End of location shooting

Friday marked the end of 31 days of on-location shooting. During this period we’ve been to a wide variety of places covering sea, air and land. As location scout I started looking for potential locations in the spring of this year. Now, about six months later it’s with a sigh of relief that I leave the last location. Relief because it marks the end of 31 days of long hours and hard work.
However there’s a much stronger feeling of accomplishment. In February we started scouting for locations and as spring and summer passed we saw one piece of the puzzle after another fall into place. We ended up with a plan that included a one-week location-to- location trip to the western parts of Norway at the start of principal photography. When the mini-crew returned to Oslo we had eleven locations in and around Oslo on the plate.

Eric’s note: this is a special report written by our location scout Simen Nordskog.

Night shooting at Kalvøya, Oslo Fjord. Photo by Simen Nordskog.
Night shooting at Kalvøya, Oslo Fjord. Photo by Simen Nordskog.

Friday September 18th marked the end of 31 days of on-location shooting. During this period we’ve been to a wide variety of places covering sea, air and land. As location scout I started looking for potential locations in the spring of this year. Now, about six months later it’s with a sigh of relief that I leave the last location. Relief because it marks the end of 31 days of long hours and hard work.

However there’s a much stronger feeling of accomplishment. In February we started scouting for locations and as spring and summer passed we saw one piece of the puzzle after another fall into place. We ended up with a plan that included a one-week location-to-location trip to the western parts of Norway at the start of principal photography. When the mini-crew returned to Oslo we had eleven locations in and around Oslo on the plate.

The great span in locations has been a big challenge and a source of much satisfaction as I’ve seen the cast and crew transform these places from real life to real cinema. There are too many cool places to name them all, but one of the coolest was definitely when we got to use an actual NATO underground headquarters that was abandoned years ago, and well preserved in the 1980’s style of the film. Long narrow hallways opening up into large underground rooms looking very much like those we’ve seen in 1980-era films of the past made for difficult working conditions, but great sets!

The sticker on the phone reads: "You're talking. Who's listening?" Photos by Eric Vogel
Underground military headquarters. The sticker on the phone reads: "You're talking!! Who's listening?" Photos by Eric Vogel

With eight of the eleven locations in Oslo being outdoors the potential for catastrophe due to bad weather was fairly big. However we’ve been lucky and we’ve had, with only a few exceptions, nice sunny weather almost every day the last two months. Two weeks of filming on a small island in the Oslo Fjord in the beginning of september without a single day of rain is a great testimony to this.

Seeing ninjas, vehicles and props transform these seemingly ordinary places into fantastic expressions of the director’s universe has been the treat of a lifetime and has made me wake up feeling like the luckiest man alive every day.

As I conclude my work on Norwegian Ninja over the next week I’ll be pondering whether making a movie will ever be the same? Will I go on to the next project thinking: “where are all the ninjas?”

Simen.

Method location scouting in Western Norway! Video by (and starring) Simen and 1st AD/Location Manager Håkon F. Sørensen.