Iceland is remarkable. From geography to meteorology, it transforms nearly every 30 minutes. So instead of booking a vacation to tour around this beautiful country, we decided to make a movie as an excuse to explore its incredible landscape.
Many factors in scriptwriting can add complication or lend simplicity to the execution of a film. Our small cast lends simplicity to Bokeh, so we sprinkled in complication by incorporating over 70 locations in our script, a game of geography tetris that our crew began playing a couple weeks ago. With the help of Google Maps, Smartsheet, and our phenomenal Icelandic Location Scout, Arnar Kristjánsson, we were able to pull together a list of 100+ locations to see in our 6-day Scouting Trip.
Rental car with GPS
Local Location Scout
Printed Location Address List
Creative Icelandic pronunciation skills
Winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, sunglasses
The next 6 days were a beautiful blur of Reykjavik, the surrounding suburbs and beyond. Imagine vast lakes set against snowcapped mountains, turf houses nestled into hillsides, monochromatic glaciers with brilliant blue run off, and waterfall enclosed caves with vegetation encased in droplets of frozen mist. We also visited churches, shops and cafés, found off-list locations, met with potential sponsors, viewed our Airbnb accommodations, and found as many wifi hotspots as possible. We even treated ourselves to an afternoon of relaxation at the geothermal spa of the Blue Lagoon. All the while, three main questions needed to be answered at each location:
- Does it fit the directors' vision?
- Does it work for the DOP?
- Does it function logistically as a set?
We experienced rain, sleet, sunshine, snow, and hail in the shape of Dippin’ Dots ice cream. Not to mention dreadlock-inducing wind.
As an abbreviated contingent of our crew, we tested our chemistry as well. When you’re exhausted as we were, bad jokes and witty remarks either fall on utter silence, or unconditional laughter. Luckily for us, it tended toward the latter. Good omen for our 5 weeks of production ahead.
Location scouting is a pivotal point in pre-production, making the filming feel both closer and further away. It brought into focus the details and that remain to be handled in the next five weeks.
One thing is for sure. From the intense natural beauty to the accommodating locals, our directors picked the right set for Bokeh. Thank you, Iceland.