When architects designed São Paulo’s Octavio Ferreiras de Oliveira Bridge, which opened in 2008, they didn’t set out to connect the two sides of Pinheiros River but rather to create a global symbol. The city’s citizenry largely approved.
Its stunning, unique locations, which also prove part of the city’s narrative, are a big draw for productions. With its impactful settings, few cities in the world connote metropolitan modernity better in their visuals than São Paulo. It is one huge reason for shooting in the city, though productions cover the gamut of disparate creative intentions.
“Incentives are going to drive filming to wherever region in the world wants filming,” said James Lin, Universal Pictures VP of physical productions, citing another reason to shoot in the South American city in opening remarks at Spain’s recent Shooting Locations Marketplace.
Here are five potential settings for a future film or show:
Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge or Ponte Estaiada
Dazzling, carrying not one but two thorough fares and thanks to its “X”deck, now the city’s most recognized image, alongside Paulista Avenue. Lit up at Christmas, it acquires a more homely aura.
The other most recognized São Paulo visual, once a residential suburb, now a mix of corporate high-rises, it is used to celebrate World Cup soccer wins, gay pride parades; and by sci-fi series “Conquest,” set in a futuristic dystopia. Also featured in “Black Mirror’s” “Striking Vipers” episode.
São Paulo’s City Hall
The art deco Matarazzo Building, opened in 1939, once housed the business of industrialist Francisco Matarazzo. Now, it’s city hall. Tours of the building are given, and that includes its rooftop garden.
This is one of the city’s biggest inner highways, and runs along the Pinheiros River. Despite its seven lanes, it is famed for its heavy congestion. If you want to shoot a real big-city traffic jam, this is one candidate.
Ibirapuera Park and May 23 Avenue
Such is its size that it looks like the beginning of countryside, but São Paulo is so big that the Ibirapuera Park is in fact an urban greenspace inside the city, one of the largest and most visited in the world, surrounded by São Paulo’s hallmark white concrete jungle. São Paulo’s big city/nature contrast is used in multiple titles such as Netflix’s “Omniscient” and “Black Mirror.”
John Hopewell contributed to this report.