Thanks to the camera, we can explore all corners of the world from the comfort of theaters and even our own homes. Whether you’re shooting a promotional video for your brand or a storytelling video for a movie or TV series, the background of the shot plays a large role in captivating audiences. Cinematography can only go so far without beautiful subject matter. Luckily the world is full of beautiful places! Certain places, though, get notably more attention than others. The following 10 stand out:
1. Hollywood, California, USA
Hollywood is often referred to as the entertainment capital of the world. Many people move there to chase their entertainment career dreams! It’s not just a city, but a symbol of the entire film and music industry. Hollywood is a typical spot for music video productions and high budget movie and TV productions. LA video shooting can capture the Hollywood hills, palm trees, ocean, and wide sunny streets.
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2. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, USA
Alcatraz island used to contain America’s most notorious criminals and dangerous inmates. The list includes Al Capone and Alvin Karpis (the original public enemy number one). This former prison in the San Francisco Bay has been featured in several films, notably “Escape from Alcatraz” and “The Rock”. Though it’s probably safe to assume most people would never want to end up somewhere like Alcatraz, especially when it housed inmates, it is exciting to experience such a dark, dangerous world from the safety of your home or theater.
This ancient and mysterious monument has appeared in various films, lending an aura of mystique to its on-screen appearances. The scene has certainly inspired the video scripting and storyboarding of numerous projects. Notable movies that film Stonehenge are “The Black Knight” and “King Arthur”. The animated film “Ice Age” features Stonehenge as well. There is something about a simple scene of naturally formed materials arranged in such an obviously intentional manner that really inspires a sense of awe, at least in me.
4. The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Rome’s iconic Colosseum is a favorite backdrop for historical and action movies. Though in person it is often overrun by tourists and tourist traps, a great film production crew can capture the monument’s beauty and significance free of obstacles and distractions. Notable movies that have featured the Colosseum are “The Way of the Dragon” and “Spectre”. Both are action movies, which is fitting given the dark, bloody fighting that used to happen at the Colosseum between humans and non-human animals.
5. The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
This famous landmark often features prominently in films set in Paris, adding to the city’s romantic allure. The structure’s associations with Paris, and therefore associations with beauty, luxury, and status, can be used as a tool for the video marketing of products and brands like perfume and fashion. Associating products with Paris can lead viewers to believe the products will make them feel beautiful, luxurious, and of high status.
6. The Great Wall of China, China
The Great Wall has been featured in many historical, action, and fantasy films due to its grandeur and historical significance, including “Karate Kid”. Many documentary videos have also taken advantage of the beautifully preserved historical monument. including “The First Emperor of China” and “Ancient China From Above”. It truly does take you out of this century.
7. Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
The stunning waterfalls on the border between the United States and Canada have made appearances in several movies, such as “Niagara” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (where Niagara Falls was the ‘World’s End’). The immensity and power of the waterfalls makes the perfect setting for a project trying to inspire awe and possibly fear out of the audience members.
8. Machu Picchu, Peru
The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu has been showcased in adventure and archaeological-themed films including “Secrets of the Incas” and “Lost City of Machu Picchu”. It’s also great for documentary video productions like “Machu Picchu: Lost City of The Inca”. The surreal beauty of the mountains combined with the city’s mystery make it truly effective at captivating viewers.
The dramatic landscapes of Iceland have become popular for fantasy and science fiction films. I couldn’t choose just one photo to capture the wonder of Iceland. The cold, otherworldly landscapes have so much potential to convey the entire spectrum of human emotion, which can give video storytelling so much more power to communicate particular experiences to the audience. My personal favorite movie that features Iceland is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.
10. New Zealand:
Known for its diverse and breathtaking scenery, New Zealand was the set for the film productions of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. Similarly to Iceland, I did not think its essence could be captured in one photo. Having been to the island, it truly is a compilation of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes into two islands. From turquoise beaches in the North to fjordlands in the South, any video production could make use of New Zealand’s landscape.
These locations have become iconic in the world of cinema, and their appearances in films often play a significant role in their global recognition and tourism appeal.