Edgar Wright filmed Atlanta for Baby Driver
Filmmaker Edgar Wright shot in US production hub Atlanta for his heist movie Baby Driver.
The film follows Baby, a young getaway driver whose childhood eardrum injury leads him to move to the rhythm of his personal music playlist.
“Baby Driver was originally written for Los Angeles, but due to tax and production incentives it was changed to Atlanta,” says Douglas Dresser, the film’s supervising location manager, in comments to KFTV.
“Edgar Wright then changed the script to be set in Atlanta so we didn’t have to cheat it as another city. We scouted for just over two and a half months in October to December, prepped after the first of the year and shot in the spring.
Given that the film’s soundtrack is an integral part of the story, Baby Driver’s playlist had a big impact on Wright’s location choices, with the director having to work out how selected tracks would function in each space.
“This was my favourite part of the film,” Dresser says. “Walking the streets of Atlanta and finding the little bits that made his vision come true. Edgar would joke with us as we hit the streets: ‘Come on fellas, let’s get our steps in!’.”
Filming took place entirely on location and the team organised more than 40 street closures over the course of the shoot, including – on multiple occasions – sections of main artery the I-85, which travels directly through the centre of the city.
“Staying true to the geography was very important to Edgar,” Dresser tells KFTV. “When we found a bank on the edge of the city on the Perimeter (a border zone between three municipal areas of Atlanta), Edgar changed the name of the bank to ‘Perimeter Trust’.
“The streets names in the script are for the most part the real names of the streets. The neighbourhoods are the neighbourhoods.”
“The city of Atlanta was great. The Mayors Office of Film and Television, the state film commission, Atlanta PD and the Georgia state troopers were a tremendous part of making this movie a success.
“What’s different is this is a movie about Atlanta - they understood that and helped us in any way that they could.”
Georgia was recently found to be the most popular filming location for the highest-profile US movies released in 2016.
The state’s generous incentive support is a major factor behind its success, as is the regional studio infrastructure and the ease with which the landscape can double for different parts of the world.
Marvel has used Pinewood Atlanta Studios as a base for several of its superhero movies for the past few years. Current big-budget features in the city include a Godzilla follow-up and Dwayne Johnson’s action film Rampage.
Images: Wilson Webb/TriStar Pictures/Sony Pictures