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The Power of the Dog Filming Location: South Island of New Zealand Explored!

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Dec 10, 2021 @ 7:55 EST
The Power of the Dog Filming Location: South Island of New Zealand Explored!

Netflix viewers wonder about The Power of the Dog filming locations. The movie was filmed on location across New Zealand with its production base in Auckland.

The perfect blend of crime and thriller portraying nuanced exploration of toxic performative masculinity and the repercussions of repressed sexual desire, The Power of the Dog is here to complete the holiday season.

Followed by its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2021, limited theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand on November 11, 2021, and in the United States and the United Kingdom on November 17, the movie was finally released on Netflix on December 1.

Adding more spice with its serene location, you'd want to know where the movie was shot. So, here's all about The Power of the Dog filming locations.

Adapted from the 1967 novel The power of the Dog by Thomas Savage, the 2021 western drama film was written and directed by Jane Campion. Campion managed to win the Silver Lion for Best Direction at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

While the production companies of the film include New Zealand Film Commission, Cross City Films, BBC Film, See-Saw Films, Bad Girl Geek, Max Films, and Brightstar, the movie made an estimated box office of $160,000.

The movie's release excited quite many since it featured the western ranch life and explored the societal beliefs of the era.

While the thrilling plot had everyone's attention, the locations featured added more to the storyline. So, here's a detailed look at The Power of the Dog filming location.

The Power of the Dog Filming Locations: The Movie was Filmed in New Zealand!

A dark and brooding revenge melodrama featuring the western ranch life, The Power of the Dog was shot in New Zealand.

An official New Zealand/Australian co-production, the film was shot on location across New Zealand with its production base in Auckland as per the official site of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Initially thought to be shot in Montana, or somewhere similar in the US or Canada, directed Jane Campion opted to shoot the movie in her homeland New Zealand.

The incredible and diverse landscapes were perfect for the film, thus Campion preferred the filming location. “Ultimately, shooting in New Zealand wasn’t a compromise, it was the best choice for us,” says Campion.

The filming locations of the movie included the city of Dunedin, Lindis Valley, Oamaru, and Queenstown. Most parts of the film were shot on the South Island of New Zealand since Montana's sparsely populated green plains and rocky mountains were an excellent complement.

Featuring barns and vast landscapes, the outdoor sets were designed and built by Production Designer Grant Major which included the Burbank ranch and barn.

Most of the home interiors were built on sound stages in Auckland, while the barn interiors were shot on-site in Central Otago, New Zealand. The mesmerizing terrains and scenery was perfectly captured by cinematographer Ari Wegner.

Hundreds of South Island residents were employed on set as extras, builders, and blacksmiths, delivering a significant economic boost to the region. Along with it, hundreds of cattle had to be wrangled during location filming, and around 20 historic cars from the 1920s were sourced.

Not much of the filming process or pictures have been shared on socials of the stars or production team. The very public post of the filing was done on August 23 by the official Instagram page of The Power of the Dog which features Director Campion with assistant Phil Jones.

Director of Photography Ari Wegner spent roughly a year working with Campion, location scouting, storyboarding, and developing the visual style for the film.

He shared a picture of his visit to New Zealand in 2016 with the caption, "South Island dawn, you never disappoint. ???⚡️" indicating the planning of the film and the filming locations was done way back.

Having setbacks due to the pandemic, the team stayed on track and completed the movie following its release in 2021.

What is The Power of the Dog All About?

The perfect blend of romance and western drama, The Power of the Dog takes place in the 1920s. Featuring the story of the Burbank brothers who are wealthy ranchers in Montana. Campion's films incisively record the volatile flashes of thought and body that make up an existence in the world.

Her movies are aloof in certain ways, but they are also intensely, palpably genuine in others. She has been able to bring the same story of emotions in her recent movie The power of the Dog.

Sublimated realities burble out in seemingly random patterns, prompting characters to behave wildly as a result of their repression. This only made the movie more watchable to understand the depth of the characters.

The Power of the Dog is set in 1920s Montana, mostly on the Burbank brothers' property, which is overseen by gruff Phil played by Benedict Cumberbatch and soft-spoken, softer George played by Jesse Plemons.

The story plays out as the brothers meet Rose played by Kristen Dunst, the widowed proprieties, and her precocious son Peter played by Kodi Smit-McPhee at the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market.

Phil treats them both mercilessly, reveling in their anguish and making his fellow cowhands laugh – all save his brother George, who consoles Rose before returning to marry her.

There is something of a mystery in The Power of the Dog, having to do with Phil’s bitter antipathy for other people and with Rose’s son Peter, which creates the plot twist at the end.

The enthralling movie portrays the story of men like Peter who of course existed 100 years ago, and before, and was subject to such unabashed abuse, and the story of men like Phil who project their repressed emotions on women like Rose.

"This chewy study of human behavior and masculinity feels, in many ways, utterly Campion-esque, a thrilling return to form," says David Canfield in an interview with Vanity Fair.

The cast of The Power of the Dog includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, Kirsten Dunst as Rose Gordon, Jesse Plemons as George Burbank, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter Gordon, Thomasin McKenzie as Lola, Genevieve Lemon as Mrs. Lewis, Keith Carradine as Governor Edward.

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Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman
About the Author
News writer. Promising journalist. You can find me online tweeting about my passion and hobbies. Movie enthusiast, TV freak, and a massive football fan (yes, soccer).
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