Okay, It’s time we had a new topic that mobilized the Amigos. The weather outside is nice, summer is in the air, and a fresh new assignment is in order. Yes, it’s time for our second field trip, much in the same spirit of the first one we did a few years back. This time around, there’s a slightly bigger challenge ahead for each of us. However, great challenges often yield great results – and I’m confident that we’ll be posting some really cool stuff under this topic.

Here, then, is your mission:

  1. 1

    Find an accessible location where a movie was filmed.

    By “movie”, I mean one that was widely-released in theaters everywhere. It could be a really old movie, or one that came out last year… but it has to have been shown in movie theaters. We’re looking for quality here, so online or straight-to-DVD stuff doesn’t count. Neither does anything with a higher rating than ‘R’, if you get my drift. Just do your best to pick a movie that’s cool or interesting in one way or another.

    As for the location, it should be a place you have (or can gain) easy access to. It could be a five minute drive, or 300 miles away – it doesn’t matter. You just have to be able to get there, and have good access to the original filming site(s). Look down below for more info on how and where to get started.

  2. 2

    Watch the movie and grab a few interesting stills from it.

    Generally, this will require using software to grab a handful of still images from the DVD (or whatever format you watch the movie in). This isn’t as difficult as you might think, and there are some links below that’ll make it a whole lot easier for you.
    These stills would probably be mostly exterior shots, but they can be anything that does a good job of establishing the location.
    It may be that only one scene or shot was filmed in the location you’ve found. That’s fine – just make sure you grab at least a couple of images from that part of the movie.
  3. 3

    Go to the location where the movie was filmed, and take some pictures.

    Based on the stills you grabbed in step 2 above, do your best to photograph the location from the same angles. If possible, shoot for similar time of day, weather conditions, and so on. You basically want to get some cool shots of the same exact place, ones that can be compared side-by-side with the stills from the movie. Before you head out, you may even want to print the stills you grabbed (or put them on your phone, iPod, whatever) for visual reference while you’re there.
  4. 4

    Post your whole experience here, and show the movie stills alongside the shots you took yourself.

    This shouldn’t be too difficult. Show us what you’ve come up with, and make it as interesting as possible. Tell us about why you chose the movie you did, and what it was like going to the same location. What were the differences between the film and what you experienced? Put it all up here.

Finding Locations

Filminamerica.com is a pretty good starting point, but it doesn’t list everything. There are tons of other sites with huge databases of movie locations, so do a few Google searches and you’ll be on your way. Be thorough, because some of them have more info than others, and none of them detail everything. You never know – it could be that Leprechaun 2 was filmed in the woods behind your house, and only one site out there has that valuable information.

Grabbing Still Images

Once you have the right software, it’s pretty easy to grab stills from any kind of video you can play on your computer. The awesome and free VLC Media Player (available for both Windows and Mac) will allow you to do this with ease. In fact, there’s even a handy how-to guide here.
There are other methods and programs for doing this, too. If you get stuck and can’t figure this out, just email me.

Final Considerations

You are by no means constrained to doing this for just one movie. If you have the time and ability to go through all this for more than one, that would be very cool.

Remember, our fine state is a rich land of movie history, so dig deep and do some research. You may find that some really cool old movies were filmed not too far from where you are. This assignment should also give you the opportunity to check out some cool movies you may not have seen before. Have fun with this, and show us something interesting.