For some film lovers sprinkling their conversations with quoted dialogue, buying action figures or dressing in the garb of their favourite character isn’t enough to prove their PASSION for the silver screen. Apart from a film being re-made and getting cast in it, the closest most people can get to reliving their favourite cinema moments is to visit the places (called locations in the business) where key scenes were shot.
The newly coined term for this is set-jetting, meaning: to visit or holiday in a place because you’re crazy about a film or book which was set there. Tourist boards and governments everywhere love seeing their city romanticised on the big screen - flying into New Zealand during the peak of Lord of the Rings mania the pilot welcomed you not just to New Zealand but to Middle Earth. But it isn’t just big obvious locations that people are interested in, small, poky out of the way places are also attractive to set-jetters; many women, the partners of Quadrophenia fans, have been swept off their feet in seemingly spur of the moment embraces in the same Brighton alley just off East Street, romantically located besides a bin store (sorry if you haven’t see the film and I just spoiled your special moment of passion.).
I’ll have what she’s having
Film inspiring travel isn’t a new phenomena, if you watch Roman Holiday you’ll probably feel the urge to leave your humdrum daily life and lose yourself in Rome, but recent movies like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Da Vinci Code have held many imaginations hostage, and themed tours where all the work is done for set-jetters have been spawned.
Real buffs will tell you the big thrill is in making your own discoveries, pouring over scenes fame by frame (film is shot traditionally at 25 frames per second) and arguing with like minded enthusiasts in online forums about where each scene was shot.
Use the Force
The first key step is to decide which film or scenes you want to venerate. Depending on your collection this could take a while, but the good thing about this kind of travel is that you may not have to travel to far to find your first location. You can even start inversely by looking for local locations which appear in less well known films. To help you get started a 2007 poll voted Big Ben’s Clock Tower as the most iconic British film location for the scene in The 39 Steps where the main character, Richard Hannay, hangs precariously from the clock face, and so many people want to visit Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ that they’ve put a sign in and there is a good chance you’ll see a kid run into a wall. My personal favourite would have to be Harry Lime’s Ferris Wheel from the Third Man, I can help but love a gritty war time spy drama and the reason I first went to Vienna was because I thought it was gracefully minimalist yet beautiful in the film - it even looks beautiful sans colour.
Top Film Locations to visit