As far as movie sets go, the rustic cabin built on the side of Moose Mountain in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country may seem modest.
But for Land, the powerful if minimalist drama directed by actress Robin Wright, it was as crucial as the mountains.
Created by Calgary-based production designer Trevor Smith and built to order in the wilds of Alberta, it is the primary set of the film, which is now available on VOD. It’s where much of the drama plays out, with Wright playing a grief-stricken Chicago woman named Edee Mathis who has cut herself off from the world to live as a recluse in the Wyoming wilderness.
“We built the cabin from scratch and that was our focal point from the get-go,” says Smith. “It’s literally a character itself. So that was a real priority for us to get that right.”
Working with Wright, cinematographer Bobby Bukowski and the film’s location team, Smith’s modest structure looks charmingly homespun and utilitarian in early scenes but turns brutal and isolating later on as the seasons change and Edee realizes she lacks the skills to survive in the harsh environment.