This town isn’t real, it’s just for making movies
A series of videos shared on TikTok show what looks like any ordinary North American small town. But there’s a twist. This town isn’t real. Everything is fake and has been built solely for filming movies and TV shows.
TikToker and filmmaker Matt Aitia shared videos of him taking a short tour around the town. The film set is in Pickering, Canada, and is the largest one in the country.
The 23-acre fake town (known as a back lot) has been used to film shows such as Amazon’s Reacher. Aitia explains in his videos that production crews will often use sets such as these to cut costs. Closing down an entire street in a real town can be costly and requires permission and permits.
Oftentimes the only time available is at night, which then requires huge lighting rigs to fake daytime. You can quickly see how using a large set would be a desirable option.
The film set has a gas station with a fake ATM, a bank, a police station, diner and five interior sets. The diner and barbershop are fully operational, apparently.
Using huge purpose-built film sets is, of course, nothing new. Many of the Spaghetti Western films from the 1960s were filmed in huge sets and locations in Southern Spain. Those film sets are still used today and incorporate an entire small Western town, a Mexican pueblo, a wooden fort, and an old Western cemetery.
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe