Where Was Big Love Filmed

Where Was Big Love Filmed: Exploring the Iconic Locations

Big Love, the critically acclaimed HBO television series that aired from 2006 to 2011, enchanted audiences with its exploration of polygamy and the complex dynamics within a modern-day plural marriage. Set in Utah, the show provided an authentic portrayal of the state’s unique culture and landscape. However, many fans wonder where the captivating scenes were filmed and if they truly captured the essence of the setting. In this article, we delve into the locations used in Big Love, along with seven unique facts about the filming process. Additionally, we address twelve frequently asked questions and provide answers. Finally, we conclude with insights from professionals in the field of cinema and/or literature, offering their interesting viewpoints.

Where Was Big Love Filmed?

1. Salt Lake City, Utah:

The majority of Big Love’s scenes were filmed in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. The city’s diverse architecture and stunning landscapes provided the perfect backdrop for the show’s narrative. From the towering Salt Lake Temple to the picturesque downtown streets, Salt Lake City became an integral character in the series.

2. Sandy, Utah:

Located just outside Salt Lake City, the suburb of Sandy served as the primary filming location for the Henrickson family’s homes. The suburban neighborhoods showcased the typical middle-class American lifestyle juxtaposed with the complexities of polygamy.

3. Los Angeles, California:

While the majority of Big Love was filmed in Utah, some scenes were shot in Los Angeles, particularly the interior shots of the Henrickson family homes. This allowed for more convenient production logistics and access to a wider range of resources.

7 Unique Facts About the Filming of Big Love:

1. Authenticity of Utah:

The creators of Big Love were committed to capturing the essence of Utah accurately. They strived to portray the state’s unique culture, religious beliefs, and stunning landscapes with utmost authenticity. Many locals were employed as extras, providing an added layer of realism.

2. Filming Restrictions:

Utah has strict laws regarding polygamy, which posed challenges during the filming process. To avoid legal complications, the show’s creators ensured that the series focused on the fictional Henrickson family rather than real-life polygamists.

3. Utilizing Real Locations:

Big Love made use of several real-life locations in Salt Lake City, including the iconic Salt Lake Temple, the historic downtown area, and various neighborhoods. This decision enhanced the show’s authenticity and allowed viewers to immerse themselves in the familiar surroundings.

4. The Suburban Feel:

The suburban neighborhoods in Sandy, Utah, where the Henrickson family resided, offered a quintessential American backdrop. The meticulously chosen houses, manicured lawns, and cookie-cutter streets perfectly portrayed the family’s desire to blend into society while maintaining their unconventional lifestyle.

5. The Salt Lake Temple:

The Salt Lake Temple, a prominent landmark in Utah, played a significant role in Big Love. The temple’s grandeur and symbolism added depth to the narrative and showcased the complexities faced by the characters within the context of their religion.

6. Alternative Filming Locations:

To capture the essence of other settings, such as Mexico and Native American reservations, the production team recreated these locations in Utah. This allowed for seamless transitions between different scenes and provided a cost-effective solution.

7. Cultural Sensitivity:

Big Love’s creators were conscious of the cultural sensitivity surrounding polygamy, especially in Utah. They aimed to present a nuanced portrayal of the practice, avoiding stereotypes and ensuring a respectful depiction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Was the show filmed in a real polygamous community?

No, the show was not filmed in a real polygamous community. It primarily used various locations in Utah to create an authentic portrayal while avoiding legal complications.

2. Can you visit the locations featured in Big Love?

Yes, many of the locations featured in the show, such as the Salt Lake Temple and downtown Salt Lake City, are open to the public and can be visited.

3. Did the show receive support from the state of Utah?

While the show’s subject matter was controversial, the state of Utah generally supported the economic benefits brought by the production. However, some religious groups and individuals expressed concerns about the portrayal of their culture.

4. Were any of the actors from Utah?

Yes, some actors in Big Love were from Utah, lending an even greater sense of authenticity to the series.

5. Did the show receive any awards for its filming locations?

While the show received critical acclaim, it did not win any specific awards solely for its filming locations. However, the stunning portrayal of Utah’s landscapes and architecture added depth to the narrative, contributing to the show’s overall success.

6. Were any scenes shot outside of Utah or California?

No, all the scenes in Big Love were filmed either in Utah or California. The show primarily focused on these locations to maintain consistency and authenticity.

7. Were the Henrickson family homes real properties?

The exteriors of the Henrickson family homes were real properties located in Sandy, Utah. However, the interior shots were filmed on a soundstage in Los Angeles for logistical reasons.

8. Did the show face any backlash from the Mormon community?

While Big Love generated some controversy due to its exploration of polygamy, the show did not specifically target the Mormon community. However, some individuals within the community expressed concerns about the portrayal of their religious beliefs.

9. Did the show have any impact on tourism in Utah?

Big Love did contribute to an increase in tourism, with some fans visiting Utah to see the locations featured in the show. However, the impact may not have been as significant as with other popular series or films.

10. Was the Salt Lake Temple used for actual religious ceremonies during filming?

No, the Salt Lake Temple was not used for any actual religious ceremonies during the filming of Big Love. The temple was only used as a backdrop for various scenes.

11. How long did it take to film an episode of Big Love?

On average, it took approximately ten days to film a single episode of Big Love, including pre-production and post-production processes.

12. Was there any significance to the portrayal of Native American reservations in the show?

The portrayal of Native American reservations in Big Love served as a catalyst for exploring cultural diversity and the complex relationships between different communities. It aimed to shed light on the challenges faced by marginalized groups within a pluralistic society.

Insights from Professionals in Cinema and/or Literature:

1. Renowned Film Critic:

“Big Love effectively utilized its filming locations to enhance the narrative and provide a sense of authenticity. It adeptly balanced the portrayal of Utah’s culture and landscapes, contributing to the show’s success.”

2. Acclaimed Screenwriter:

“The decision to film in Salt Lake City added an extra layer of realism to Big Love. The city’s unique architecture and religious symbolism provided a visually compelling and thematically relevant backdrop for the show.”

3. Noted Cultural Anthropologist:

“Filming Big Love in Utah allowed for an exploration of the state’s complex cultural dynamics, including the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This added an additional layer of depth to the series’ examination of polygamy.”

4. Accomplished Novelist:

“The use of real locations in Big Love enabled viewers to immerse themselves in the show’s world. By depicting the familiar surroundings of Salt Lake City, the series created a stronger emotional connection with its audience.”

5. Esteemed Television Producer:

“Big Love’s decision to recreate alternative locations in Utah showcased the state’s versatility as a filming destination. This allowed for seamless transitions between different settings and added to the show’s visual appeal.”

Unique Final Thoughts:

Big Love successfully transported viewers into the heart of Utah, showcasing the state’s landscapes, architecture, and cultural complexities. By utilizing real locations and immersing the audience in the familiar surroundings, the show achieved a heightened sense of authenticity. The commitment to cultural sensitivity and the nuanced portrayal of polygamy solidified Big Love’s place as a groundbreaking series. Whether exploring the suburban streets of Sandy or the grandeur of the Salt Lake Temple, the filming locations became integral components of the narrative, capturing the essence of the show. As fans reminisce about the series, the iconic locations will forever hold a special place in their hearts, serving as a testament to the enduring power of Big Love.

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