The first movie that Jared and Jerusha Hess made together was “Napoleon Dynamite,” which became a cult favorite very quickly. The main character of the movie is the one with the same name.
Jon Heder plays this awkward and nerdy teen with a memorable perm. Napoleon handles the problems in his everyday life in a quirky and funny way. If you’re now wondering, “Where was “Napoleon Dynamite” filmed?” don’t worry, we’ll get to that soon.
A lot of the movie was based on what Jared did as a kid in Preston, Idaho. Hess has said, “Napoleon was a mix of all the nerdy and awkward parts of me and my brothers when we were kids.”
This authenticity comes through in the movie, making it a really funny one that was not only wildly and unexpectedly popular when it came out but is still loved by many people today.
Fantastic Facts says that even though the movie only cost $400,000 to make, it has made more than $45 million since it came out. It’s the perfect example of a low-budget, independent movie that broke into the mainstream and became a big hit, like Little Miss Sunshine and a few others from that time.
Was it really shot in the place where the movie’s story takes place? Find out where “Napoleon Dynamite” was filmed and other unique places like Preston, Idaho, that you can rent through Peerspace, the largest online marketplace for hourly rentals of all kinds of spaces.
Where did the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” get captured?
“Napoleon Dynamite” feels so real because not only does it take place in Jared Hess’s hometown of Preston, Idaho, a small town with about 5,000 people, but it was also filmed there in July 2003.
Tucson.com says that the comedy “put this farm town near the Utah border on the map” after it came out. The movie also brought in $1 million for Preston, according to the chamber of commerce, which was one of the first to promote the town as a place for “Napoleon Dynamite” fans to visit.
Preston High School
Most of the movie takes place at Napoleon’s high school, where he is a student. In real life, these scenes were shot at the real Preston High School. Throughout the movie, both inside and outside shots of the high school were taken at the school.
In 1997, Jared Hess graduated from Preston High School. For example, this funny scene where the “Happy Hands Club” performs was shot in a classroom at the school. So was this famous scene where a bully tries to get Napoleon to give up his tater tots.
When you ask, “Where was the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” shot?” Napoleon’s house is another place that might come to mind. “The house where Napoleon, his brother Kip, and their grandmother live is on the edge of Preston,” says Rob on Location.
“Just like in the movie, there are farms all around the house. Napoleon fed Tina, his llama, in the field next to his house, and the farmer shot the cow in the pasture across the street.
Why did they choose Preston as the place to film?
Why did Hess decide to film in Preston instead of a more famous place closer to Hollywood? Looper said in an article, “Other directors would have chosen different locations, but Preston gave the movie a lot of its Midwestern style.
“There was also the issue of money. Hess could only make “Dynamite” for $400,000, so he just made the movie with his friends.” It was a risky choice, but in the end, it was the right one, both for the movie’s small budget and its memorable look, which is a big part of why so many people like it.
Plus, Hess says in an oral history of “Napoleon Dynamite” published by Rolling Stone that he and the other people who worked on the movie had a great time: “It was so much fun making a movie in this rural farm town.
“We shot it in 23 days, so we had to move very quickly. I didn’t have enough film to do a lot of takes. It was a group of friends making a movie together. “Are people going to get this?” I thought. Is it working?'” When we look back on the film’s huge success almost 20 years later, it’s clear that the answer was a resounding “Yes!”
Here are Some other Filming locations similar to Preston
1) Renovated 1930s storefront in Ogden, Utah
This renovated Ogden store from the 1930s is a great choice if you want a studio with a sense of history. The shop has high ceilings with raw brick and rafters from the 1930s. Large windows let in a lot of natural light and have a film on them to make them private.
2) Historic downtown community center in Ogden, Utah
This small space is in downtown Ogden, Utah, about an hour’s drive south of Preston. It’s very cheap to rent and is advertised as “a great space for photography, videography, and other media production.”