This week we’ve covered eye-catching new commercials from Garmin, VW China and a Brazilian language school, with filming locations found in Austria, Beijing and California respectively. New figures from Britain revealed that the UK had a good 2011, while Columbia Pictures is scouting Malta and North Africa for its new Tom Hanks project Captain Phillips.
Garmin chose a private alpine highway in Austria for part of its new Winter Training campaign with cycling superstar Christophe LeMèvel. The reality is that this spot could have been filmed in pretty much any alpine environment in the world, as there’s nothing distinctly ‘Austrian’ on offer here, but then that wasn’t necessarily the intention. Either way, Garmin’s spot is a good showcase for a generic alpine option in southern Europe.
The reality is that the new Garmin spot could have been filmed in pretty much any alpine environment in the world, as there’s nothing distinctly ‘Austrian’ on offer here, but then that wasn’t necessarily the intention.
Beijing is the setting for VW’s celebration of Chinese New Year, featuring a CGI dragon loping through a side street in the city. The advert was put together pretty quickly and it shows – the CGI isn’t too convincing. In a sense it seems odd that the production went all the way to Beijing, as these scenes could have easily been filmed in London or Berlin and spiced up with creative set dressing, especially given that the location itself is a secondary element to the dragon. Presumably VW was insistent on where they filmed.
Two beaches in California were used for surely the most unlikely language school commercial (for Centro de Cultura Anglo Americana in Brazil), featuring a sultry Megan Fox and even Mike Tyson happily embracing his abrasive public image. Both beaches are pretty generic, but the first offers several clones of Fox in a bikini and the second features Tyson in a sack shirt and some impressive set design for ‘Mike Tyson Island’ that turned a bunch of rocks into a smoky war zone in just three hours.
There was news this week about one of Columbia Pictures’ new feature projects, tentatively entitled Captain Phillips. It’s the true-life story of a US sea captain’s dramatic 2009 encounter with Somali pirates and it’s set to star America’s favourite Everyman, Tom Hanks.
Malta's Mediterranean climate would make an easy double for the ocean off East Africa that's needed for the Tom Hanks feature Captain Phillips, and the world-renowned water tank facilities offer a great controlled environment for ocean-set drama.
Reports surfaced recently that the project will be filming outside the US and TLG was unsurprised to hear this week that Malta is being considered. The country’s Mediterranean climate would make an easy double for the ocean off East Africa, and the world-renowned water tank facilities offer a great controlled environment for ocean-set drama. There’s competition from North Africa as well, and with Director Paul Greengrass being renowned for his creative location shoots this is one to watch. We’ll keep you updated in the coming weeks, but we’d be surprised if Malta’s water tanks don’t see some action on this one.
Our story on likely filming restrictions at the US Capitol in the District of Columbia has had a strong response, with DC already lacking a formal filming incentive. It’s one of those situations that seems unlikely to improve. With priorities in DC understandably leaning heavily towards security, the filming industries will have to make do for the time being. We reckon we may be seeing more digital versions of the US Capitol in the coming months and years.
Our story on likely filming restrictions at the US Capitol in the District of Columbia has had a strong response, with DC already lacking a formal filming incentive.
Also this week, Line Producer Mags Lightbody shared with us her wealth of global location filming experience and Location Co-ordinator Masato Yamada talked us through Tokyo filming. Producer Sergei Serpuhov chatted to us about the filming industries in Latvia.
As always, The Location Guide’s Film-Friendly Locations database continues to grow. This week we added The Bottle Yard in Bristol in the UK, a production space that offers facilities including production offices, workshop areas and an extensive backlot.
If you manage a building or a location that you think qualifies as film-friendly, or you’ve filmed somewhere recently that you think should be listed on our website, please contact Ewa.
If you've been working on location anywhere in the world and you're looking for some press coverage, please contact Nick. We’d all be happy to hear from you.
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