Amazon's Hanna filmed Spanish locations

Amazon’s action drama series Hanna filmed Spanish locations as part of its pan-European production schedule.

Amazon’s action drama series Hanna filmed Spanish locations as part of its pan-European production schedule.

Adapted from Joe Wright’s 2011 film of the same name, the series charts the journey of teenage girl Hanna as she is raised in secret in the remote forests of central Europe by her former spy father. When she ventures into the wider world she is hunted by an obsessive CIA agent.

David Farr co-wrote the original film and created the series. Esme Creed-Miles stars with Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos.

Production was largely based in and around Budapest, which is an Eastern European production hub. In the story, Hanna is raised in the forests of Poland but these scenes were actually shot in the Tatras Mountains region of northern Slovakia.

As the story progresses, Hanna finds herself fleeing the CIA in Morocco. These scenes were largely shot in Spain, using locations in the Bardenas Desert in the north-east of the country and in Almeria on the south-east coast.

“We did a first scout based on the script, where most of the sequences were supposed to happen between Morocco and any place in the south of Spain,” says Ana Ibañez, one of the drama’s location managers, in comments to KFTV.

“We were trying to find locations similar to Morocco to try to avoid travelling to another country.

"After the director’s scout and many struggles to decide, we were able to recreate many scenes in Almeria, but there were other scenes that had to happen in Morocco, including a bazaar and a Moroccan beach.”

One of the biggest challenges of this leg of the shoot was filming scenes at the port in Almeria, which is one of the main border crossing points between Spain and Morocco.

“It’s probably, as the border police call it, the main ‘hot zone’ in the country, where drug dealers, smugglers and illegal immigrants try to cross to Spain,” Ibañez tells KFTV.

“Not only was it hard to get a permit to bring 150 crew inside that ‘hot zone’, but we faced a challenge working through the security measures to make sure our technical equipment was listed and packed in a certain way to let the customs police control every little piece that we were carrying.

“Every person that crossed the border to shoot on the ground after jumping on the ferry to keep shooting as a road movie had to be accredited and checked by the police.”

The team had to work with half a dozen different law enforcement agencies and directly with the Spanish government to get the relevant permits to film.

Amazon's Hanna filmed Spanish locations
Hanna
Hanna

“We then had to jump on a huge ferry with nine decks and shoot with real Moroccan passengers that were travelling to Nador over an eight-hour trip," says Ibañez. "Most of the crew got seasick – kind of a tough day!”

Spain is developing its profile as a European filming hub, with producers now supported by a competitive incentive, while the Canary Islands have a special tax regime that has been internationally popular for years.

Recent international feature shoots in Spain have included new sci-fi sequel Terminator: Dark Fate and superhero follow-up Wonder Woman 1984.

Netflix has also expanded its presence in the country, with a production presence at Ciudad de la Tele (TV City) in Tres Cantos near Madrid.

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

Images courtesy of Ana Ibañez

Amazon's Hanna filmed Spanish locations
Hanna

Amazon’s action drama series Hanna filmed Spanish locations as part of its pan-European production schedule.

Adapted from Joe Wright’s 2011 film of the same name, the series charts the journey of teenage girl Hanna as she is raised in secret in the remote forests of central Europe by her former spy father. When she ventures into the wider world she is hunted by an obsessive CIA agent.

David Farr co-wrote the original film and created the series. Esme Creed-Miles stars with Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos.

Production was largely based in and around Budapest, which is an Eastern European production hub. In the story, Hanna is raised in the forests of Poland but these scenes were actually shot in the Tatras Mountains region of northern Slovakia.

As the story progresses, Hanna finds herself fleeing the CIA in Morocco. These scenes were largely shot in Spain, using locations in the Bardenas Desert in the north-east of the country and in Almeria on the south-east coast.

“We did a first scout based on the script, where most of the sequences were supposed to happen between Morocco and any place in the south of Spain,” says Ana Ibañez, one of the drama’s location managers, in comments to KFTV.

“We were trying to find locations similar to Morocco to try to avoid travelling to another country.

"After the director’s scout and many struggles to decide, we were able to recreate many scenes in Almeria, but there were other scenes that had to happen in Morocco, including a bazaar and a Moroccan beach.”

One of the biggest challenges of this leg of the shoot was filming scenes at the port in Almeria, which is one of the main border crossing points between Spain and Morocco.

“It’s probably, as the border police call it, the main ‘hot zone’ in the country, where drug dealers, smugglers and illegal immigrants try to cross to Spain,” Ibañez tells KFTV.

“Not only was it hard to get a permit to bring 150 crew inside that ‘hot zone’, but we faced a challenge working through the security measures to make sure our technical equipment was listed and packed in a certain way to let the customs police control every little piece that we were carrying.

“Every person that crossed the border to shoot on the ground after jumping on the ferry to keep shooting as a road movie had to be accredited and checked by the police.”

The team had to work with half a dozen different law enforcement agencies and directly with the Spanish government to get the relevant permits to film.

Hanna

“We then had to jump on a huge ferry with nine decks and shoot with real Moroccan passengers that were travelling to Nador over an eight-hour trip," says Ibañez. "Most of the crew got seasick – kind of a tough day!”

Spain is developing its profile as a European filming hub, with producers now supported by a competitive incentive, while the Canary Islands have a special tax regime that has been internationally popular for years.

Recent international feature shoots in Spain have included new sci-fi sequel Terminator: Dark Fate and superhero follow-up Wonder Woman 1984.

Netflix has also expanded its presence in the country, with a production presence at Ciudad de la Tele (TV City) in Tres Cantos near Madrid.

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

Images courtesy of Ana Ibañez

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