Annihilation films the UK as southern US

Alex Garland’s sci-fi movie Annihilation filmed UK locations as the southern US to tell the story of a team of experts investigating an unexplained coastal phenomenon.

Alex Garland’s sci-fi movie Annihilation filmed UK locations as the southern US to tell the story of a team of experts investigating an unexplained coastal phenomenon.

The movie follows the all-female team of experts as they explore an expansive forest setting that has been affected in mysterious ways by an event referred to as the ‘Shimmer’ that may or may not be alien in nature.

Annihilation films the UK as southern US
Annihilation

Production was centred in the UK partly because London was already a base for Garland and his core creative team.

Key locations included Windsor Great Park west of London and the former Marsworth RAF base in Buckinghamshire. Holkham Beach in north Norfolk on England’s east coast was used for coastal scenes set near a lighthouse setting that appears to be the origin of the Shimmer in the story.

Selected interior settings were built at Pinewood Studios near London.

The Shimmer has a dramatic impact on flora and fauna in the forest and this element of the story involved considerable planning to get the visuals that Garland was looking for.

“We started scouting in the summer of 2015 for a shoot in the summer of 2016 and stood down partially throughout the intervening winter so that we knew what the principal sets would look like with the plants in full bloom, the grass high and the trees in full leaf,” says Alex Gladstone, the film’s location manager, in comments to KFTV.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in the UK and for local contacts


“It sounds obvious, but it was an incredibly good call by Alex and the producers to factor this in to their planning as we all knew exactly what we would be working with," says Gladstone.

“All the locations were worked on by the art department in order to introduce both actual trees, flora and natural features appropriate to the deep south of the US, alongside the imagined elements such as the mutant hybrid flowers and fungi - this was a combination of construction, greens, CGI and props-making.”

Extensive location filming in isolated woodland settings brought with it the usual challenges of protecting the cast and crew from the elements during a wet British summer.

London continues to be one of the world’s top production hubs, with forests and studios within easy reach of the city’s iconic urban locations.

Images: Paramount/Netflix/Peter Mountain

Annihilation films the UK as southern US
Annihilation

Alex Garland’s sci-fi movie Annihilation filmed UK locations as the southern US to tell the story of a team of experts investigating an unexplained coastal phenomenon.

The movie follows the all-female team of experts as they explore an expansive forest setting that has been affected in mysterious ways by an event referred to as the ‘Shimmer’ that may or may not be alien in nature.

Production was centred in the UK partly because London was already a base for Garland and his core creative team.

Key locations included Windsor Great Park west of London and the former Marsworth RAF base in Buckinghamshire. Holkham Beach in north Norfolk on England’s east coast was used for coastal scenes set near a lighthouse setting that appears to be the origin of the Shimmer in the story.

Selected interior settings were built at Pinewood Studios near London.

The Shimmer has a dramatic impact on flora and fauna in the forest and this element of the story involved considerable planning to get the visuals that Garland was looking for.

“We started scouting in the summer of 2015 for a shoot in the summer of 2016 and stood down partially throughout the intervening winter so that we knew what the principal sets would look like with the plants in full bloom, the grass high and the trees in full leaf,” says Alex Gladstone, the film’s location manager, in comments to KFTV.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in the UK and for local contacts


“It sounds obvious, but it was an incredibly good call by Alex and the producers to factor this in to their planning as we all knew exactly what we would be working with," says Gladstone.

“All the locations were worked on by the art department in order to introduce both actual trees, flora and natural features appropriate to the deep south of the US, alongside the imagined elements such as the mutant hybrid flowers and fungi - this was a combination of construction, greens, CGI and props-making.”

Extensive location filming in isolated woodland settings brought with it the usual challenges of protecting the cast and crew from the elements during a wet British summer.

London continues to be one of the world’s top production hubs, with forests and studios within easy reach of the city’s iconic urban locations.

Images: Paramount/Netflix/Peter Mountain

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