Hollywood film makers are always looking out for filming locations to suit their scripts, not only within the United States but across the world. Sometimes the outside locations are presented as popular American cities and some times few of the foreign locations depict other foreign lands with geographical similarities from another corner of the globe.
Some of these locations are amazingly different and some look pretty commonplace.
If asked when was the last time one saw Vancouver in one of the movie scenes, it would be a really difficult question to answer. This city works as an American city in many projects without even revealing its identity on screen. So much so that it is been addressed as the Hollywood of the North. So Vancouver is the Seattle of Fifty Shades of Gray and New York of The Interview at the same time. The other cities which are also depicted as are rural China and Pyongyang.
Although Katherine Bigelow chose Jordan over Morocco for Hurt Locker, there are many American film-makers who have been heading to Morocco due to consistent demand of Iraq war movies. Clint Eastwood, with his brilliance, transformed the city of Rabat into Fallujah in American Sniper. The other similar projects were Body of Lies &Green Zone. Other big names from the past where Moroccan locations were depicted as other towns are Somalia in Blackhawk Down, Tibet in Kundun, ancient Rome in Gladiator and Westeros in Game of Thrones.
When Peter Jackson decided to shoot Lord of the Rings trilogy in his hometown, he did not know the impact it is going to have on the future of movie-making, with NZ as a favorable location. It worked so well for the tourism industry that now, there are popular theme tours available in places like Queenstown, Matamata and Southern Alps. To top it up Narnia series was the latest to be shot in New Zealand. Now NZ is branded as the middle earth with hobbits as its inhabitants in a Geek’s mind and has a lot to offer to the seekers.
South Africa has made many appearances in Hollywood movies as different American locations and others outside America. Thanks to the bright sea shores and local talent due to the film academies present locally. The drenched coastline of Cape Town served as the ‘west Ireland’ in David Lean’s Ryan’s daughter. Robert Towne declared during the shoot of one of his project that how much did Cape Town resembled south California. This capital city has been presented in different extremes, starting from Sahara to Cote d’Azur in different works of movie making.
Greystone Mansion, Los Angeles
In numerous period dramas playing on the TV and big screens, this Tudor designed Mansion in Beverly Hills pretends to be an English or an American heritage location. This is a building from 1928 and could be easily mistaken for a location across the oceans. Some of the well-known buildings it has served as would be the home of Jeffrey Lebowski Sr. in The Big Lebowski, the older Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood and also in The Muppets.
This capital city of Czech Republic has been posing as other cities in Hollywood flicks for decades now. In the Oscar- Devourer Amadeus, it was presented as Vienna, in Casino Royale as multiple locations of Venice, London, and Miami. The team of Mission Impossible franchise repeatedly visited Prague sometimes allowing it to be the city it is and then portraying the city as Kremlin later.
This is one of the cities which gets to be itself most of the times on screen. Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College is a common vision in blockbusters like The King’s Speech &The Dark Knight Rises. Even in the latest James Bond flick Skyfall one of the popular buildings, The Broadgate tower was presented as a skyscraper of Shanghai.
Monument Valley, Utah
The Monument Valley on Arizona- Utah state line speaks for itself every time it is filmed for a project. Its very obvious landscape serves best for the westerns on the screens. This ritual was first started by John Ford with his creation Stagecoach in 1939. There were nine more works which followed the suit including the popular one The Searchers. Easy Rider, Thelma and Louise and Forrest Gump were some movies from different genres. However, the valley was best utilized when it was presented as a far-off planet in A Space Odyssey.
Griffith Park, LA
Just located in the backyard of Hollywood, this park is located in Santa Monica and is spread across 4,310 acres. It consists of caves, groves, carousel and the famous observatory. Some of the renowned filmmaking was done at Griffith in the yesteryears. These include The Birth of a Nation by DW Griffith, The Searchers by John Ford and Rebel Without a Cause by Nicholas Ray.
The term Spaghetti Westerns itself explains a lot about the movies made in Europe by an Italian filmmaker. Sergio Leone gained fame through his westerns which were originally shot at Andalucian flats of Spain called Almeria. Off this theme, there were some overgenerous Hollywood works which have been completed in Almeria. These include El Cid: King of Kings, Cleopatra and more recently Exodus: Gods and Kings by Ridley Scott.