When You Finish Saving The World: All Filming Locations Explored

The directorial debut of Jesse Eisenberg, ‘When You Finish Saving The World’ revolves around Evelyn and her son Ziggy, who are growing apart through their generational gap and lack of understanding of each other’s values. Evelyn is a stalwart woman who runs a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Ziggy is a high schooler who plays the guitar and streams original folk-rock songs for a robust fanbase online. Yet, amidst Ziggy’s burgeoning fame lies a stark disconnection with his mother, who interrupts his sessions and has different expectations for him.

However, his crush on activism-inclined Lila sets in motion a series of events that challenge Ziggy’s perception of himself and his role in the world. At the same time, Evelyn forms an unexpected bond with Kyle, a troubled teenager seeking refuge at her shelter. The 2022 comedy-drama is based on Eisenberg’s 2020 audiobook of the same name and sees a mother and son try to fill the gap in their relationship. The film has an aesthetic Indiana backdrop and takes us through the protagonists’ lives around their quaint town. The captivating setting of the movie may spark curiosity in some about the locations where it was filmed.

When You Finish Saving The World Filming Locations

‘When You Finish Saving The World’ was filmed using sites in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Principal photography began in the first week of February 2021 and was wrapped up by March 14 of the same year. The movie was initially set to film in Winnipeg, Manitoba, because of the city’s tax incentives and abundance of locations that can stand in for the Midwestern locales of Indiana. However, as the production schedule for the film was delayed to January 2021, the weather in Winnipeg was no longer suitable, and the production team chose Albuquerque as its filming destination.

The cast and crew seemed to have an enjoyable time behind the scenes, and Jesse Eisenberg praised New Mexico for its scenic beauty, which was selectively captured to simulate an authentic Indiana environment. “This film hits close to home and will always have a special place in my heart,” wrote actress Jordyn Aquino in an Instagram post. “I am in awe of the talent and kindness of all the humans who made this film possible.” Let us take a look at the specific filming sites chosen to create ‘When You Finish Saving The World.’

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Against the backdrop of Albuquerque’s sun-kissed vistas and sprawling urban landscape, the film crew found locations to depict the Indiana town seen in ‘When You Finish Saving The World.’ Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the American Southwest, Albuquerque is renowned for its cinematic cityscape and vibrant cultural scene. In particular, the shooting was centered around the University of New Mexico and was carried out in Silver Hill and the University Heights neighborhoods, which are situated along Central Avenue South East.

The film’s production shifted to New Mexico primarily for its generous tax incentives and ended up utilizing several local elements, including indigenous Albuquerque-based actors who appear in the movie. “New Mexico is like the most beautiful place on Earth and the least like Indiana in the world,” said director Jesse Eisenberg. “There’s like three streets in Albuquerque where we were shooting, that can be Midwest Americana. And of course, everything that goes there (film productions), shoots on these three streets.”

Interestingly, the video of a young Ziggy was added to the final cut after the conclusion of filming and was shot by actor Finn Wolfhard in a home vlog style. His clip was then deep-faked to make him appear as a ten-year-old, while the voice of a younger actor was added in lip sync.

With support from the local government, Albuquerque has become a burgeoning hub for filmmaking and has been marked on the map of producers in Hollywood. Albuquerque’s unique architectural landmarks, such as the historic Old Town and the iconic Route 66, lend a timeless quality to the film, creating a world where the past and present converge in a mesmerizing display of nostalgia and modernity. With Netflix’s Albuquerque Studio expanding to 300 acres and receiving a billion-dollar commitment, the city is set to house an increasing number of movie productions.

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