An exquisite period drama film vaguely based on the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, ‘There Will Be Blood‘ portrays how greed and ambition hold absolute power over our characters and can change well-meaning men into monsters in the blink of an eye. The movie focuses on Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a silver miner who sets out to build an oil empire. He soon finds the success he is looking for, but greed and ambition feed on his lust for wealth and gradually turn him into an absolutely evil person.
The transformation of an ordinary businessman into a criminal who normalizes murder and will stop at nothing to prosper is both stunning and terrifying. Set during the 19th and 20th century Oil Boom in Southern California, ‘There Will Be Blood’ paints a beautiful picture of rural California and the painfully constructed yet dangerous oil drills. It is also an excellent commentary on how cultural lines often get blurred when people rush to make their fortune. If the breathtaking backdrops and exquisite set design captivated your attention, you might be wondering where the movie was shot. Well, we come bearing answers!
There Will Be Blood Filming Location
Principal photography began in June 2006 in Texas. The crew also filmed at different locations in the state of California. Additionally, the production team also moved to Washington for certain external sequences. The filming took place for about three months and reportedly wrapped up on August 25, 2006. Let’s dig in and take a look at the filming locations in detail, shall we?
Los Angeles, California
Home to Hollywood, the popularity of Los Angeles as a filming location is common knowledge. Boasting a vibrant culture and picturesque neighborhoods in the midst of a bustling metropolitan, the City of Angels offers world-class filming facilities and all the modern amenities a film crew requires. Thus, it is no surprise that the city has played a host to production crews for movies like ‘Malignant,’ ‘Free Guy,’ and ‘Black Widow.’
‘There Will Be Blood’ utilized several indoor and outdoor locations throughout the city as a backdrop for several scenes. The bowling alley was reconstructed inside the Greystone Park & Mansion, located at 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, and the crew also filmed at several locations in West Hollywood.
Santa Clarita, California
A beautiful city located just north of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita is known for its magnificent amusement parks and the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, containing prehistoric stone formations. Popular for its dynamic filming sites, especially inside the Natural Area Park, Santa Clarita has witnessed the filming of movies like ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,’ ‘Django Unchained,’ and ‘Snake Eyes.’
The production crew of ‘There Will Be Blood’ shot on location inside the city and molded the surroundings to suit the film’s setting. Additionally, Santa Clarita also contributed to some of the visually breathtaking backdrops seen throughout the movie.
Other Places in California
‘There Will Be Blood’ is a perfect love letter to California’s natural beauty as it captures the gorgeous state in its proper form. The charming city of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County served as the filming site for a few scenes, as did the wonderfully scenic yet gloomy El Mirage Dry Lake. Located in Victor Valley inside the central Mojave Desert, the dry lake bed is a vast area of empty land which stretches on as far as the eyes can follow. Radiating a gloomy and almost heart-stopping feeling, the area is a superb reflection of Southern California’s uninhabited wilderness, which later witnessed the birth of the oil drills.
A small desert city in Texas, Marfa is a haven for production teams looking for the perfect small-town vibe. Initially constructed as a railroad water stop, Marfa is set in the high desert in West Texas’ Trans-Pecos region and offers sweeping natural views, which contributed heavily to the film’s backdrops. Apart from the breathtaking scenery, most of the film was shot on the McGuire Ranch located just outside Marfa.
According to reports, the ranch itself lies on a massive area of land, and the production team was offered all the space they needed to build their expansive sets. Additionally, the Bandy house was also built on the property, on a lower ground surrounded by 30 feet tall rock foundations on all sides. The rock formation made accessibility a challenge, and parts of the set had to be dropped down by cranes into the area.
A ghost town in Texas’ Presidio County, Shafter offers an eerie, uncomfortable, and almost melancholy surrounding. Reports suggest that some initial scenes, including those showcasing Daniel Plainview mining for silver in New Mexico, were shot at an abandoned mineshaft near Shafter.
The beautiful city of Lakewood in Washington State bagged an opportunity to witness part of the filming when the production crew decided to film at Thornewood Castle. The 500-year-old Tudor Gothic estate in Lakewood is truly an awe-inspiring structure known for its sprawling grounds, exquisite architecture, and rich historical significance. The filming crew shot on location in the estate and utilized the grounds of Thornewood Castle as a stand-in for the fictional mansion’s exterior.