Filming began on March 11, 2004, with soundstage shooting in Los Angeles for the scenes set inside the flight.[8] The primary location was the Hawaiian island of Oahu.[16] The wreckage of Flight 815 was made with a Lockheed L-1011 built in 1972 and previously used by Delta Air Lines until 1998, that after being purchased by ABC was broken up and sent to Hawaii by ship.[17] The purchasing, shipping, and dressing of the aircraft body accounted for most of the pilot’s budget,[18] which at an estimated $10 to $14 million was the most expensive pilot episode up to that time.[19][20] Greenlighting such an expensive and risky project amidst ABC’s low ratings eventually led Braun to be fired by The Walt Disney Company, ABC’s parent company.[7]
J.J. Abrams decided not to do aerial shots to avoid revealing too much of the island, and also because he felt that the different point of view could confuse audiences.[21] Filming wrapped on April 24, Lindelof’s birthday.[22] Extensive usage of visual effects, particularly bluescreen, was used in the pilot. One effect in particular was re-shot just before part 2 was broadcast. The scene involving a stuffed polar bear was used for a pre-broadcast commercial and was freeze framed and mocked on the internet, prompting ABC to replace it with a CGI bear.[16]