Netflix reveals how the Umbrella Academy was filmed in Hamilton
If you're an avid watcher of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, you might already know that the show's filming is split between Hamilton and Toronto. In fact, you might even recognize some of your favourite local hot spots featured in the show.
However, part of season two of the show takes place in 1960s Dallas, Texas and a lot of work went into to making sure the "Steel Town" truly looked like Dallas would have back in the day.
In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, Netflix Canada revealed exactly how it transformed Hamilton, starting with securing two city blocks on Ottawa Street.
To film the massive outdoor scenes the team had to secure at least two city blocks. The next time you visit downtown Hamilton, take a walk down Ottawa Street and you might recognize some The Umbrella Academy locations. pic.twitter.com/RuWz8JrJwd— Netflix Canada (@Netflix_CA) August 12, 2020
One of the more daunting tasks was asking local businesses if they could mess with the store's appearance, including putting holes through the walls.
For example: the butcher shop you see featured in S2 has a cow on top of the roof. Coralie had to call the landlord of the Painted Bench on Ottawa Street (the IRL store) to ask for permission to place the cute bovine on top of their shop. pic.twitter.com/4z5RCsDq9U— Netflix Canada (@Netflix_CA) August 12, 2020
The production crew even focused on tiny details like the colour of the local fire hydrants, which in 1960s Dallas, would have been green or silver.
This wasn't so easy, though, as the city had safety concerns to think about.
"Due to safety concerns regarding the fire hydrant's colours, The Umbrella Academy crew would paint the hydrants on Ottawa Street twice per day -- once for filming, and once to revert back to Hamilton colours at night," they wrote in a tweet.
The Umbrella Academy location team paid close attention to even the smallest details. In the 1960s, Dallas fire hydrants were painted green or silver. However, fire hydrants in Hamilton are colour coded so firefighters know what the water pressure is and what hoses to use. pic.twitter.com/i05sKk9npu— Netflix Canada (@Netflix_CA) August 12, 2020
Besides completely changing the look of Ottawa Street, the crew also needed to grow a cornfield for a specific scene with lead character Vanya. To do this, they actually recruited a local farmer outside Toronto instead of using CGI.
"Local farmer Chris Burkholder hosts location filming on his farms outside Toronto and was asked to grow an acre cornfield (~34 thousand stalks)," they wrote. "Production was worried the corn wouldn’t grow in time, especially when they came to survey the land and it had just started to sprout."
Outside of Hamilton’s Ottawa Street, Ontario continues to show up in The Umbrella Academy. Remember when Vanya runs through the cornfield? That wasn’t just any cornfield or even CGI. The team had to find someone to help them grow a cornfield specifically for that scene. pic.twitter.com/ewo23Cz5dh— Netflix Canada (@Netflix_CA) August 12, 2020
They went on to say that in just one short month, though, the corn grew over 12 feet tall and they had the perfect cornfield.
The Umbrella Academy is a superhero series, based on comic books of the same name, which follows a family of adopted superheros who reunite to solve the mystery surrounding their father's death.
Season two of the show was just released on the streaming service on July 31.
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