Baraka was the first film in over twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format, an extremely high definition wide-screen film format developed in the mid 1950s. The previous film filmed in this particular format was The Last Valley (1971).
The shot with the monk at the streets of Tokyo was unplanned. The crew went to a factory for filming but after many hours of searching ideas, they disbanded the place, finding it unsuitable for filming. Getting back to the hotel Mark Magidson saw the monk walking and stopped the cars and asked Ron Fricke to film him. After many minutes of footages at the end the crew gave the monk some money and left. The monk never stopped his prayer and never looked into the camera.
In the Indonesian cigarette factory the crew made a fuss in the first hour, according to the director all the woman tried to touch their skins or clothes since it was the first time they saw a Caucasian person.
The eclipse shoot almost didn't made in to the final work. The crew went to Hawai and had their spot on a hotel rooftop, but almost an hour before the eclipse clouds moved in and immediately the sun disappeared. Everyone in the hotel tried to find a better location and only the film crew stayed after a huge discussion. Minutes from the eclipse the sky cleared for shooting and the final result is in the film.