Popular Movie Shoot Locations

Popular Movie Shoot Locations

There is something about watching a great movie that sweeps us in and takes us away to far away places. When we are watching fantasy worlds with amazing castles, or deserts full of action fighting scenes, the real locations they are shot at may surprise you. Here are some of the most popular locations for movie settings, some of them places you can really go and visit yourself. We have composed a list of 10 locations that may surprise you as a popular location for the movies you have watched and loved:

Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, Hawaii

Remember that scene in Jurassic park when the main characters first see a living dinosaur? That jaw dropping backdrop of lush green forests that go on forever was filmed in Hawaii. Kauai was also featured in a Pirates of the Caribbean film, and many other tropical looking movies. Take a closer look the next time you watch one of those films, and see if you recognize a few of those locations. (At least, if you’ve ever vacationed on the smallest of Hawaii’s islands. If you haven’t, it’s the perfect excuse to go!)

South Carolina
South Carolina

Many people don’t realize that South Carolina is actually a favored spot for movie shoots. From Forest Gump and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, to Diehard and the Haunted Mansion, lots of films have chosen South Carolina for some of their shoots. If you watch carefully you may recognize some of the features of an area near you, so keep an eye out the next time you watch one of these great shows.

New Zealand
New Zealand

The jaw dropping panorama that New Zealands idealic locations have to offer have made them a favorite for many of the fantasy sagas we have come to love lately. From the Lord of the Rings series to Narnia, we have been given the opportunity to stare in wonder at their enchanting landscapes, and believe without once blinking that it belongs to some fantastical place where elves and unicorns roam the earth.

While there may not really be unicorns or elves there, you can still go to these same locations and experience that rush of awe as you realize those beautiful landscapes at least are truly real.

Morroco
Morocco

If you’ve ever watched an action flick based on a middle eastern war zone, you were probably actually looking at Morroco. This stand in for the middle east has become popular for depicting wars without ever having to get into a real fire fight. Morroco has appeared in a number of films, from Black Hawk Down and Greenzone to Gladiator, and perhaps more surprisingly, Game of Thrones. That’s right. When you are watching the jaw dropping accounts of what is happening in Westeros, you are looking at Morroco!

New Mexico
New Mexico

While many shoots of Seattle are filmed in Canada, and many other famous cities are swapped around when convenient for Hollywood, New Mexico’s film site is famous because one of its shoots was actually filmed in the same location it was supposed to be!

You may have heard of the famous and extremely popular “Breaking Bad” series set in Albuquerque New Mexico. What may surprise you to learn is that it was actually filmed in Albuquerque New Mexico! A visit to this city will net you the ability to tour film locations, and you can enjoy cocktails and even donuts with the Breaking Bad theme.

Vancouver
Vancouver

Remember what we just said about Seattle being shot in Canada? Its in Vancouver, to be precise. Vancouver has been used in Fifty Shades of Grey for their sweeping shots of “Seattle” as well as being used as a stand in for such places as Pyongyang and rural China.

Many of these movies aren’t shown in Canadian theatres – probably so they aren’t found out.

New York
New York City

Many films from the Ghost Busters to the X-men were filmed in New York. Best of all, many of these locations are places you can personally go to and visit. The head quarters for Ghost Busters is actually a fully functioning fire house, and Professor X’s home is actually the Salem center.

Atlanta
Atlanta

Remember those amazing dorms in the hunger games? Those are actually in the Marriot Marquis hotel. You can rent a room there and immerse yourself in the setting of one of your all time favorite movies with a quick trip here.

England
England GB

Who could forget the enchanting and beautiful Harry Potter films that swept us all up into the adventures at Hogwarts? If you’ve longed for a chance to visit these settings you can. Harry Potter was filmed all over England, but you may recognize a few key places from Christ Church College and Cathedral to Gloucester Cathedral.

Very few people from England actually recognize the places they see on the films, often suggesting other locations after watching them. It just goes to show you what good CG and a captivating storyline can do.

Simi Valley, California
California Beach

Visiting your favorite sets is a wonderful way to reconnect with your favorite old movies. In some cases there are even parks dedicated to them, such as in Simi Valley, California where you can witness the location for dozens of popular movies from the 60s and 70s. During this time a large number of films were shot there, including Fort Apache, Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory, The Robe, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, Circus Boy, and Star Trek.

You can see these yourself by simply going to the park and taking a quiet stroll on what remains of the property. (It was destroyed by fire some time before becoming a public park.)

Even if none of these locations are places you have ever been, the odds are good there was a movie shoot near you at one point. You may want to do a little research and see what exciting scenes were acted out a stones throw from the place you call home. You never know what famous person may have been near by!

The Dangers of Being a Stunt Performer

The Dangers of Being a Stunt Performer

Movie Stuntman
Aren’t stunt performers the greatest?

Have you ever seen an amazing stunt in a movie and thought to yourself, “The guy that did that has to be the coolest person on the planet. I wish I could do that.”? I know that I have. There’s just something about an amazing stunt performed well that gets the blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing. Just imagine the increase of that feeling if you were the person performing the stunt yourself. Wouldn’t that make you the coolest person on the planet? You could be just as cool as Fonzie from Happy Days without going to the ridiculous extremes of jumping over a shark.

Wait just a minute. Those stunts are dangerous!

Sure the stunts are exhilarating, and impress both men and women, but there are so many things that can go wrong when you perform a stunt, especially when you have no idea how to perform those stunts-remember that you haven’t had any training yet, so you would have to take care of that first. Stunt performers have hours of experience working on setting up stunt situations as well as how to perform them safely. Can you imagine jumping off the top of a large building? I know that there is safety equipment and other protections, but it is difficult to take that last step. Imagine driving a car into a wall on purpose or setting yourself on fire. These are dangerous situations that could kill you. You need to be aware of all the possible ways that you could be injured or worse.

Look at Jackie Chan as an example!

Jackie Chan has made a living starring in Kung Fu style movies and as a stunt man, but he also takes care of all of his own stunts. Sliding down a building or climbing and jumping up a steep wall are all ways that he has put himself at risk. He broke his leg once jumping from a boat and finished the movie is a special cast. He fractured his skull jumping from a tree. Even with all of these injuries, and many many more, he has continued to take care of his own stunts risking his life to add to the authenticity and excitement of the role he is playing. He has learned much from his experiences, and you certainly haven’t.

In the stunt performer world, a stunt is never big enough!

Did you ever set up a simple bike ramp as a kid? I did with just a concrete block and an old board that I found laying around someplace. I felt like a star the first time I jumped off of it without falling off my bike, but after I showed a friend of mine and he tried it, the jump didn’t seem as impressive. So I tried to make the set up more impressive. Another block under the board and a longer run to build up speed. But no matter how much I added to the jump, someone else was always able to match me. Consider the life of Evel Knievel, one of the best known stunt jumpers of all time. Because he was fearless in the face of challenges, he continued to take on larger challenges. He even joked about one day jumping over the Grand Canyon, but that was one stunt jump that he chose not to make. Evel Knievel didn’t make all of his jumps, and had the injuries to prove it.

In the world of performing stunts, you either nail it or you suffer the consequences.

When you set up a stunt, you have to consider all the possible outcomes your mind can envision, but you can’t see all the possibilities. You can set up safety mats and cushions, you can create harnesses to reduce your motion and make sure that your fire protection suit is set for flames with no openings to keep you protected, but there is always something that could go wrong. Consider the former WWE wrestler, Owen Hart. He had practiced and planned for to repel from the rafters of an event at an auditorium. This was a stunt that he had done in the past as well, but one night, something went wrong and he fell from the rafters and died. That could be your fate as well if you are a stunt performer for a living.

Don’t try this at home!

Consider the dangers of being a stunt performer the next time that you want to try your own stunts and rather than take the risk, sit down, put some kernels in your popcorn popper machine, pour some melted salted butter over it, get comfy on the couch and watch a Jackie Chan movie. Or look up an Evel Knievel jump on YouTube knowing that he is putting his own life at risk so that you don’t have to. This certainly is a lot safer and will keep you alive – and without broken bones – a lot longer than doing stunts will.

Interesting Things You’ll Find On A Movie Set

Interesting Things You’ll Find On A Movie Set

On a movie set, there’s a lot more going on than just the scene that’s being shot. From the green screen, to the props, to the presence of hundreds, even thousands, of extras, there are several fascinating aspects to virtually any movie set.

If you ever find yourself lucky enough to be on the set of a movie, even a low-budget film, there are several interesting things that you are going to want to look for.

The Green Screen

The opportunities of the green screen are incredible. The idea that you can have actors and objects moving across a blank screen, which later transpires to have dragons, city scapes- you name it, in entirely believable and seamless unity with the “real life” objects, structures and actors boggle the mind.

Green screen technology is only getting better, but the humour of how it looks, and the creativity and the adaptability of the actors and producers while working in front of and with the screen, is not something we get to see in the film. Occasionally, you can find behind-the-scenes footage that will show you how ridiculous this can look. It’s a testament to the truly great actors who can make you believe that whatever you’re seeing on screen is what they were seeing at the time the film was shot.

You see people dancing with green props, which, when computerised makes sense as an animal or mythical being, for example, but seeing a compelling and sometimes romantic dance with a green broom is something you should behold, at some point. You can also see people in green suits coming in to help “swoosh” the hair of an actor during a particularly blustery scene.

The Props

The props cupboard and props generally around a movie set are a cacophony of strange and exciting things.

Some, specially made for the in-production movie or previous movies are lying about or stored for use, such as believable guns and knives, for instance, but other ones such as robotic dogs, false limbs and heads are as much in abandon. Props can sometimes be created by accident. Other props are seemingly simple at the time of their creation, only to become extremely popular with fans. Some props become so famous, people recreate them. Think of the light sabers from Star Wars.

In fact, many props used in Hollywood, in particular, will appear in more than one film, others get auctioned to a unique array of characters that buy things like the David Hasselhoff boat from the Spongebob Squarepants movie. People are simply fantastic. You can find many famous movie props in restaurants like Planet Hollywood. There are also a number of film museums that feature some of the most iconic movie props in cinema history.

The Runner

The runner is an interesting being, kind of like an odd-job chameleon. The runner will do and can do almost everything, even if they’re not sure, they will be willing to learn. Many believe runners to be born with several more hands as they adopt a few hundred jobs at once on set.

On big movie sets, if you have a keen eye, you can often see them scuttling with an array of coffees and teas, they will also help with smaller production roles, extra fill ins and prop runs.

The Extras

The extras are a great bunch. Some are caught nervously trying not to get in the way of anyone, and usually confused as they got a call 30 minutes ago telling them to get to set and dress for a film based in the 18th century. More seasoned extras move about the set like they are Adam Sandler, they know everyone, and they are definitely ready for their pivotal cameo as they waltz past the leading actor.

For someone that enjoys people watching, movie-set extras are the crème de la crème group to sit and watch for the day. The way they nervously adapt to their positions and roles with the total enthusiasm of an A-list movie star is heartening, as well as seeing the relationships they form with the other extras and the conversations of their various cameos they’ve been in over the years.

Many famous actors got their start by working as a stunt performer or an extra. This isn’t lost on some people who turn out to be extras in one film after another, although many simply enjoy the experience of being an extra for what it is. You can find several famous, even strange examples of then-unknown actors popping up for a moment in one movie or another. One interesting example to check out is from the famous 1982 Paul Newman movie The Verdict. Watch closely in the final courtroom scene. Among the extras jurors, you can find Bruce Willis (Die Hard) and Tobin Bell (Jigsaw from the Saw movies) sitting very close to one another!