Amazing Filming Locations

A place where films or television series is produced, is called filming location, instead of using movie sets built on a movie studio backlot or soundstage. A location is any place where a film crew will be filming or shooting  actors and recording their dialog during filmmaking. A dialog is not recorded may be considered as a second unit photography site in a location. Filming location is often selected by filmmakers to shoot, because they believe that realism in filmmaking, can be achieved in real places, however, the film budgets is often motivated using location for shooting. Most of the films shoot interior scenes on a sound stage and exterior scenes on location. The filming in an actual setting instead using a sound stage or back lot is called the location shooting. Although, most of making films is done on both location shooting and studio shoots, but low-budget films commonly  do more shooting on location, than bigger budget films because the shooting’s cost on film location, that already exists is much cheaper than creating that place from scratch. In most shooting situations, like the low budget films, often shoot in a studio. Prior to shooting or filming location, generally the production conduct a recce, (a Brtitish CanadianEnglish or recon (an American Australian English) military term that has been borrowed by media production in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, which is derived from the word reconnaissance, (example parolling of troops, miltary etc.) in the noun sense and reconnoitre  in the verb sense. Filming location refers to pre-filming or pre-production visit to a location to work out its suitability for filming or shooting, also an access to needed facilities, assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues, and is closely related to location scouting  (legal process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking and commercial photography). Recce is also used in radio and television production. The area behind or adjoining a movie studio with permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions or an area or space for temporary set construction is called backlot.

1)  The Passion of the Christ Film Locations

old city of Matera

old city of Matera

Basilicata Matera

Basilicata Matera

Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera, Italy

Sassi di Matera, Italy

Cinecittà Studios Entrance

Cinecittà Studios Entrance

The Passion of the Christ also called as The Passion a 2004 American epic biblical drama film, directed by actor Mel Gibson, starred by actor Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ. The Passion of Christ described the Jesus Christ’s Passion, according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Originally, director actor Mel Gibson, announced that he would use two old language without subtitles and rely on film storytelling, due to the Passion story is well-known, Gibson felt the need to avoid native language or dialect  of a specific population.The The Passion film was produced independently and shot in Italy, mostly at Cinecittà Studios in Rome, in the old city of Matera, and in the Craco ghost town region of Basilicata. The production costs of estimated US$30 million, plus an additional marketing costs estimated $15 million, were fully carried by Gibson and his company, Icon Productions. The Passion of the Christ was released on February 25, 2004, Ash Wednesday.  During the filming, director Mel Gibson consulted some theological advisers, such as American Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris. Assistant director Jan Michelini was struck twice by lightning during the shooting, and after some minutes, actor Jim Caviezel who portrayed as Jesus Christ, was also struck by lightning, accidentally scourged or whipped. Caviezel dislocated his shoulder, and suffered from pneumonia and hypothermia. Gibson reportedly warned Caviezel that playing Jesus would hurt his acting career before filming The Passion. Caviezel admitted in 2011, that good roles had been hard to come by ever since. Caviezel has starred as John Reese on the CBS crime drama series Person of Interest since September 2011. The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings in the city of Matera, Basilicata, Italy, located in the old town, composing of Sasso Caveoso and the later Sasso Barisano.The Sassi are reminiscent of ancient sites in and around Jerusalem and because of this, the Sassi have been used in many films as filming locations, such as The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Paolini, 1964), King David (Bruce Beresford, 1985),The Passion of the Christ (Gibson, 2004) and The Nativity Story (Hardwicke, 2006).

2)  Gladiator

Ouarzazate, Medina

Ouarzazate, Medina

Atlas Corporation Studios in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Atlas Corporation Studios in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Bourne Wood, the Gladiator Movie Castle

Bourne Wood, the Gladiator Movie Castle

Gladiator in the City of Rome scene

Gladiator in the City of Rome scene

Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical film directed by English film director and producer, Ridley Scott, starred by actors Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, Joaquin Phoenix as  Commodus, Connie Nielsen as as Lucilla, Maximus’s former lover and the older child of Marcus Aurelius, German-American actor Ralf Möller as Hagen, the late actor Oliver Reed as as Antonius Proximo in his final film, expat in United States actor Djimon Hounsou  as Juba, Derek Jacobi  as Senator Gracchus, John Shrapnel  as Senator Gaius, and Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius. Crowe plays the fictional character, loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius,betrayed when Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (played by Richard Harris), murdered his father and seized the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus’ ranks rises of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor. Between January and May 1999, the filming of Gladiator was shot in three filming locations, such as the opening battle scenes in the forests of Germania were shot in the Bourne Woods near Farnham, Surrey, England filmed for three weeks. Bourne Wood or Bourne Woods, is an area of coniferous woodland (trees or shrubs that bear cones and have needle-like or scale-like evergreen leaves) just south of Farnham, Surrey, England and a film location. When Ridley Scott learned the plan to remove the forest by the Forestry Commission, Scott convinced them to allow the shooting of the battle scene and burn it down. During the filming, director Scott and cinematographer John Mathieson, used multiple cameras filming at various frame rates and a 45-degree shutter, (rotary shutters are semicircular discs that spin in front of the film gate, alternately allowing light from the lens to strike the film, or blocking it) creating stop motion effects in the action sequences, the same techniques used for the 1998’s film Saving Private Ryan‘s battle sequences.The following scenes of slavery, desert travel, and gladiatorial training school were shot in Ouarzazate, Morocco  also known as The door of the desert, just south of the Atlas Mountains, shot over three weeks. To construct the arena where Maximus has his first fights, The crew used basic materials and local building techniques to manufacture the 30,000-seat mud brick arena to construct the gladiator arena where Maximus has his frist fight. While the scenes of Ancient Rome were shot  in Fort Ricasoli a large a structure or place from which one can resist attack fort in Kalkara, Malta, over a period of nineteen weeks. In Malta, A replica Colosseum of Rome of around one-third, was constructed, mostly from materials of plaster and plywood (the other two-thirds and remaining height were added digitally), built for several months and cost an estimated $1 million. While the reverse side of the complex supplied a rich assortment of Ancient Roman street furniture, colonnades, gates, statuary or sculpture and marketplaces for other filming requirements, with tented costume villages, had dressing rooms, storage, armorers, and other facilities. The rest of the Colosseum was created in computer-generated imagery,  application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs, commercials, videos, and simulators, using blueprints set-design, textures referenced from live action, and rendered in three layers providing lighting flexibility for merging of two video tracks in order to produce a new single image frame from the combined tracks in Flame and Inferno software. The Mill British post-production company was responsible for much of the CGI or computer-generated imagery effects that were added after filming, and also responsible for such tricks as merging of two video tracks in order to produce a new single image frame from the combined tracks for real tigers filmed on bluescreen into the fight scenes,adding smoke trails and extending the flight paths of the opening scene’s numerous weapons of flaming arrows to get around regulations on how far they could be shot during filming.The production used 2,000 live actors to create a computer-generated crowd of virtual actors around 35,000 that looked real and reacting to fight scenes. However, the sudden death of actor Oliver Reed as Antonius Proximo who died from heart attack during the filming in Malta, before his entire scenes had been shot. The Mill created a digital body double for the Proximo’s remaining scenes. The Ouarzazate area is a famous film-making location, with biggest studios in Morocco, inviting many international companies to work there. Noted films shot in Ouarzazate such as the 1962’s films Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights in 1987, The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988, The Mummy in 1999, Gladiator in 2000, Kingdom of Heaven in 2005, Kundun in 1997, Legionnaire in 1998, Hanna in 2011, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen in 2011, and also part of the TV series Game of Thrones. Ouarzazate is a city and capital of Ouarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Drâa, Morocco’s southern-central.

Sudika Kalkara, Fort Ricasoli

Sudika Kalkara, Fort Ricasoli

Malta, Kalkara, Fort Ricasoli

Malta, Kalkara, Fort Ricasoli

Fort Ricasoli is a large fortified area or fort in Kalkara, Malta, built by the Order of Saint John, between 1670 and 1693. The Fort Ricasoli occupiesa high point of land or rock projecting into a body of water, known as Gallows Point forming the eastern arm of Grand Harbour, and the Rinella Creek north shore.

3)  Snow White and the Huntsman

Marloes Sands beach filming location

Marloes Sands beach filming location

Marloes Sands beach

Marloes Sands beach

The Marloes Sands filming location for the film Snow White and the Huntsman

The Marloes Sands filming location for the film Snow White and the Huntsman

Gateholm island

Gateholm island

Bourne Wood set for Snow White and the Huntsman

Bourne Wood set for Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman is an American dark fantasy action film in 2012, based on the Snow White German fairy tale collected and produced by the Brothers Grimm. The Snow White film retelling of the fairy tale about Snow White growing up imprisoned by her powerful sorceress stepmother, Ravenna. Snow White escapes into the forest, and her stepmother Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron) tells Eric the Huntsman (portrayed by actor Chris Hemsworth) that if he captures Snow White, Ravenna will bring back Eric’s dead wife. However, the Huntsman shifts his loyalty to Snow White, and Ravenna disguises herself as an old woman, and tempts Snow White to eat a poisoned apple. Snow White and the Huntsman film is directed by Rupert Sanders, which was his first feature film, and written by Evan Daugherty, Martin Solibakke, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini. Snow White was portrayed by actress Kristen Stewart, Queen Ravenna played by actress Charlize Theron, the huntsman played by Chris Hemsworth, William played by Sam Claffin, Snow White’s childhood friend, and the dwarf seer played by Bob Hoskins. The film’s Principal photography took place in the United Kingdom, and the beach beach scenes were filmed on the long remote sandy Marloes Sands beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, near the Marloes village between September 26 and 29, 2011. During the progressed of filming, certain parts of the beach were advised to be off limits, though the beach was not closed to the public. The Marloes Sands beach is broadly curved and surrounded by cliffs, the beach gives great views of Stockholm Island and a small tidal island known as Gateholm Island, where a computer-generated castle was set on nearby, located off the south west coast of Pembrokeshire in the Wales’ south west side in the west of the UK, and port of Milford Haven, about 13km, known for its Romano-British remains. Above the beach is a field used for production purposes, and to have an access to the beach, a special wooden ramp was built for vehicles and horses.The Snow White and the Huntman film used for back-up research on fairy tales and medieval battles, uses academic consultants from the University of Chichester and the University of Oxford. Marloes Sands was used as the filming location for films such as Snow White and the Huntsman in September 2011 and the film The Lion in Water in 1968.

4)  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Angkor Thom Porta Sud interior

Angkor Thom Porta Sud interior

Preah Khan temple ruins

Preah Khan temple ruins

Preah Khan carved lintel

Preah Khan carved lintel

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider or simply Tomb Raider is an action film in 2001 based on the popular video game series Tomb Raider, featuring the character, Lara Croft portrayed by actress Angelina Jolie, directed by Simon West, which was released during the summer of 2001. The filming took place from July to November 2000, where some parts of the film were shot on location at Angkor, Cambodia. The Triangle of Light which is an artifact in the film, is part of the Illuminati legend, but in appearance only. The All-Seeing Eye triangle appears many times in the Illuminati history, but only as a symbol or an indication of membership, which can also be found in reference to the Free Masons. The triangle symbol can also be found on the face of the American Dollar, in the form of one of the Giza‘s pyramids with the eye suspended above it. In the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the Triangle of Light used as a device to control time. Lara Croft wants the Triangle of Light, to be with her long lost father once again, while the Illuminati organization, want it to just control time and edit the past into their favor. Long time ago, the Triangle of Light was divided in two, and the pieces were placed on opposite sides of the earth,but actually there are three pieces, because Lara needed a piece in her clock to forge the triangle. The temple at Angkor, Cambodia built as a Hindu Temple, but was later converted into a Buddhist temple, is a historical site, but it does not possess any magical properties. The temple also had astronomical associations built within the architecture, in accordance with Khmer (predominant ethnic group in Cambodia) and the Hindu belief. The temples have several solar and lunar alignments between western points along the axis and towers in the central galleries, so the sun will actually cast light onto corridors and reliefs, developed as to illuminate them with solar meaning. This idea was used in the film during the scene where the characters wait for the sun to strike a glass dome at a specific time in order to withdraw a piece of the Triangle.

Hatfield House , house of Lara Croft (image credit:en.wikipedia.org)

Hatfield House , house of Lara Croft (image credit:en.wikipedia.org)

Hatfield house (image credit:www.freedomdays.co.uk)

Hatfield house (image credit:www.freedomdays.co.uk)

Amboseli National Park, Kenya (image credit:www.amboseli.com)

Amboseli National Park, Kenya (image credit:www.amboseli.com)

Hells Gate National Park, Kenya (image credit:kibokokenyasafaris.com)

Hells Gate National Park, Kenya (image credit:kibokokenyasafaris.com)

Hells Gate

Hells Gate

Fischers tower at Hells Gate

Fischers tower at Hells Gate

Llyn Gwynant lake in Snowdonia, Wales.

Llyn Gwynant lake in Snowdonia, Wales.

 The Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life sequel,was released in 2003, despite surpassing Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (which was regarded as an improvement over this installment), was not as financially successful, only grossing $156 million compared to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’s $274 million gross. The Cradle of Life film’s budget was $100 million (less than the first film’s $115 million budget), which both films was financed by Tele München Gruppe (TMG), a media company based in Munich. The picture was also distributed internationally by Japanese company Toho-Towa. The filming lasted for three and a half months, and six-day shoots on location in Hong Kong, Santorini, Llyn Gwynant in North Wales (doubling for mainland China), and a two-week stint in Amboseli and Hell’s Gate in Kenya for shooting with the remaining shots of the picture filmed on soundstages in the United Kingdom. The The Cradle of Life film was banned in China (save for Hong Kong and Macau) after the China government complained that the film portrayed their country as lawless and “overrun with secret societies”. One movie scene was set in Shanghai, China, but it was shot on a set and not on location.The Cradle of Life also featured the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2003 model, as part of the Jeep’s advertising campaign, which was first seen when Lara parachutes into the moving vehicle in Africa and takes over the wheel from Kosa, (played by Djimon Hounsou). The Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, located in Kajiado County, Kenya. The Hell’s Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya,north west of Nairobi. Hell’s Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. Llyn Gwynant is a lake located in Snowdonia, Wales. The lake is famous for canoeing and kayaking with access from the A498 road running along its south bank, used as a filming location in the 2003 film.

5)  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Cassiobury Park

Cassiobury Park

Whippendell Woods

Whippendell Woods

Plaza Espana Atardecer asthe Naboo Planet in Episode II

Plaza Espana Atardecer asthe Naboo Planet in Episode II

Star Wars Tatooine City

Star Wars Tatooine City

Star Wars Episode 1, Mos Espa Village in Tunisian desert

Star Wars Episode 1, Mos Espa Village in Tunisian desert

Hotel Sididriss in Mat mata

Hotel Sididriss in Mat mata

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Whippendell Wood

Whippendell Wood

Chott el Djerid Lars homestead

Chott el Djerid Lars homestead

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is an American epic space opera or Science fiction film in 1999,  written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox, and the fourth installment in the Star Wars series, starring Liam Neeson as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi later known as Ben Kenobi, Natalie Portman as Queen Padmé Amidala, Jake Lloyd as young Anakin Skywalker, Ian McDiarmid as also known as Senator PalpatineSupreme Chancellor PalpatineEmperor Palpatine, and Darth Sidious), Ahmed Best, Ray Park, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Permilla August and Frank Oz. Star Wars film was George Lucas’ first production as a film director after a hiatus for 22-year following the original film of Star Wars,and overall his fourth film. On June 26, 1997, the Star Wars filming began, and ended on September 30, 1997, filming primarily took place at Leavesden Film Studios in England, which was was leased for a two and a half years so the production company could leave the sets intact and return after completing the principal photography. The Naboo forest scenes were shot at Cassiobury Park in Watford, Hertfordshire.The Whippendell Woods served as a Star Wars filming location in 1997,when it provided the backdrop of a forest on the Naboo planet, which featured in the scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in which Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) first met Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best). The Tatooine scenes was also shot in the Tunisian desert, the Mos Espa was built outside the city of Tozeur. On the night following the third day of shooting in Tozeur, an unexpected sandstorm destroyed many of the sets and props. The production was quickly rescheduled to allow for repairs and was able to leave Tunisia on the date originally planned.  Matmata Used for courtyard shots and Lars dinner scene. The homestead also featured in Attack of the Clones. Ksar Ouled Soltane  is a fortified granary, or ksar, located in the Tataouine district in southern Tunisia, now a tourist destination, with its well-preserved granary vaults, which was also seen in the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace film, which in some of the scenes used as the slave quarters of Mos Espa, where the character Anakin Skywalker lived as a boy. Chott el Djerid is a large  endorheic salt lake basin  is a closed drainage basin, that retains water and no outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans in southern Tunisia.   

Caserta Palace Honour Grand Staircase

Caserta Palace Honour Grand Staircase

Campania Caserta throne room

Campania Caserta throne room

Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California

Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California

Chalmun's Cantina, Ajim, Tunisia

Chalmun’s Cantina, Ajim, Tunisia

Mos Espa,Tunisia,  Star Wars filming location

Mos Espa,Tunisia, Star Wars filming location

The Royal Palace of Caserta is a former royal residence in Caserta, southern Italy, built for the Bourbon kings of Naples, and has been used as a filming location in numerous movie productions. The palace also served as the Star Wars filming location in 1997, when it was used as the setting for the royal palace on Naboo for Queen Amidala, in the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace film in 1999. And was again featured in the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film in 2002 as the palace of Queen Jamilla. The Caserta Palace in Italy, was used as the interior of the Theed City Naboo Palace, and had been closed to visitors, while the palace was used as a location for four days. The Leavesden Studio was used for the explosion scenes, filmed on replica sets in Leavesden. The same room was also used as the Vatican City in the film Mission: Impossible III, where the scene of a Lamborghini car is blown up in a square inside the palace. The Palace of Caserta’s main staircase is also used as the Vatican’s staircase in the film Angels & Demons. The Mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli, used the Caserta palace as the filming location for the L’art des castrats that accompanies her Sacrificium album, dedicated and music written to the castrato singers of the baroque period. In 19955, the film featured the Caserta Palace starred by actress Gina Lollobrigida, and in the 1968’s film Anzio opening scenes, starring Robert Mitchum. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael, Ireland Star Wars filming location

Skellig Michael, Ireland Star Wars filming location

Skellig Michael cemetery and large oratory

Skellig Michael cemetery and large oratory

RAF Greenham Common, filming location in England

RAF Greenham Common, filming location in England

Greenham Common Bunkers

Greenham Common Bunkers

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also known as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is an upcoming American epic space opera or science fiction film directed by J.J. Abrams. The film is the seventh installment in the episodic Star Wars film series, starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gomleeson and Max Sydow, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker with his returning roles from his previous Star Wars film series.The Force Awakens’ story is set approximately 30 years after the events of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. J.J.Abrams stated in February 2014, that the filming would begin in May and last about three months.The filming took place over three days, on July 29, 2014, at Skellig Michael island off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland with a casts Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. However, in early August 2014, the production was stopped for two weeks, so Abrams could work again, shooting in Harrison Ford’s absence, and resumed with a fully healed Ford in mid-August. The RAF Greenham Common military base in Berkshire, near Pinewood Studios, was used as a filming location in September 2014, and featuring several spaceships set constructions from the Star Wars Universe, and on November 3, 2014, the principal photography was finished. Skellig Michael or Great Skellig  is an island where a Christian Monastery was founded, and the larger of the two Skellig Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.The Royal Air Force Station Greenham Common or RAF Greenham Common is a former Royal Air Force station in Berkshire, England, located to the south-east of Newberry, Berkshire.

6)  Harry Potter Filming location at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden

Harry Potter Leavesden entrance

Harry Potter Leavesden entrance

Hogwarts model studio tour

Hogwarts model studio tour

Knight Bus used in Harry Potter film series

Knight Bus used in Harry Potter film series

Harry Potter's cottage, Godric's Hollow

Harry Potter’s cottage, Godric’s Hollow

Gringotts Wizarding Bank (Harry Potter movies)

Gringotts Wizarding Bank (Harry Potter movies)

Scribbulus Diagon Alley

Scribbulus Diagon Alley

The Great Hall, Hogwarts

The Great Hall, Hogwarts

Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden  is a 80-hectare studio complex in Leavesden, Hertfordshire in southeastern England, formerly known as Leavesden Film Studios, known colloquially Leavesden Studios or simply Leavesden, a major film and media complex owned by Warner Bros.The Leavesden studios and backlot were all modified as the original use of the site was as a Rolls-Royce plc factory and airfield known as Leavesden Aerodrome, which was an important aircraft production center during the World War II. The Warner Bros. has opened a public attraction called The Warner Bros. Studio Tour – London, since acquiring the studio site, which accomodates over 5,000 visitors a day, while the studio site maintains a secure studio space within the same complex. The studio site became a popular filming location, after Golden Eye covered a succession of major feature films, which includes the first of the Star Wars prequels. Heyday Films had acquired the site on behalf of Warner Bros. by 2000, for use in what would be the first in a series of films, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and every one of the Harry Potter films series which was based out of Leavesden Studios over the following ten years. While other Warner Bros. productions made partial use of the studios, due to the site was mostly occupied by permanent standing sets of the Harry Potter films. Although during this time, it was known that there were some ways of improving the facilities’ site. During the filming of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2  there was a fire on one of the sets of Hogwarts at Leavesden Studios on March 21, 2010, though, no serious damage on the set. The studio tour lasts for three hours every session, which has the capacity to handle 5,000 visitors daily. The studio tour is not styled as a Harry Potter theme park, despite Warner Bros. being the film company behind Harry Potter,because the rights is obtained by the Universal Studios to build the said theme parks,  such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in Orlando, Florida.The studio tour, was designed and produced by Thinkwell Group a Burbank-based production company, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and the Harry Potter series’ filmmakers, major sets, props and costumes, including the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s Office, Diagon Alley, the Ministry of Magic, Gryffindor Common Room and Boys’ Dormitory, Hagrid’s Hut and a Hogwarts Castle.

Eeylops Owl Emporium

Eeylops Owl Emporium

Rubeus Hagrid (played by Robbie Coltrane)

Rubeus Hagrid (played by Robbie Coltrane)

Eeylops Owl Emporium sells owls and supplies such as treats, cages and supplies for owl, and the inside, is dark and full of soft hooting, rustling, and the flickering of jewel-bright eyes. In the Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone series, Rubeus Hagrid purchased snow owl, Hedwig, here at the emporium for Harry Potter’s birthday present.

Hogwarts Castle or Hogwart''s School

Hogwarts Castle or Hogwart”s School

The Great Hall, Hogwarts

The Great Hall, Hogwarts

Chamber of Secrets

Chamber of Secrets

GWR Hall 5972 Olton Hall as Hogwarts Express

GWR Hall 5972 Olton Hall as Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, or shortened Hogwarts, is a fictional British school of magic for students aged eleven to eighteen, and is the Harry Potter series’ primary setting for the first six books of Harry Potter by author J.K. Rowlings. In 2008, the Hogwarts school was voted as the 36th best Scottish educational establishment online ranking, and outranking Edinburgh’s Loretto School, founded in 1827, an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. The school campus occupies 85 acres (34 ha) in Musselburgh, East Lothian, and has approximately 600 pupils. According to an Independent Schools Network Rankings’ director, it was added to the schools listing for fun and was then voted on.

7)  Pinewood Studios/ James Bond’s Film Locations

Pinewood Studios Gateway

Pinewood Studios Gateway

Goldfinger Avenue at Pinewood Studios

Goldfinger Avenue at Pinewood Studios

Isla Tapu, Phuket, Tailandia,

Isla Tapu, Phuket, Tailandia,

James Bond Island or Ko Tapu Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island or Ko Tapu Phang Nga Bay

Pinewood Studios is a film  and television studio located in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, approximately 20 miles  or 32 km west of central London, run by The Pinewood Studio Group.The Pinewood studios have served as host to many film productions over the years from big films, television shows, commercials, pop promos and well known as the home of the blockbuster film series such as James Bond, Harry Potter, Superman and Carry On. In the 1960’s, the Pinewood Studio maintained satisfactorily high level production, which was no longer dependent filling its stages on the Rank Organisation, currently all Renters such as film producers hiring the sound stages for a film-by-film agreement, were using half of the stages. Pinewood studios’ one of its most famous enterprises, the 1962 James Bond franchise, that began with Dr. No directed by British film director and screenwriter, Terence Young. During the 1970’s, the Pinewood studio and its film industry period were uncertain, with the studios being used more for television programs, such as Gerry Anderson’s UFO, Space:1999 and The Persuaders starred by actors Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. And throughout the 1970’s, the lowest years of the studio,  the Superman franchise almost certainly saved the studios from financial crisis. Four series of the James Bond movies, such as For Your Eyes Only (1981 played by Roger Moore), Octopussy (1983 played by Roger Moore), A View to Kill (1985 by Roger Moore) and The Living Daylights (1987, Timothy Dalton as James Bond) were among the several other very large productions, such as Aliens and Tim Burton’s Batman, kept the studio busy during the decade. In the 1990’s the Pinewood studio were likely to collapsed due to unfavorable tax laws for inward investment in the film industry in the United Kingdom  and witnessed an all-time low generally in British film production, however, many large-scale productions such as Alien 3, Tim Burton’s Batman Returns and three James Bond film series such as Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough kept Pinewood studio operating. Phang Nga Bay  is a 400 km2 bay in the Strait of Malacca between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay Peninsula of southern Thailand. An extensive section of the bay has been protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park since 1981, one of the most famous of the many islands in the bay is the James Bond Island, a needle formed limestone rock in the sea, which was featured in The Man with the Golden Gun movie. The James Bond Island’s nearby villages, such as Ao Luk or Ao Luek is a district (amphoe) in Krabi Province, Thailand. Khao Phing Kan or Ko Khao Phing Kan  is an island in Phang Nga Bay, northeast of Phuket, Thailand. Khao Phing Kan has been popularly called James Bond Island after it was featured in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun.

Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Seawise University wreck, former RMS Queen Elizabeth

Seawise University wreck, former RMS Queen Elizabeth

Islets in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Islets in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth James Bond series spy film in 1974, and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional M16 James Bond agent, with actor Christopher Lee‘ villain character as Scaramanga, of similar skill and ability to Bond. On November 6, 1973, the filming started at the partly submerged wreck of the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which acted as a top-secret MI6 base grounded in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, and other filming locations in Hong Kong includes Hong Kong Dragon Garden as the estate of Hai Fat, a Thai millionaire industrialist who was employing Scaramanga to assassinate the inventor of the Solex (a revolutionary solar energy device) and steal the device, portrayed by actor Richard Loo (October 1, 1903 – November 20, 1983) which portrayed a location in Bangkok. Other filming locations includes Bangkok, Thon Buri, Phuket and the nearby Phang Nga Province, the islands of Ko Khao Phing Kan (as Scaramanga’s hideout) and Ko Tapu.The Ko Tapu is now referred to as James Bond Island both by locals and in tourist guidebooks. The scene during the boxing match using an actual Muay Thai boxers at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. The film production returned to Hong Kong, and also shot in Macau island for its famous casinos, which Hong Kong does not have. Some scenes in Thailand had to be finished, and also the production had to move to work in Pinewood Studios, such as the set for  Scaramanga’s solar energy plant and island interior. The production hired Academy Award winner British cinematographer Oswald Morris (November 22, 1915 – March 17, 2014) to finish the job after cinematographer and camera operator, Ted Moore (August 7, 1914 – 1987) became ill.

8)   The Lord of the Rings

Matamata sign, The Hobbiton

Matamata sign, The Hobbiton

Bag End door

Bag End door

Agujeros hobbit, Tolkien Tourism

Agujeros hobbit, Tolkien Tourism

Hobbit holes

Hobbit holes

Hobbiton mill and double-arched bridge

Hobbiton mill and double-arched bridge

Hobbiton bridge (image credit:www.lookafterme.co.nz)

Hobbiton bridge (image credit:www.lookafterme.co.nz)

Green Dragon salon

Green Dragon salon

Tongariro Nationalpark Mount Ruhapeu as Mount Doom in the movies

Tongariro Nationalpark Mount Ruhapeu as Mount Doom in the movies

house of Bilbo Baggins in Hobbiton, New Zealand

house of Bilbo Baggins in Hobbiton, New Zealand

The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel novel written by English author J.R.R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien), which the story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s fantasy novel 1937 The Hobbit, but was developed into a much larger work. The Lord of the Rings’ three volumes were titled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The story begins in the Shire (fictional middle earth), where the Hobbit Frodo Baggins  (played by Elijah Wood) inherits the Ring from his cousin and guardian, Bilbo Baggins, which both of them is aware of the Ring’s origin and nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and old friend of Bilbo, suspects the identity of the Ring. When Gandalf becomes certain, he advises Frodo to take it away from the Shire. Matamata is a rural Waikato town in New Zealand with around 7, 500 population, located near the Kaimai Ranges base, and is a thriving farming area famous for Thoroughbred horse breeding and training pursuits. Matamata is also part of the Matamata-Piako District, which takes in the surrounding rural areas such as Morrinsville and Te Aroha. The Hobbiton Movie Set filming location is in a nearby farm in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. The government of New Zealand decided to leave the Hobbit holes built on location as tourist attractions, since the Hobbit holes were designed to blend into the environment. During the filming intervening time of The Return of the King and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the production had no furniture or props, but could be entered with  pleasing view of the farm viewed from inside them. On the main road visitors can see a sign of Welcome to Hobbiton has been placed. Parts of Hobbiton began to close in 2011, for the preparation for the three new movies based on the first Tolkien novel, The Hobbit. The Hobbiton Movie Set was a famous filming location used for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film series.The Hobbiton Movie Set is situated on a family run farm about 8 km west of Hinuera and 10 kilometres southwest of Matamata, in Waikato, New Zealand, and is now a Tolkien tourism destination, offering guided tours of the set. In December 1999, the filming started and lasted for three months. Actors who were casts in scenes on the site were Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Ian Holmand, Sean Astin. The movie set was rebuilt in 2010 in a more permanent fashion for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which the filming began in 2011. Ian McKellen reprised his role as the wizard, Gandalf the Grey but returns from death as Gandalf the White, and was joined on the Hobbiton location by actor Martin Freeman who played as Bilbo Baggins, who stated that the Hobbiton site “just looked like a place where people lived and where people worked”. The Hobbiton Movie Set’s highlight’s tour include Bagshot Row (Shire or Middle-Earth),the Party Tree, and Bilbo‘s Bag End home.There are 44 hobbit holes on view at the Hobbiton Movie Set currently, although it is not possible to enter any of them, so the Bag End interior was shot in a studio in Wellington. The Green Dragon, is an inn at Bywater, a village situated on the East Road along a natural pool in the stream called The Water, the last building on the side of the village nearest to Hobbiton. At the beginning of the Quest of Erebor  the Lonely Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves went ahead to the Green Dragon Inn to make preparations and await Bilbo Baggins. The Green Dragon Inn (a replica of the Green Dragon that featured in the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies) was opened in 2012 on the set. In 2014, additional store selling merchandise and souvenirs adjacent to the cafe and evening events commenced began.

9)   The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Pravcicka Brana

Pravcicka Brana

Elephant Rocks in Waitaki Valley, New Zealand

Elephant Rocks in Waitaki Valley, New Zealand

Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Czech Republic

Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Czech Republic

Elbe River, near Czech Republic

Elbe River, near Czech Republic

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film, directed by Andrew Adamson based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published and second chronological novel in C.S. Lewis’ epic fantasy series for children, The Chronicles of Narnia.The fantasy film was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures,distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. Actor William Moseley portrayed the character as Peter Pevensie, the eldest of the Pevensie siblings, Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie, second to the eldest Pevensie siblings, the youngest Pevensie child Lucy Pevensie portrayed by Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie secodn to the youngest of the siblings. The four British Pevensie siblings, Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund, evacuated during the Blitz (bombing of the UK by the Nazi Germany during the World War II), to the countryside, who find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia, and became an ally with Aslan, the Lion (voiced by actor Liam Neeson) against the forces of Jadis, the White Witch, (played by Tilda Swinton).The screenplay was written by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus based on the novel by C.S. Lewis. The film was released on December 9, 2005, in both Europe and North America.On June 28, 2004, the film’s Principal photography began. The first scene, the railway scene, was shot at the former Hobsonville Air Base, and later, the Blitz scene was shot, which director Adamson called their first formal day of shooting.The filmmakers asked permission to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, to bring in twelve reindeer to New Zealand to pull the Ice Queen’s sled, however their request was denied, citing for the reason of the deadly Q fever from which the North American reindeer population suffers. But then, ten wolves and wolf hybrids were allowed in, for filming in Auckland. Mark Rappaport’s Creature Effects, Inc. created four animatronic reindeer, to replace the live reindeer which were denied, that were used in shots where the deer were standing in place.The created reindeer were designed with replaceable skins to get the most usage, brown reindeer for Father Christmas‘s and white reindeer for those of the White Witch. The Narnia cast and crew spent their time in Aukland, New Zealand, before moving in November to the South Island, for another filming locations at Elephant Rocks near Duntroon in North Otago, New Zealand, which was transformed into a camp for Aslan the Lion. The castle scene was filmed in The Catlins district in Purakaunui Bay, not far from the most southern point in New Zealand. Several landscape scenes in the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe filming location was filmed in the Czech Republic in Prague and České Švýcarsko National ParkSlovenia at Bohemian Switzerland also known as Czech Switzerland, is a picturesque region in the north-western Czech Republic, which lies on the Czech side of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains north of Děčín on both sides of the Elbe River, and Poland, after the Christmas break before packing up in February. Because the Pravčická brána can no longer be climbed on the scenes, in which the actors appear to run over the arch were shot in the studio and pasted in. The Elephant Rocks in New Zeland area has been used as a filming location for the first 2005’s Chronicles of Narnia movie when it was transformed into Aslan’s camp.

Barrandov Rocks sign

Barrandov Rocks sign

Narnia movie set at Barrandov Studios (image credit:www.narniaweb.com)

Narnia movie set at Barrandov Studios (image credit:www.narniaweb.com)

Narnia movie set at Barrandov Studios (images credit:www.radio.cz)

Narnia movie set at Barrandov Studios (images credit:www.radio.cz)

 

Barrandov Studios is a famous set of film studios in Prague, Czech Republic, the largest film studio in the country and one of the largest in Europe. Several blockbuster movies used this studio as filming location and won Oscars.The Barrandov Studios often called the European Hollywood or Hollywood of the East, currently, due to increasing interest of western productions, such as the movies Mission Impossible, The Bourne Identity, Casino Royale, Prince Caspian  and many other films. Director Roman Polanski, a famous director claims Barrandov Studios is the world’s best studio.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Cair Paravel Castle

Cair Paravel Castle

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Rock arch at Cathedral Cove

Rock arch at Cathedral Cove

Soca Valley, Slovenia

Soca Valley, Slovenia

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is a 2008 epic fantasy film Prince Caspian, based on the second published, fourth chronological novel in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia epic fantasy series, from Walden Media, following the 2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  The four Pevensie children ( William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley) return to Narnia to help Prince Caspian, played by Ben Barnes, in his struggle for the throne against King Miraz (portrayed by Sergio Castellito) his corrupt uncle.The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ film was released in the United States on May 16, 2008 and in teh United Kingdom released on June 26, 2008. The screenplay was written by Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, based on the novel by C. S. Lewis. The film Prince Caspian is also the last of Narnia film series to be co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, due to the future film starting with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader‘s distributor is the 20th Century Fox. The before the actors grew older for their parts, the production began working on the script so they could start filming, before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released. The scouting for filming locations took them eight months such as Ireland,  China and Argentina, and chosen New Zealand, Prague, Slovenia and Poland for the locations, although, the previous film was shot most in New Zealand with a few months of filming in Central Europe, Adamson decided due to New Zealand lacked enough sound stages so to accommodate more bigger scale of the film, thus, Adamson decided to move to other locations. Adamson’s decision to film most of the picture in Europe was very appropriate for the shooting because of the continent’s summer season, however during the filming, the weather turned out to be so erratic, that Adamson joked he had been lied to, which the filming started in Auckland, New Zealand on February 12, 2007, which the scene shot where the returning to the ruined Cair Paravel of the Pevensies children shot at Cathedral Cove known as Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve is on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, which this location was chosen by the filmmakers, because it had a tunnel-like arch, which echoed the train tunnel where the Pevensie children went before being summoned back into Narnia. The Henderson Valley Studios was used for the Pevensies’ ancient treasure room and the Underground station. The crew began filming at Barrandov Studios in Prague, on April 1, 2007, created the movie sets such as Miraz’s castle, Aslan’s How and also created the underground hiding places of the Narnians. Cair Paravel is the fictional castle where the Kings and Queens of Narnia rule in The Chronicles of Narnia, the location of the four thrones of High King Peter the Magnificent, High Queen Susan the Gentle, King Edmund the Just, and Queen Lucy the Valiant. The Cathedral Cove is named after the cave located there, that linked into Mare’s Leg Cove to Cathedral Cove, and within the reserve, the Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay are also located. Henderson Valley Studios is the largest film studio complex in New Zealand, located in Henderson, West Auckland, which the complex’s  entrances are on Hickory Ave, Henderson Valley Road and Rabone Street, Henderson. Since 1994, the Henderson Valley Studios have been used as film studios locations during the television series filming of Hercules and Xena, also used for countless commercials for television.In June 2007, The Prince Caspian film was shot at the bridge battle near Bovec in the in the Soča Valley, Slovenia or Isonzo, because of the resemblance of the filming location to New Zealand. The production built large bridge, which was modeled on the one Julius Caesar built to cross the battle’s Rhine Part, which was shot at Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic.

10)  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California

Hampton Court Great Gatehouse

Hampton Court Great Gatehouse

Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College

Castillo de San Cristobal,San Juan,Puerto Rico

Castillo de San Cristobal,San Juan,Puerto Rico

San Cristobal officers' quarters

San Cristobal officers’ quarters

Isla Palomino, Puerto Rico

Isla Palomino, Puerto Rico

Halona Blowhole, Hawaii

Halona Blowhole, Hawaii

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 American fantasy Swashbuckler films a subgenre of the action film genre, and the fourth installment film series in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, the first film in the series, which was not directed by Gore Verbinski, being replaced by Rob Marshall, and again, serving as the producer is Jerry Bruckheimer. The film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is based from the On Stranger Tides by Tim powers. The Pirates of the Caribbean starring Johnny Depp as Capatain Jack Sparrow with co-star actress Penelope Cruz as Angelica in his search for the Fountain of Youth, facing infamous pirate Blackbeard portrayed by Ian McShane. The film was released on May 20, 2011, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the first film in the series to be released in the Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D formats. In 2017, a sequel of the Pirates of the Caribbean film with title Dead Men Tell No Tales is set for release. In 2008, Johnny Depp signed on to return as Captain Jack Sparrow and stated that he would come back if the script was good. On June 14, 2010, the Principal photography began in Hawaii. In August 2010 the shooting was moved to Long Beach, California’ shore and a recreation of Whitecap Bay done in the Universal Studios backlot, due to the original filming location on Halona Cove, Hawaii was invaded with strong tides, following a brief shooting in Puerto Rico, with locations in both Palomino Island and the Fort of San Cristobal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In September, the production moved to the United Kingdom, where principal photography covered on November 18 after 106 days of shooting. Other filming locations includes Hampton Court Palace in London, Knole House in Kent and the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich. The interiors were shot at Pinewood Studios, and a replica of an 18th-century London street was built on the backlot with the soundstages. The filmmakers have also considered using New Orleans as a filming location. A celebrity impersonator was able to gained an access to filming at the Old Royal Naval College in October, who was dressed up as Captain Jack which the security was violated at the UK site. The Walt Disney decided to give a lower budget to the fourth installment, with costs cutting was implement, such as moving primary production to Hawaii and London, where tax credits are more favorable, and have a shorter schedule for filming and shot fewer scenes that features special effects compared to At World’s End. The filming in 1966’s A Man for All Seasons was also shot at the Hampton Court Palace directed by Fred Zinnemann, and also featured in the HBO John Adams miniseries in 2008, where Adams was received by King George III as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St Jame’s and in 2011’s film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  

Knole House, Sevenoaks in Kent

Knole House, Sevenoaks in Kent

Deer in front of Knole Park

Deer in front of Knole Park

Penshurst Place

Penshurst Place

Dover Castle,

Dover Castle,

Knole House is an English country house, and one of the largest houses in England, in the civil parish of Sevenoaks the town in west Kent and then the Knole Park within which the house is situated. In the 2008’s film The Other Boleyn Girl the Knole House was also featured along with nearby Penshurst Place and Dover Castle. The Knole House was also seen in several other films such as the 2010 film Burke and Hare, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides. 

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