We may be committed to exploring new developments in the film industry, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to take a look at some of the best from the past once in a while as well. The setting of a movie is crucial for creating audience buy in and memorable moments. It can be difficult for a director to get it just right – especially when it’s an adaptation of a book. When we read a book we create a vision of the world it’s set in in our minds and the movie makers have to try and live up to that vision. That’s not easy when you’re trying to satisfy potentially millions of viewers with their own ideas.
Movie settings can take place in many different places and some of the best scenes in movies have been set on realistic looking jobsites. In these scenes directors are typically trying to add a sense of realism to their production. We’ve put together a sampling of movie scenes shot on jobsites below.
The Original Poltergeist
The original version of The Poltergeist is easily one of the scariest horror movies ever filmed. There are certainly some fantastic special effects in it for the period, but what really makes it hit home is that it takes place in a quiet suburban family home. That sort of thing hits home with a large potential audience and it made me question the safety of my own home for a while. One of the most iconic scenes from that movie takes place right at the beginning and if you blinked you probably missed it. It’s a scene where the home builders are shown looking over plans on the jobsite as the neighbourhood’s being constructed trying to make a decision on what to do with a burial site they’ve discovered. Their fateful decision not to exhume the bodies would eventually cause the poltergeist to terrorise one poor family.
In the move witness Harrison Ford is on the run and takes refuge in an Amish community. While there he has the pleasure of taking part in a barn raising while this may not be the typical modern construction location where a sawbench can easily be carried to jobsites, it was a great way for Ford to payback this old fashioned community that gave him shelter. Without this scene the movie would not have worked as well.
The New Casino Royale
In the modern remake of Casino Royale there’s a fantastic scene with James Bond played by Daniel Craig involved in a chase/fight scene with an enemy on a construction site which easily violates every health and safety regulation you can think of. It may not be safe, but it sure is a lot of fun. Could the movie survive without this scene? Probably, but it wouldn’t be the same. The visuals and stunt work in this scene are simply stunning.
Construction settings aren’t just used in movies. They’ve also found a place on many great TV shows including one of my all-time favorites the Soprano’s. There are many scenes over the several seasons of the show that involve the use of a construction site as a setting. Let’s face it, there’s always been a stereotypical association with the mafia and construction jobs and for good reason – it’s often a way for crime lords to hide their illegitimate enterprises behind a legitimate business. What made the Soprano’s such a great show was that is seemed very plausible right down to the little details such as the frequent use of jobsites for a setting.