This film was shot exclusively on three iPhone 5s smartphones, along with the Moondog Labs' anamorphic clip on lens and a $8 app, FiLMiC Pro in addition to Steadicam Smoothee Mounts. Director Sean Baker revealed this at the Sundance Film Festival.
Director Sean Baker and co-writer Chris Bergoch met Mya Taylor at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza, an LGBT community center on McCadden Place in Hollywood. The Village is located close to the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and Highland Avenue in Hollywood, where most of the action of the film takes place, and the center is visible in the scene involving the Parsimonious John (his car is parked across the street).
The film captures several physical aspects of the Santa Monica and Highland intersection in Hollywood at a key point in time. By mid-2016, many of the buildings that appear in the film had been torn down, including the Arena Nightclub where Sin-Dee promises that there will be "no drama, Alexandra." Donut Time, where several scenes take place, closed down and re-opened, a year later, as Trejo's Coffee & Donuts.
Sean Baker, in an radio interview with Terry Gross, credited Kitana Kiki Rodriguez with coming up with the revenge part of the plot (that of her character, Sin-Dee, hunting down the woman who slept with Chester).