Wes Anderson Explains Making the Desert Town of ‘Asteroid City’

Get a behind the scenes look at Wes Anderson’s latest film Asteroid City and, specifically, how the director and his team built the entire town from scratch.

“Following a writer on his world famous fictional play about a grieving father who travels with his tech-obsessed family to small rural Asteroid City to compete in a junior stargazing event, only to have his world view disrupted forever,” IMDB writes, summarizing Anderson’s latest film.

In the above video, shared by Kodak because the movie was shot on Kodak 35mm film, Anderson explains how they created a fictional American desert town set in 1955. Firstly, the set was built not in the United States, but in Spain.

“[For] Asteroid City, we wanted a slightly exaggerated Desert to set a play. I had a thought that we might find a place that was very, very flat and open and build our rocks and build our town. The place where we filmed, Chinchón — about an hour from Madrid — well if you want flat land, and you decide you want to shoot in Europe, I think you’ll soon find yourself in Spain,” Anderson says.

“It’s quite a perfect spot for us to do this.”

Before the life-size rocks and mountains were brought onto the set, Anderson explains that his team built the entire thing in miniature so they could get an idea for how it would come together. While building out the idea of the fictional landscape and the more time Anderson and his team spent looking at different images of landscapes they wanted to emulate, the more the director felt like he wanted to bring in a bit of each rather than just pick one.

Asteroid City, the town itself, slowly over th course of time the course of time Adam Stockhausen and I, working together on this, I guess the thing was to try to make buildings that were as evocative of the time as we possibly could,” he says.

Everything that appears in the film, save for the ground, was built by Anderson and his team specifically for the film. Anderson, the actors, and the crew didn’t stay on set, but rather would drive in on golf carts every day so that the set itself didn’t have a preponderance of trucks or trailers visible, which is a way that Anderson says he likes to work.

Asteroid City premiered on May 23 and while it is still in some theaters, it can now be streamed from a variety of sources.