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Where Was Band Of Brothers Actually Filmed?

Considering the creators are “Saving Private Ryan” collaborators Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, naturally, HBO’s “Band of Brothers” was always going to be an ambitious project.  Budgeted at $125 million when it was greenlit by HBO (via The New York Times), the 2001 limited series dramatizes the real World War II exploits of the E “Easy” Company in the 101st Airborne Division (via Military History Matters). Originally trained in Georgia, the group of American soldiers later undergo a number of combat situations during the war, including the Normandy airborne landings and the liberation of a concentration camp, under the command of Major Richard “Dick” Winters (Damian Lewis).

 

After Spielberg’s success making in World War II films with “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan,” HBO must have figured there was no way they could lose when greenlighting the series, and they were right. The epic drama received strong critical acclaim and great ratings, and it was nominated for 20 Emmy Awards, winning seven. Today, “Band of Brothers” is considered one of the classics of TV’s Golden Age.  Considering “Schindler’s List” was made on location in Poland (via Newsweek) and “Saving Private Ryan” was shot largely in Ireland (via The Irish Times), fans may be curious about where “Band of Brothers” chose to start production. The answer may surprise you.

Band of Brothers was shot in England and Switzerland HBO/YouTube “Band of Brothers” may have had a big price tag compared to most television shows, but it still couldn’t afford to film in a dozen places at once. The series decided to house production largely at a former Aerospace factory in Hatfield, a town in Hertfordshire, England (via The Guardian). This was mainly because of the tax breaks given to the network, similar to what “Saving Private Ryan” received by shooting in Ireland.

But while the location was only posing as Belgium or France, the massive production worked to make the space feel as much like 1940s Europe as they could, including the use of hundreds of pine trees to recreate a major forest and a cast of thousands of extras. The factory also housed recreations of European villages and towns that Easy Company visit on screen.  For scenes involving Germany and Austria, however, the production decided to use areas of Switzerland, including the town of Interlaken, as a substitute, as location scout Leonhard Gmür told Swiss Info. Clearly, their choices paid off, as two decades later, “Band of Brothers” still feels authentic and accurate to greater World War II history.

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