WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 7:  Pamela Gidley attends the premiere of "Anaconda" on April 7, 1997 at Mann Village Theater in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Filming Anaconda
On Location Called For Some Creative Engineering
“Anaconda” may be remembered for its stacked cast — featuring J. Lo, Ice Cube, and Danny Trejo — and its unique villain — a 25-foot green anaconda — but for the cast and crew, it will be remembered for an entirely different reason. Speaking of his time working on the movie, production manager Jim Dyer recalls just how difficult it was to shoot the film in the Amazon.
When it came to shooting the film, the Amazon flooded, so the crew had to get creative to pull off the shots they needed. By Dyer’s count, the filming process required “five work barges, five skiffs, 15 canoes (long rowboats), and five faster shuttle boats” to get the job done, and even then, they still “…boated equipment back and forth.”
Still, the crew struggled to maintain soundstage quality while filming in the Amazon, so they ended up building a barge that served as a floating soundstage for the bulk of the on-screen action. Even more innovative, they built an automated two-man skiff dubbed “the Panaconda”, to get underwater-to-surface shots from the snake's POV.