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Vancouver Island (4 replies and 9 comments)

BillBigsB
2 months ago
BillBigsB 2 months ago

Hey Roger.
Have you ever travelled to Vancouver Island? I think you may really enjoy it.

Mike
2 months ago
Mike 2 months ago

It is really lovely but does this question have any relevance?

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

i have never been there but I hear it is nice. Some of my friends emigrated to Vancouver Island when I was in my teens. Others went to various parts of Australia. I guess there were few prospects at home.

BillBigsB
2 months ago

Wow, thanks for your reply. Hopefully one day you get the opportunity to work over here. It is quite an aesthetically pleasing environment and we need more good movies shot here. So far, the best we have had is likely Insomnia by Nolan. Otherwise, it is all pretty forgettable. X Men shot at the Hatley Castle, so at least we have that going for us.

If you are interested, here is a look at the film commission location database. There is a ton of beautiful architecture to be found here:
https://bc.reel-scout.com/loc_results.aspx?page=3&alpha=&sort=name&g=vis»

Mike
2 months ago

This is a really lovely area for filming but you have to be weary of the weather, sun is not guaranteed but it is great for sailing. The largest natural harbour in the world is Poole and it’s many islands. Infamous Brownsea island the birth place of the Boy Scout movement and Holiday home to Queen Victoria, this area is one of the best areas for sailing with its numorous islands and harbour pubs to quench your thirst as if sailors need a reason to hold a glass! Numorous films have been made here over the last 100 years being only 2 hours from the major studios around London. The first purpose built film studio was built 100 years ago (not Paris) not far from here so this area has always attracted photographers going back to the beginning. This is a stunning area for wildlife and surprisingly has numorous golden sandy beaches and when matched with good weather is reminiscent of many world class resorts. Perfect for film makers. The local councils are very much active in supporting production company’s with generous tax and many other incentives.

Other great natural harbours are Sydney, Cork, Stockholm, Tallin, Quebec and many more but ofcourse are more expensive to get to. The world has so many beautiful places but with Covid you are so restricted. Kingswear, where I live, has logged over 27 films during the past 75 years, including ‘French Lieutenants Woman’ ‘Churchill- the Hollywood years’ ‘Curse this House’ for ZDF and numorous BBC productions including the ‘Onedin Line’ where the river Dart was used being similar to the Amazon rain forests. (Not kidding).

You don’t have to go far here for the right locations.

BillBigsB
2 months ago

Mike,
Thank you for sharing this fabulous location with me. The significance to film history is fascinating. What I was getting at is that there is something magical about seeing locations one is familiar with represented in film — especially by a top tier Camera department.

The environment that you shared sounds beautiful, I hope one day to experience it in all it’s glory.

Mike
2 months ago

Yes, you are right. When you see a scene from a film and you personally know the location, it always looks different, sometimes better than the original and sometimes not so. Many years ago, I made a series of radio documentaries for BBC radio 4 about film locations. One particular episode was about ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. I was intrigued by the locations used and so I made a visit to see for myself. I was there for 7 weeks scouting the area. The village where they filmed is no longer there but the school on the edge of the cliffs is still there and intact. It was built by a local builder and to a high standard which is why it has stood the test of time. It must have been a logistical
nightmare as there are no roads to it. The turbulent sea below whips up a white foam that covers all the rocks, it’s like a washing machine been given too much washing powder and engulfs the whole machine. I spent hours mesmerised by the swirling white foam being picked up by the wind. I thought David Lean threw in hundreds of tons of detergent to get that effect but no it’s all natural. The beaches are just outstanding but difficult to get to being so isolated but he managed to get some outstanding shots utilising his second unit. I now know why he chose that location.
Seeing it on the big screen does not do it justice, you have to be there to fully appreciate the shear beauty of this area. The Irish tourist office do not even advertise It as a place to visit as there is nothing really there except the wonderful scenery. Another location that will take your breath away are the Cliffs of Moher, the tallest in Europe but so difficult to capture on film even with the widest lens but on the silver screen look like pimples! Have a look at the film and see for yourself, John Mills got the Oscar for not speaking!

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

Mike, I am confused. I think you should have made clear you are talking about the Isle of White and not Vancouver Island.

Mike
2 months ago

I was initially referring to Vancouver Island, then switched to the Poole area which is in Dorset. The Isle of Wight, Hampshire is a different area all together although still great for sailing.
Poole and it’s natural harbour is certainly worth a visit by boat, it’s remarkably similar to Vancouver Island although I must admit does have a unique charm of its own.
There are some lovely places in this world but sadly never enough time to visit them all.

Sorry if sounds confusing.

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

When shooting 'Ryan's Daughter' they expected their location in Ireland to provide the right conditions to shoot the storm sequence. But you can only wait so long even if you are David Lean, so, in the end they shot much of the scene in South Africa.

BillBigsB
2 months ago

They ought to have come to van isle, we get storms like that straight from October to March.
https://youtu.be/BOgZG0C7Nlk»

Mike
2 months ago

Yes, you are correct, storm scenes were filmed by the second unit in South Africa.
The school and cliff top scenes of the turbulent seas below with fluffy white foam was just below the ‘fake’ school house albeit still standing!

Mike
2 months ago

Bill,
lovely video of your rough seas, makes you think doesn’t it, what tremendous power the sea has, pity we cannot harness it for the good of man kind.

BillBigsB
2 months ago

Oh but we do, Mike! When we stand in the gentle embrace of humility as we gaze upon that infinite power of the tides. Thanks for all your thoughts.

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