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This Is Where Big Fish Was Filmed

In 2021, Tim Burton is one of the most well-known and revered directors in the world. Since bursting onto the Hollywood scene in 1985 with the off-kilter comedy "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," the gothic artist has captivated audiences across the globe with his twisted tales and one-of-a-kind aesthetic. To this day, titles such as 1989's "Batman," 1990's "Edward Scissorhands," and 2010's "Alice in Wonderland" are fan favorites, but not all of Burton's works have attained such widespread recognition. Take, for example, his 2003 fantasy drama "Big Fish," which stands as arguably his best film to date.

Starring Ewan McGregor as the extraordinary Edward Bloom, the movie goes through his entire life story, covering the good, the bad, and downright strange. Growing up, his son Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) saw his so-called experiences as "big fish" stories that he made up to impress everyone he encountered. In reality, his father wasn't the liar he pinned him as, tragically coming to this realization when it was too late. Overall, "Big Fish" is a touching ode to the art of storytelling and a look at the oftentimes tense connection between a parent and their child. Sadly, it flies under the radar for many Burton fans since its cheery tone and bright color palette aren't the filmmaker's typical foray.

Since "Big Fish" takes audiences through nearly every era of Edward's life, we spend time at a variety of different places along the way. Despite this, Burton and his team did not travel much to shoot the entire project. Here's the very brief list of locations they selected to get the job done.

Big Fish calls Alabama home

These days, thanks to the constant evolution of filmmaking technology and the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, on-location shooting isn't as commonplace as it once was. Especially now with the implementation of StageCraft technology, as seen in the Disney+ hit "The Mandalorian," filming inside of a controlled environment using LED screens is a welcome alternative to scouting physical locations and looks just as convincing to the eye. However, in the early 2000s, this tech wasn't nearly as refined or accessible, meaning Tim Burton had to venture out into the world to film "Big Fish."

Principal photography kicked off in January of 2003, and Burton didn't plan on moving around too much to get the movie made. According to the film's DVD commentary track, "Big Fish: A Fairytale World," it was shot almost entirely in the state of Alabama, save for a week the team spent in Paris, France. Some of the areas included Wetumpka, Montgomery, and the Huntingdon College campus in Tallahassee. For the unsettling town of Spectre, an entire set was constructed on Jackson Lake Island, not too far from the Alabama River, which you can still visit today

Even though roadblocks — such as a tornado warning and flash floods — made their presence felt now and again, "Big Fish" arrived at cinemas on time. Considering all of the hard work that went into its creation and the heartwarming yet entertaining nature of its story, it certainly deserves more praise than it currently receives relative to the rest of Tim Burton's filmography.