January 17, 2011


What does the geo-minded individual focus on in a movie, especially one with beautiful scenery ripe with geologic history? When I was a younger man, I wouldn't give much thought to what I was looking at and how it's possible for landscapes to be like that, and in any case the action and story would (or at least should) keep me enthralled. But after spending a few years immersed in various topics and sundries of geology, I started catching myself paying attention to the places rather than the people, especially when showing open country. Certain flicks have DP's who photograph and Editor's who showcase the filming locations in such breathtaking sweeping visuals that I cannot help but let the mind wander off from whats going on screen and towards the realm of the geologic.
What part of this scene are you looking at?   (photo courtesy Universal Pictures)
Sometimes I'll even buy a DVD of a mediocre movie simply because it had plenty of outdoor visuals of a spectacular natural wonder or formation/group (ie. The Canyon) or what-have-you. Plus I'm always checking the filming locations on IMDB as a kind of geography jeopardy with my sweetheart. Then its off to Google Earth to match the cinematography with the real place (recently spotted where Tom Hank's island in Cast Away is located). 

One thing I wish movies of this new decade would focus on is a return to the Western genre. Every current and inspiring geologist should be a fan of Western's but for their displays of the untouched parts of the American West. Now off to watch The Missing.....for the Valles Caldera & the few seconds they show a rhyolite lava dome in the valley.

1 comment:

Matthew Demski said...

Like you, I'm always admiring the scenery and landscapes in movies, but I'm terrible at figuring out where they are in the real world.

I think this would make a great series of posts! You could highlight a specific location featured in a famous movie, and then briefly discuss the geology of the area, or the specific geologic aspects utilized in filming. I know I'd be really interested in that!

Just a thought. I'm enjoying this blog thus far, keep up the great posts!