Working as a set scout is one of the most rewarding yet most difficult jobs in the movie industry. A scout’s job is to absorb the script in a way no one else does, visualizing the landscape or backdrop and interpreting the story that eventually sets the scene. One of the best parts of the job though, is all the travel scouts get paid to do. They explore some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world to find the perfect set. Here are five spectacular movie set locations around the world.
Since the Lord of the Rings was filmed over years in New Zealand, the country has seen a massive boost in tourism. People from around the world have oohed and aahed over some of New Zealand’s most magnificent backdrops chosen for the movie’s thousands of scenes. Hobbiton was set in the undulating Matamata hills, where Frodo and Bilbo’s homes were set on a backdrop of flowers and crops planted by movie staff a whole year before production began. Mount Doom and Mordor, ghastly places in the movie, were filmed in Tongariro National Park within the creepy volcanic area of Mount Ruapehu. Gollum chose the ring’s hiding spot to be The Misty Mountains–the set for this was the glaciers of South Island and The Southern Alps. In the iconic movie, Middle Earth has moved millions, many who have already traveled to explore these beautiful movie locations.
Alex Garland, the main character in Danny Boyle’s novel The Beach, found paradise in Hat Maya, Phi Phi Leh Island’s main beach. Though on the backpacker’s beaten path for decades, Thailand reached iconic fame following the major success of the movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Though the island itself is truly breathtaking, it’s not exactly the same as it was portrayed in the movie–during post-production, film makers added the backdrop of mountains digitally. There was quite a bit of controversy when it became public that the beach on Phi Phi Leh was bulldozed by crew to make it appear more like paradise. Following the 2004 tsunami in Thailand though, the beach returned to its natural state and looks very similar to the original setting. Anyone visiting today will see Phi Phi Leh in all its beauty, a small, rugged and gorgeous island protected by towering cliffs on all sides.
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