Andre Arborists and Design Build teams were called on by Bohler Builders Group to advise and to create the outdoor set for the premier of Fox’s Utopia, a new national television series. The series was a social experiment that followed the lives of a group of strangers isolated in a camp and tasked with creating their own utopian society. The show was filmed with 200 cameras strategically placed around the camp and streamed 24 hours a day live on the internet as well as edited and aired weekly on Fox.
The set of Utopia was tucked away in a rural area of Southern California surrounded by protected groves of mature Coast Live Oaks. These beauties were native and untouched in this natural setting.
They needed a little TLC from Andre arborists to create a safe set for the cast and crew of the show who would be working and living under their canopies. The producers also needed a native landscape design that would blend in with the greater surroundings and provide food and medicinal benefits to participants.
We developed an irrigation plan for this 2-acre set which provided efficient irrigation for the site and which was completely unseen and avoided the 200 continuously filming cameras. We also installed a pump to access water from an upper reservoir in order to increase the water pressure.
We planted fruit trees and consumable native plants with edible and medicinal features to provide food sources to the survivalist cast who would be living there for a year. Andre Arborists worked with city arborists to secure permits to trim the protected oaks.
Oaks were trimmed to create a safe set for all cast and crew while accomplishing proper trimming per this protected and valued species. The city arborists of Simi Valley were thrilled with our work and commitment to the structural integrity of these trees. Camera angles and bodies were preserved from irrigation for clear 24-hour a day footage. The Utopia set was complete on time and on budget providing a natural landscape set for filming and a safety first environment for all cast and crew members. Now that’s a wrap.