Directed by Kevin Smith and the first film in the ‘True North’ trilogy, ‘Tusk’ is a body horror-comedy movie that centers upon a crass and insensitive podcaster, Wallace (Justin Long), who thinks being raunchy gets him more followers. Based out of Los Angeles, he likes to ridicule people on the internet and finds eccentric individuals for ‘Not-See Show,’ a word-play on Nazi, the podcast he runs along with his friend and colleague, Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment). Wallace heads to Winnipeg to meet one such person for his show — the Kill Bill Kid. When that plan doesn’t pan out, the disgruntled podcaster stumbles upon Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a retired seafarer who uses a wheelchair and lives a solitary life.
As Wallace interviews the enigmatic personality, Wallace learns about Howard’s unhealthy obsession with Walruses, and his life takes a sinister turn. The 2014 movie is an adaptation of the story titled ‘The Walrus & the Carpenter’ from Smith’s podcast ‘SModcast.’ It has garnered praise for its bizarre yet entertaining storyline, compelling performances, atmospheric tension, and production value. The whole atmosphere of the movie is quite bleak, and even though the setting is as beautiful as it can get, there’s always a sense of foreboding and dread. If you are wondering whether it was filmed on location or elsewhere, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know!
Tusk Filming Locations
Though the Justin Long starrer is primarily set in Winnipeg, particularly at the Interlake municipality of Bifrost, where Wallace travels to meet people for interviews, in the Manitoba province. However, ‘Tusk’ was not filmed in the Canadian wilderness at all. The production team actually shot the film in North Carolina and California, particularly in Charlotte, Santa Clarita, and Los Angeles.
Additional filming was carried out in Los Angeles in early 2014. Principal photography commenced on November 4, 2013, and concluded after 15 days of shooting on November 22 of the same year. Without further ado, let’s explore the specific locations where the film was shot!
Charlotte, North Carolina
A major portion of ‘Tusk’ was filmed in several areas in and around Charlotte, located in Mecklenburg County in the Piedmont region. The shooting took place in Cramerton, a small town in Gaston County. As per reports, the cast and crew utilized the training room of the Police Department of the town, the Goat Island Park and the area near the Fire Department to tape the film. A suburb of Charlotte and Gastonia, Cramerton has also served as a filming site for many movies and shows such as ‘Masterminds, ‘Partners’ and ‘Open House.’
The city of Charlotte is considered a favorable site for film and TV projects and was chosen as the filming location for ‘Tusk’ as it boasts many forest trails, including the famous Sherwood Forest, hiking areas, waterfalls, and parks that can replicate the scenic beauty of Manitoba. In a Facebook post, Kevin Smith thanked his Charlotte crew, including the production designer, John D. Kretschmer, who built the walrus area. He wrote: “My Charlotte crew was incredible. Filmmakers all of them. Every department cared about this dopey flick more than they should’ve, considering we were so low budget and no-frills.”
Behind the scenes of TUSK! Kevin Smith learns the dangers of Instagraming when he literally falls through the floor.https://t.co/rVbeWHacNh
— Tusk (@tuskthemovie) September 9, 2014
He further quipped, “And since it wasn’t the pay that was making ’em happy, you got the distinct impression each shoot day that everyone was doing it for the same reason I was: just to see if it could be done and what it would look like. I’d go back to Charlotte to shoot anything with these fine folks – including my own demise, so long as it let me work with them all again.” A huge chunk of the scenes in the film are set indoors — either inside Wallace’s podcast studio or in Howard’s home with a makeshift pool.
Apart from the exterior sequences, the shooting of the aforementioned scenes was also conducted in a smooth manner. In an interview, Smith revealed that he chose Winnipeg as the film’s primary setting due to its mesmerizing cold weather. “Winnipeg is the coldest place I’ve ever been. It just captured my imagination,” he said. The filming sites chosen by the production team managed to create the perfect bone-chilling atmosphere that justified the storyline of the film.
Los Angeles County, California
A few scenes of the modern-day monster movie were also shot in California, specifically in the city of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles in Los Angeles County. In the film, there is a flashback sequence featuring the eccentric French-Canadian detective Guy LaPointe meeting Howe in Lachute, Quebec. Instead of Quebec, the scenes featuring Johnny Depp as LaPointe were actually taped in the sprawling South California city of Los Angeles in late 2013.
The cast and crew reportedly allocated two days of filming in the City of Angels, which commenced on March 11, 2014. The entirety of the shoot wrapped up on March 13 at North Gower Street and Carlos Avenue in the dazzling neighborhood of Hollywood, which is also synonymous with the film industry.
Read More: Is Tusk Based on a True Story?