Turns out, Wakanda is a place near Bloemfontein. Black Panther’s South African footage was shot in the Free State

Business Insider SA
Source: Marvel Studios
  • Some of the African scenery in Black Panther was shot with a drone over the Golden Gate Highlands National Park
  • The footage was digitally enhanced by Marvel
  • Black Panther was shot mainly in South Korea, Argentina and the US

When Jonathan O’Connell, founder of the drone company Timeslice Cinematography, was asked to film landscapes for a movie called Black Panther, he didn't think it was a big deal. In fact, in terms of what he does for most shoots, including filming car chases and explosions, he thought it was downright boring. 

Jonathan O’Connell, founder of Timeslice Cinematography, was asked to film sweeping drone landscapes for a movie called Black Panther.

Little did he know that Black Panther would shatter box office records, and he would end up standing on a red carpet shaking hands with Lupita Nyong'o.

While most of the blockbuster was shot in Argentina, South Korea and in Marvel's Atlanta studio, there are a few rare scenes actually situated in Africa.

O'Connell and his team used drones to shoot landscape scenes over the mountainous Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Once shot, the footage was sent to Marvel, where visual effects such as futuristic cityscapes, were added. 

For the latest Maze Runner movie, for example, we did a lot of action sequences, with explosions and cars blowing up. But on Black Panther we only supplied footage that can be used for visual effects. It's very mathematical work, it’s about very precise lens moves, precise flight paths and meticulous movements.
Jonathan O’Connell

O’Connell and his team got to attend the recent Black Panther premiere at Monte Casino. 

"It was cool being in the cinema and seeing everyone, all the actors and production teams, clapping and cheering when our parts came on in the movie and seeing the shots we had taken come to life."

Behind the scenes from Golden Gate in the Free State, where they shot their drone footage.

It took the team two years of paperwork to get the permission to shoot scenes over the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. 

Jonathan O’Connell on set.