding the Little Lake on the Otonabee River and the 386-kilometer-long Trent–Severn Waterway provided perfect spots for the rowing scenes in the movie. In fact, popular movies like the action-packed ‘Jumper’ and horror film ‘Urban Legend’ also used this city for filming purposes. A major part of the movie was filmed in Trent University, which is located at 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough.

The fact that the university is situated on the Otonabee River’s banks made it ideal for filming this sports-themed movie. It perfectly fitted the backdrop that the film required, with its academic layout and the latest outdoor as well as indoor rowing facilities. For the purpose of filming, the production crew flocked in and around the university campus, capturing its natural beauty in every possible way.

A fascinating location for the movie is a vacant apartment in the city that was used to film the interior of Alex’s university dorm room. Peterborough Rowing Club in 3599 Nassau Mills Road, close to Trent University, is another location the filming unit used for shooting several significant and thrilling scenes. This rowing club was used for shooting several rowing scenes in the movie and offered the most captivating backdrop for the film’s narration.


Interestingly, the film’s lead Isabelle revealed, in an interview with Vogue, that she didn’t use a body double for the rowing scenes. “She (Lauren) rolled out her old erg machine from the back of her garage at her home in Glendale, and showed me how to use it properly,” the actor revealed. “I had six weeks to prepare, and so like, at 4:30 in the morning I would roll out of bed into the clothes I set out the night before and drive to Marina Del Rey and row for three hours, take a break to take a 15-minute nap and eat and then I would be back on the water for another three hours.”

Isabelle Fuhrman further added, “Then I’d drive in rush hour traffic to the other side of L.A. and lift weights with the trainer so I could gain the amount of muscle that I needed to look like a rower.” The film crew carefully selected all the locations to match the narrative to ensure the movie’s smooth and flawless narration.

Read More: Is The Novice a True Story?