- Filming location
A filming location is a place where some or all of a
filmor television series is produced, in addition to or instead of using sets constructed on a studio backlotor soundstage. For example, the television series "24" is filmed primarily on location except for some scenes which are always filmed on the same sets.
On location is a term used to describe the filming on such a real site. The term is often "mistakenly" believed to mean that the production is being filmed on the actual location in which its story is set, but this is not necessarily the case.
Pros and cons
Location filming has several advantages over filming on a studio set:
* It can be cheaper than constructing large sets
* The illusion of reality can be stronger - it is hard to replicate real-world wear-and-tear, and architectural details
* It sometimes allows the use of cheaper non-union labor or to bypass a work stoppage in the US. Canadian locations such as
Vancouverand Torontoare known for this.
* It sometimes allows "frozen" currency to be used. The 1968 movie "
Kelly's Heroes" was filmed in Yugoslaviausing profits that had been made on movie exhibitions in that country but couldn't be exported.
Its disadvantages include:
* A lack of control over the environment - passing aircraft, traffic, pedestrians, bad weather, city regulations, etc.
* Finding a real-world location which exactly matches the requirements of the script
* Members of the audience may be familiar with a real-world location used to double as a fictional location (such as "
Rumble in the Bronx" inexplicably showing the mountains outside Vancouver in the background of an urban Bronx-set scene)
* Taking a whole film crew to film on location can be extremely expensive
Location filming can provide significant economic development benefit to an area, including local cast and crew and the use of facilities such as catering and accommodation.
Location filming usually requires a
Location Manager, and locations are usually chosen by a Location Scout. Many popular locations, such as New York Cityin the United States, and the Isle of Manin the United Kingdom, have dedicated film offices to encourage location filming, and to suggest appropriate locations to film-makers.
In many cases a
second unitis despatched to film location scenes, with a second unit directorand sometimes with stand-inactors. These locations shots can then be edited into the final film or TV program alongside studio-shot sequences, to give an authentic flavour, without the expense or trouble of a full-scale location shoot. " NYPD Blue", for example, was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, but used second unit footage of New York City for colour, as well as featuring a small number of episodes filmed on location with the cast.
It is common for films to be set in one place, but filmed in another, usually for reasons of economy or convenience, but sometimes because the substitute location looks more historically appropriate.
Some substitute filming locations, and the corresponding film setting, include:
Spain- Southwest USA (" The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", as well as numerous other Spaghetti Westerns)
Augusta, GA- Boston, Massachusetts("That Darn Cat" (1997))
* Bath, UK -
Boston, Massachusetts("Sleepy Hollow" (1999)
Bristol, UK - Peckham, London(" Only Fools and Horses")
Berlin, Germany- Paris, London("Around the World in 80 Days" (2004)), Moscow, Russia("The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007))
Birmingham, UK - New York City (" Velvet Goldmine")
Brent Cross, London, UK - Hamburg(" Tomorrow Never Dies")
Budapest, Hungary- Berlin (" Spy Game"), Paris(" Maigret" - UK TV series (1993))
Chicagoelevated railway - New York elevated railway(" Spider-Man 2")
* City Chambers,
Glasgow, Scotland- The Vatican (" Heavenly Pursuits")
* Fort Hunter Liggett,
California- Vietnam(" We Were Soldiers")
* Glasgow, Scotland - Moscow, Russia ("Gorky Park), New York City ("
The House of Mirth")
Hamilton, Ontario- American blue-collar towns & inner cities. Detroit (" Exit Wounds" (2002)), the Bronx (" Finding Forrester" (2000))
Hawaii- West Africa(" Tears of the Sun"), Brazilian Amazon (" The Rundown")
Helsinki, Finland- Moscow, Russia ("Gorky Park")
Hedsor House, England- A beautiful English film location ("Most Mysterious Murders")
Isle of Man, UK - Ireland(" Waking Ned")
Iceland- Himalayas(" Batman Begins"), and Iwo Jima("Flags of Our Fathers")
Lincoln Cathedral, UK - Westminster Abbey("The Da Vinci Code")
Liverpool, UK - Moscow, Russia (" Yentl", "The Hunt for Red October")
* Long Beach, California - Various movies
Madrid, Spain - Moscow, Russia ("Doctor Zhivago")
Malta- Ancient Sparta("Troy"); Ancient Rome("Gladiator"); Rome, Beirut, Cyprus, Tel Aviv, Athens("Munich"); Sweethaven ("Popeye")
Manchester, UK - New York (" Alfie" (2004))
Melbourne, Australia- London, New York City ("Queen of the Damned")
New Zealand- Japan(" The Last Samurai")
Oxford, UK - The Republic of China ("Spy Game")
Prague, Czech Republic- Vienna, Austria("Amadeus" (1984)), Zürich, Switzerland("The Bourne Identity" (2002))
Romania- Los Angeles (" Seed of Chucky")
* Roslyn, USA - Cicely,
Alaska(" Northern Exposure")
* Royal Horticultural Hall, London, UK - interior Berlin Tempelhof Airport ("
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade")
Seville, Spain - Havana, Cuba(" Die Another Day")
Slovakia- California (" Ravenous")
Wales- North Korea(" Die Another Day")
St PancrasHotel, London - Arkham Asylum, Gotham City(" Batman Begins")
Saint Petersburg, Russia - Berlin, Germany (" Der Untergang" ("Downfall"))
Sydney, Australia - Metropolis (" Superman Returns" (2006))
Thailand- Various locations around Thailand have been used for many films depicting the Vietnam Warera, including " The Deer Hunter", "The Killing Fields", " Casualties of War", "Air America" and " Operation Dumbo Drop".
* Tilbury Docks,
Essex, UK - Gotham Harbour ("Batman Begins")
Toronto, Canada- [http://www.toronto.ca/tfto/replocations.htm Many locations] are depicted, but Chicagoand New York Cityare most often represented.
Valles Caldera, New Mexico- various
Canada- depicting various places but often Washingtonstate, especially Seattle
Vienna, Austria- Bratislava, Czechoslovakia(" The Living Daylights")
Winnetka, Chicago - (" Home Alone")
Location Manager, the person responsible for the locations department
Location scouting, filming location
Location library, location library
Film production, film production
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