In Wanderlust, Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) and Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses) star as George and Linda, a stressed-out Manhattan couple who find themselves unable to continue living in the city when their employment circumstances change. On their way to Atlanta, where they are reluctantly moving in with George’s brother, they stumble into an alternative community known as Elysium.
Production designer Aaron Osborne and his crew did their research for the film by staying at and interacting within an actual 30-year-old commune in the North Georgia Mountains. “We had a great experience at this place called Earthsong,” he tells. “We did sweat lodges and swam in the lake and had an incredible time.” In addition, he used artisans from Earthsong to create many of the props and artwork seen on the set. “From the tie-dyed shirts to the cow pen, they were all created by someone down the street.”
Finding a location that would inspire the right communal vibe for the film proved to be a daunting task for the production team. They found a 1850s 1-bedroom house and, as director David Wain recalls, “when we got to this particular house, I was blown away. Every other place we had seen would have been an 80 percent compromise to what we saw in our mind’s eye. We got here, and it was like it was built for our story … including the ponds on the property. In fact, the location inspired several new scenes and jokes.”
It was also critical to Wain and the producers that the entire film was shot entirely “green.” This eco-friendly notion all began with electronic communication (such as Osborne showing Wain designs on an iPad) rather than leaving paper trails.
Moreover, almost everything on set was recyclable. In fact, when the materials were no longer needed on set, many items were sent over to area communes such as Earthsong. “We used recycled elements in and on the sets, and then recycled them again once we finished filming,” Osborne explains. “At the property, we would take trees that had fallen and turn those into posts, so we were getting lumber off of the location as well.”
The crew created actual gardens and vineyards for the shoot. Instead of putting up silk plants, often done to match frames, the team planted flora. In fact, all of the flowerbeds stayed at the location after photography was finished. The green theme was also extended to crew snack time. Craft service would bring the cast and crew water drawn from a well that had been placed in cups designed by the locals.
Wanderlust is available starting June 19 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2012 Universal Studios