What country could pose as a biblical landscape in Noah, as Siberia, an alien planet, Minnesota, Iwo Jima, and the treacherous North of the Wall region in Game of Thrones? The Los Angeles Times suggests that only Iceland, the land of ice and fire has a landscape unique enough to play all of these roles.
Iceland’s black sand deserts and beaches, snow capped mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and lava fields enable producers to film scenes of several countries, if not planets, without leaving the island. In 2012 alone, Game of Thrones, Oblivion, Thor: The Dark World, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Noah were all filmed in Iceland. The following year, film crews for Transformers, Jupiter Ascending, and Interstellar traveled to Iceland to shoot. Other notable movies filmed in Iceland include Batman Begins, Star Trek Into Darkness, After Earth and Prometheus. Click here to see a map of Icelandic filming locations of Hollywood movies.
Thanks to a 20% production rebate offered by the Icelandic government, “Hollywood is warming up to Iceland as never before,” writes the LA Times. While Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all offer higher monetary incentives to filmmakers, Iceland’s stunning, otherworldly landscapes are a big draw. Icelandic film commissioner Einar Tomasson said “We sometimes say before God created the rest of the world, he was practicing in Iceland.”
Additionally, Iceland’s summer months offer fantastic lighting for photography and film. The “golden hour,” when low, warm sunlight at sunrise and sunset, is considered to be the most beautiful and cinematic lighting. In Iceland, this soft lighting can last for as long as three hours, rather than 15 minutes like it does in California. “The sunsets and sunrises were unbelievable,” said Scott Franklin, Darren Aronofsky’s producing partner.
Click here to read the article in the LA Times.