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Star Trek Beyond filmed in Vancouver and Dubai

Star Trek Beyond - KirkStar Trek Beyond used British Columbia’s generous production incentives and filmed mainly in Vancouver, but the team also spent a couple of weeks in Dubai.

The movie spent nearly C$70m in Vancouver over the course of an 80-day shoot, according to figures from the Motion Picture Association Canada.

“Filming Star Trek Beyond in Vancouver and the surrounding areas provided us diverse filming locations and outstanding film studios, but beyond that we had access to amazing local cast and crew,” said Lee Rosenthal, president of physical production at Paramount Pictures. 

The Vancouver locations marked a departure for the rebooted Star Trek franchise, which based its last two instalments in Los Angeles, despite California’s limited incentive support. Filmmaker JJ Abrams in fact covered some of the cost himself in order to keep production of the previous two films in LA. Abrams is a producer on Star Trek Beyond, while Justin Lin took over as director.

Star Trek Beyond used Dubai's sleek urban architecture to stand in for its Yorktown spaceport. 

“There was a conversation to shoot the Yorktown sequences on a sound stage, but I didn’t feel like it’d capture the scale of this larger than life city,” said Lin. “I wanted it to feel tactile and real and not just two guys in front of a green screen.”

Paramount and Abrams’ production company Bad Robot had prior experience of filming in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having brought Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to Dubai in 2010.

Star Trek Beyond - SpockMore recently Abrams filmed scenes for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Abu Dhabi, which is the only emirate city to offer a formal filming incentive.

The producers spent four months scouting Dubai for Star Trek Beyond and identified iconic buildings – including distinctive hotel the Burj Al Arab and the Al Mas Tower in Dubai Multi Commodities Centre – that appear in the finished movie.

Actual filming in the city lasted two weeks and also included work on a pair of 25,000 sq ft sound stages at Dubai Studio City.

Unlike Abu Dhabi, Dubai does not offer a formal filming incentive but authorities instead prefer to arrange bespoke deals to provide production support on the ground, as well as organising discounted flights and hotel nights. The Star Trek Beyond team was assisted by a dozen separate municipal agencies, as well as Dubai Studio City.

Every few years the UAE attracts high-profile Hollywood productions like the Mission: Impossible franchise and Fast and Furious 7. The country still hosts more shoots from nearby India, but Star Trek Beyond will help boost its international profile. 

For more on filming in the UAE see our production guide.

Images: Kimberley French/Paramount Pictures/CBS Studios

 



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