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The end of the location shoot?

By GeoConnexion - 28th July 2023 - 08:00

The increasing accuracy of mapping and visualisation technologies means you no longer need to go somewhere to be there.

For years, Hollywood lured audiences into cinemas with a simple attraction: we’ll show you exciting adventures in exotic locations you could never go to but we can. The success of super spy James Bond after the Second World War was largely due to the glamour of the locations he visited in movie after movie. Who can forget the beaches of Jamaica in Dr No or the Pyramids of Giza in The Spy Who Loved Me?

To some extent, the arrival of budget airlines and the ubiquity of plane travel has meant that the audiences can largely visit those locations for themselves. But at the very least, the fun of a location shoot still remains an attraction for the stars and only super spies get to have the excitement the movies show, even if you fly with easyJet.

Now the geospatial industry is presenting a unique challenge to the location shoot, one that is exquisitely ironic. On page 26, we look at the filming of the recent Netflix blockbuster The Gray Man, which took Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling to Prague for an epic tram crash. Or did it?

Mobile mapping company Mosaic team was able to use its mobile rig to scan large areas and acquire movie-worthy imagery for the film’s explosive scenes. And with the power of Hollywood visual effects artists, that imagery could magically transport Evans and Gosling into the thick of the action – without them ever having to be there.

Already, the technology is being used on another movie and although expensive now, the technique is set to get cheaper as it gets used more. How long will it be before James Bond can stay in his office in London – while the mobile mapping team does all the hard work?

Rob Buckley
[email protected]

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