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About The Physical Production
In a movie in which the planet is a central character, it became crucial for the filmmakers to find a great deal of varied terrain that reflected the changing scenery as the boy and his father made their way from a mountainous region across the country through rolling hills and finally to the ocean. And since the planet is one big disaster area, they had to find many ruined, abandoned or devastated locations as possible.

Over a long pre-production period, more than 50 locations were scouted which suited the production's needs. The majority of these were found in Pennsylvania, with notable detours to the shores of Lake Erie, the Katrina-hit areas of Louisiana and some areas in Oregon.

"Since Cormac never tells us what the apocalyptic event is, we've decided to look around the United States contemporary events that would look like they were apocalyptic events," says Wechsler. "So New Orleans gives us a great opportunity to show what can happen with a natural disaster. There are other areas in the United States that were caused by fire, by volcano, by human decay and the tragedy of society moving from one part of civilization to another part of civilization in terms of the application of money and resources. So we're taking advantage of man-made and natural events around the United States."

"The film crew decided that there were a lot of locations in and around Pittsburgh that could be very useful," Wechsler adds, "especially an abandoned turnpike, which is not far away, as well as abandoned coalmines, surface coalmines, coal dumping areas that would give a quality of blackened earth that we could use. Pennsylvania had some beautiful winter landscapes that were useful and the film commission and the people there were incredibly friendly and incredibly receptive, so it made it a great place to base our film."

For the production designer, Chris Kennedy, the script by Joe Penhall fairly well laid out the course he would take in setting up the long and arduous shoot. "When I read the screenplay, I was pretty impressed by how they had managed to translate it from the book," he says. "Joe managed to pull out all of the key dialogue because really most of the book is the man thinking. It's kind of the ambient sense of the world through his eyes, which was the key to how to think about visualizing it. Plus, we intended to use real locations, so it was pretty much straight away a matter of finding out where they may be. So there was a long search for places across the country that we could use."

When the decision was made to base the production in Pennsylvania, Kennedy was excited by the possibilities. "It's clearly set in America; it's about things American. I did a huge search on the web while I was in Australia before I came out and I pretty rapidly realized that there's a heap of abandoned and destroyed towns, cities, landscapes here, much more so than in Australia. There was a whole collection of things that got me really excited once I realized that the Pennsylvania coal mining areas—the abandoned turnpike down in Breezewood, eight miles of abandoned freeway —all those things that are just quite spectacular. It's The Road, so it seemed like this road actually became like a keystone to why to come here in the first place and then searched out from there and found all sorts of things. And here we have deciduous trees, which is a key to the whole theme—a dead landscape. I kind of covered the whole of America in my research, and the northern areas with deciduous forests in a winter landscape were obviously the place to start.

"Pennsylvania has coal landscapes, devastated mining areas, coal piles, fly ash piles, like blackened landscape. So it's a combination of elements –a depressed socio-economic situation in suburbs like Braddock and Keysport; winter landscape; deciduous trees; devastated landscape."



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