Atlanta quarry filmed as moon for First Man

A quarry in Atlanta was filmed as the lunar surface for First Man, which charts the efforts it took to get Apollo 11 to the moon in mid-1969.

 

A quarry in Atlanta was filmed as the lunar surface for First Man, which charts the efforts it took to get Apollo 11 to the moon in mid-1969.

Production was based in Atlanta, which is one of the top filming hubs in the US through a combination of its incentive support, experienced crews and studio infrastructure.

Atlanta quarry filmed as moon for First Man
First Man

Director Damien Chazelle and his team decided against a studio shoot for the moon landing scenes, choosing instead to film on an outdoor set at night.

“I knew we either needed a quarry or cement, and somewhere that was vast enough that could give us the scale of the moon,” says Nathan Crowley, the film’s production designer. “I knew the quarry would be the best option, but to match the moon’s surface we needed a grey quarry, which is rare.

“We were lucky enough that Atlanta happens to have grey quarries. Through the friendliness of the industries that work here, we found our moon at the Vulcan Rock Quarry in Stockbridge, just south of the city; they let us sculpt the landscape to our direction.”

First Man

Lighting the set turned out to be one of the bigger challenges, given that in reality the lunar surface is only illuminated by one source – the sun.

“We talked to David Pringle, who made the 100K Softsun lights,” says Linus Sandgren, director of photography on First Man.

“We asked him if he could help us develop a 200,000-watt lamp, which he did.

"This 200,000-watt light is just enough for us to shoot in this big space.”

Weather also became an issue, especially as the moon scenes were shot during Atlanta’s winter.

“The natural challenges we’ve had is that when it suddenly started to snow, we had to break for a little bit and move back to stage for a few days,” says Sandgren. “But when we returned the weather was pretty good; it wasn’t so windy, and the flag stood still. It’s just like the real shoot on the moon.”

Atlanta has become a favourite filming location for Marvel’s superhero movies, with many of its shoots based at Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Georgia.

Images: Daniel McFadden/Universal Studios/DreamWork/Storyteller Distribution Co

Atlanta quarry filmed as moon for First Man
First Man

A quarry in Atlanta was filmed as the lunar surface for First Man, which charts the efforts it took to get Apollo 11 to the moon in mid-1969.

Production was based in Atlanta, which is one of the top filming hubs in the US through a combination of its incentive support, experienced crews and studio infrastructure.

Director Damien Chazelle and his team decided against a studio shoot for the moon landing scenes, choosing instead to film on an outdoor set at night.

“I knew we either needed a quarry or cement, and somewhere that was vast enough that could give us the scale of the moon,” says Nathan Crowley, the film’s production designer. “I knew the quarry would be the best option, but to match the moon’s surface we needed a grey quarry, which is rare.

“We were lucky enough that Atlanta happens to have grey quarries. Through the friendliness of the industries that work here, we found our moon at the Vulcan Rock Quarry in Stockbridge, just south of the city; they let us sculpt the landscape to our direction.”

First Man

Lighting the set turned out to be one of the bigger challenges, given that in reality the lunar surface is only illuminated by one source – the sun.

“We talked to David Pringle, who made the 100K Softsun lights,” says Linus Sandgren, director of photography on First Man.

“We asked him if he could help us develop a 200,000-watt lamp, which he did.

"This 200,000-watt light is just enough for us to shoot in this big space.”

Weather also became an issue, especially as the moon scenes were shot during Atlanta’s winter.

“The natural challenges we’ve had is that when it suddenly started to snow, we had to break for a little bit and move back to stage for a few days,” says Sandgren. “But when we returned the weather was pretty good; it wasn’t so windy, and the flag stood still. It’s just like the real shoot on the moon.”

Atlanta has become a favourite filming location for Marvel’s superhero movies, with many of its shoots based at Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Georgia.

Images: Daniel McFadden/Universal Studios/DreamWork/Storyteller Distribution Co

Latest news & features

Featured profiles

Promote your services with KFTV

Choose from three profile types - Basic, Silver and Gold

create profile

We offer a range of display advertising opportunities. Click below to find out more.

Advertise With Us