Where Was Wilderness Filmed? Inside Prime Video’s Upcoming Series

By Olivia Emily

8 months ago

Wilderness launches on Prime Video globally on 15 September

A brand new wanderlusty series is winging its way to Prime Video – and we can’t wait to see it. Wilderness is led by Jenna Coleman who plays Liv, a young woman in a picture perfect marriage, whose world is upended when she discovers her handsome husband Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is having an affair. With a trailer soundtracked by Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, we’re in for a twisty, revengeful ride. To save the marriage, Liv and Will go on the trip of a lifetime across America’s National Parks. But where was Wilderness filmed? Here we dive into the breathtaking landscapes seen in the series.

Where Was Wilderness Filmed? Inside Prime Video’s New Series

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness (© Stefania Rossini/Prime Video)

Where Was Wilderness Filmed?

Wilderness was filmed in Canada, mainly in Alberta and British Columbia – although filming also took place in the US, especially in New York City, Las Vegas, and at the Grand Canyon. Jenna Coleman, who leads the series as Liv, told Prime Video: ‘So often, it’s like, “oh my god it’s set in Paris, and then you’re filming in East London”, so to geographically and cinematically go to these locations, from Banff to Las Vegas and New York into raw wilderness […], was great. It all felt like we were on a road trip. A mad wonky road trip together.’

Wilderness took us all on a journey through two [Canadian] provinces and so many beautiful locales,’ adds Michael Farias, Locations Manager on Wilderness. But filming in these wild places wasn’t without its challenges. ‘Scenic options are a little more challenging [than cities] since you’re always thinking about the logistics of getting equipment and the crew to an area that works for both the story and for production,’ says Michael.

Kat Westergaard, Director of Photography, adds: ‘So [the director] and I knew from the start we wanted to capture the beauty of our natural locations – the vastness of the desert and the height of the forest – and also have our characters feel small and inconsequential in these locations in order to create some uneasiness.’ Here’s a look at those vast and breathtaking landscapes used for filming.

Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor

Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor (© Stefania Rossini/Prime Video)

Wilderness Filming Locations

Whistler, British Columbia

‘We shot at Whistler in Canada,’ says Ashley Benson, who plays Cara – specifically at the Cal Cheak trail and the Whistler Olympic Park, which were both used instead of Yosemite.

‘I’d never been there, and it was really beautiful,’ says Ashley. ‘Every time it was pouring down rain, filming had to keep going but we had to pretend to be hiking in the sun. I saw a lot of bears there, and there were a lot of mosquitoes as well.’

‘There’s a fantastic scene between Liv and her husband’s secret lover, Cara, talking over a hanging bridge dangling above a gushing river,’ adds series director So Yong Kim. ‘We found a remote location just outside of Whistler and scouted it numerous times to stress test our equipment with the crew and the producing team. However, because of our city arrogance, we didn’t factor in the ‘wilderness’ of Canada’s nature into our planning.’ Cue unanticipated rainfall and wind knocking the signal towers. Luckily: ‘When I watched the playback later, I was ecstatic, because despite all the disasters, our two actors shined through it all. It was an incredible moment,’ says So.

Ashley Benson as Cara, Eric Balfour as Garth, Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor in Wilderness

(L-R): Ashley Benson as Cara, Eric Balfour as Garth, Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor. (© Kailey Schwerman/Prime Video)

Banff, Alberta

‘I must say that filming in Banff, Alberta was a highlight,’ says Locations Manager Michael. ‘We were lucky enough to film at the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort, which offers such an amazing backdrop to the show. Grand in scale, surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers. A couple of exciting run-ins with the local wildlife were definitely a highlight.’

Banff Springs Hotel, as seen in Wilderness

Banff Springs Hotel © Prime Video

Squamish, British Columbia

‘The white-water rafting scenes we shot in Squamish, BC, were another unique location,’ says Michael. In Wilderness, Squamish is a substitute for Yosemite. ‘Figuring out what portions of the river were best, logistics in trying to get a film crew to these positions and driving two hours on a gravel forest service road with no cell phone reception to find the perfect spot created challenges but looked amazing.’

Oliver, who plays Will, adds that filming in Squamish was ‘so beautiful’ and ‘probably the most fun we had, because we spent two days on the white-water raft just going down the river, and then it was a forty-five-minute set up and reset and then we get back in the boat.

‘When we first shot it, they threw me in and then we realised that the camera had steamed up,’ Oliver adds. ‘And I got a text from So [the director] saying we’re throwing you back in tomorrow. I’ve never been quite that cold in my life.’


Squamish © Prime Video

Grand Canyon, US

While Squamish subbed for Yosemite, there’s nothing quite like the Grand Canyon, so filming had to happen in the real place. ‘The whole shoot […] culminated in being able to film inside the Grand Canyon itself thanks to the generosity of the Hualapai Tribe,’ says Michael.

Jenna calls filming there ‘iconic’. ‘Where we shot was not open to the public,’ she explains. ‘It was at this ancient cliff at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Turning and looking at Oli with the blue Mustang was almost unreal because it was breathtaking. Grand is a terrible way to describe the Grand Canyon, but it was so big and looked so cinematic.’

Director of Photography Kat adds: ‘I never thought I would be allowed to film a project in the Grand Canyon! It was just absolutely beautiful. The heat and limited resources were a challenge, but I enjoyed working with a smaller footprint and hands on attitude.’

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor

The scenes at the Grand Canyon were filmed in the real place. (© Prime Video)

Kananaskis, Alberta

According to Michael, some of the ‘dramatic mountain range and sprawling landscapes’ in Wilderness were shot in Kananaskis, Alberta.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Filming also took place in Vancouver, ‘to showcase the beauty of the West Coast,’ says Michael. Vancouver City was used, as was Lynn Valley Park, the latter for some of the Yosemite scenes. Claire Rushbrook, who plays Liv’s mother Caryl, filmed some of the New York scenes at Lonsdale Peak. ‘This particular location is meant to be a substitute for New York, and it was a lovely pier that was on the waterfront and faced the other side of Vancouver so had a beautiful line of skyscrapers,’ she says. ‘The water and weather were calm, and we filmed on a pier, and it was just idyllic.’

New York City

But not all of the New York scenes were shot in Vancouver. ‘The crew travelled to New York to capture the Meatpacking District where our hero couple shared an apartment,’ says Michael. ‘There were scenes shot in the iconic Central Park, then we went to the Upper West Side for Cara’s upscale apartment and also Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty dominating the background.’

Liv and Will's New York apartment in Wilderness

Liv and Will’s New York apartment. (© Prime Video)

The apartment that Liv and Will share was created for filming, but there’s no blaming you if you thought it was a genuine NYC abode. ‘In the case of Wilderness, we wanted a very New York apartment,’ says Susi Mancini, Production Designer. ‘We all travelled to New York and explored the materials and colours of the city. The neighbourhoods, the windows, the architecture, and we picked what we thought would have been liked by our Wilderness characters. A nice loft, above their means, which his business would pay for, but without being too over the top. Nice enough to create a “wow” effect when they first walked in, but without the “completely impossible” effect for the viewer.’

Las Vegas

‘The show also shot in Las Vegas on the main strip to help portray the hedonistic spiral Liv embarks on in episode four,’ says Michael.


‘[Filming] ended in Arizona to capture the road trip of a lifetime,’ says Michael.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness

Some of |Wilderness was shot in Arizona. (© Prime Video)


Wilderness launches on Prime Video globally on 15 September. amazon.co.uk