Based on a book authored by Louis Sachar, Holes is a comedy movie with a very entertaining storyline, to say the least. The movie casts Shia LaBeouf as the main character Stanley, who is sent off to a strange detention camp that he finds out was somehow destined to happen.
First seen in the United States on April 18th, 2003, Holes was directed by Andrew Davis, known for other movies like The Fugitive and Under Siege. This movie was his way of proving to the Hollywood world that he could do more than just action movies, and for that, he had to convince the book’s author Louis to work on the movie with him.
They had a budget of about 20 million dollars for the film and collected almost 71 million dollars at the Box Office. Although the movie is almost true to the plot seen in the book, some of the characters were altered to make shooting more practical.
From real-life holes in the ground to 14 bearded dragons, the filming of Holes involved putting in quite the effort, and the movie now remains a classic neo-Western comedy. The movie revolves around Stanley Yelnats, as he is sent to Camp Greenlake to discipline himself for a crime he never committed.
When he arrives at the Camp, Stanley sees that many boys like him were made to dig holes in the scorching heat, but none of the workers there know what they are looking for. With time, Stanley starts to like his life at the Camp but comes across a piece of history while digging that makes him realize that he’s somehow connected to what they were looking for.
His punishment soon becomes the reason his family is rid of a generational curse that has been ruining their lives for hundreds of years.
Holes: All Known Filming Locations
The cinematography of the comedy film was done by Stephen St. John, and the filming took place in multiple locations all over California. It took a little more than two months for the shooting of Holes to complete and was done in the summer of 2002. This is because the plot specifically requires the characters to dig out in the scorching sun. The known filming locations of Holes 2003 are:
640 S. Anderson Street, Downtown LA, California
The movie begins with a pair of shoes falling on Stanley while he is walking under a bridge. This underpass is known as Anderson Street and lies at the bottom of the 6th Street Viaduct Bridge. Stanley is completely unaware of where the shoes came from, but he proceeds to take the shoes home with him, eventually putting him in Camp Greenlake.
Walt Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, Newhall, California
This is the old western street where Kate Barlow and Sam see each other often. Kate brings her pickled peaches just so she can give them to Sam, and they soon fall in love with each other. The street is shown to be filled with old western houses and cowboys.
Leconte Middle School, Hollywood, LA, California
This is the place Stanley has to stay at while he is working at the Camp. We see a scene where he writes a letter to his family explaining how he felt good at the Camp despite the wrongful conviction he had faced. Zero asks Stanley to teach him how to read in the same place.
Mojave Nat’l Preserve, California
All of the holes were being dug at the Mojave Preserve in California. A major part of the movie occurs at this location as the boys spend their days digging out shallow holes in hopes of making the warden happy and finally being granted a holiday for their hard work. The desert is just as wide as it is shown in the movie.
Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, California
As Stanley and Zero travel across the desert to find possible shelter, Stanley remembers how his great-grandfather had found what he called “God’s Thumb.” After traveling miles and almost passing out from thirst, they finally see a mountain shaped like a thumb and climb it to find onions and plenty of water. These scenes were shot in the Red State Canyon Park.
Lake Casitas, Ventura, California
The huge lake, which was still flourishing at the time of Kate Barlow, was real and was filmed at Lake Casitas. The lake holds an important meaning in Holes and is where the boys are made to dig after the lake has dried up due to a curse.
As nostalgic as it is, it’s no surprise that the movie remains a favorite of many. At present, Holes is available to watch at Disney Plus, Apple TV, Amazon as well as Prime Video in specific locations.