A filming location is a place where some or all of a film or television series is produced, in addition to or instead of using sets constructed on a movie studio backlot or soundstage. In filmmaking, a location is any place where a film crew will be filming actors and recording their dialog. A location where dialog is not recorded may be considered as a second unit photography site. Filmmakers often choose to shoot on location because they believe that greater realism can be achieved in a "real" place; however, location shooting is often motivated by the film's budget. Many films shoot interior scenes on a sound stage and exterior scenes on location.
It is often mistakenly believed that filming "on location" takes place in the actual location in which its story is set, but this is not necessarily the case.
Types of locations
There are two main types of locations.
- Location shooting is the practice of filming in an actual setting
- Studio shoots in either a sound stage or back lot
It is common for films or television series 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:
- Almería, Spain - Southwest USA (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as numerous other Spaghetti Westerns)
- Cadiz, Spain - Havana, Cuba (Die Another Day)
- Hawaii - West Africa (Tears of the Sun), Brazilian Amazon (The Rundown)
- Madrid, Spain - Moscow, Russia (Doctor Zhivago)
- Malta - Ancient Sparta (Troy); Ancient Rome (Gladiator); Rome, Beirut, Cyprus, Tel Aviv, Athens (Munich); Sweethaven (Popeye)
- Matera, Italy - Jerusalem (The Passion of the Christ)
- St Pancras Hotel, London - Arkham Asylum, Gotham City (Batman Begins)
- Thailand - Various locations around Thailand have been used for many films depicting the Vietnam War era, including The Deer Hunter, The Killing Fields, Casualties of War, Air America and Operation Dumbo Drop.
- Location shooting
- Location manager, the person responsible for the locations department
- Location scouting
- Location library
- "What is a filming location?". Retrieved April 8, 2013.