I just learned a new word – recce. Didn’t know what it was until I embarked on one, and now I know. It’s basically a trip where you check the possible shooting locations – known also as location scouting.
Wikipedia definition is quite clear:
Recce (pronounced “recky”) is a military term that has been borrowed by media production in the United Kingdom, derived from “reconnoiter” (the verb form of “reconnaissance”). It is a pre-filming visit to a location to work out its suitability for shooting, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues.
We did the first Iron Sky location scouting some two weeks ago in Frankfurt area, where we are planning to shoot most of the film – well, at least as much as possible.
Hessen area is quite good for filming Iron Sky, a film that takes place both in the Far Side of the Moon and New York, because it has quite a nice skyline and a lot of military- and mining facilities close by. We’re trying to avoid shooting in New York itself as much as possible, given the fact that although it’s quite easy to shoot there, it can become quite damn expensive.
We visited some bunkers, some quite nice skyscrapers, a botanical garden and finally Club Cocoon – so far the most impressive club I’ve seen in my life – check out their site, it’s awesome.
The most amazing location we visited was called Großmarkthalle in the middle of Frankfurt. I can understand where the word “Groß” comes from – it used to be the biggest building with one huge open space in it before the War. Being used as a vegetable market for the most part of the last century, the morbid side is that it was also being used as the collecting point for the Jews during the WWII, who were being sent over to concentration camps all over Europe.
One – admittably quite a big – thing Frankfurt is missing is a proper studio. They have huge studios all over Germany, but none in Frankfurt. So we need to build one by ourselves.
The place we’re planning to turn into our studio is located in a closed military area used by both the Nazis and later by the US troops which is now mainly a big storage area for Dunlop wheels.
Possible studio location for Iron Sky. Photo by Ulrika von Vegesack.
The place has tens of different kind of buildings slowly crumbling away unused, some quite nice bunkers and a big plane hangar which we could turn into our studio. It’s been left almost completely unattended for several years, which gives the place a nice not-too-far-post-nuclear-war look and feel, with streets and buildings still in place, but heavily overgrown and no living soul anywhere. It actually screams to be used as a location for a radioactive zombie film.
So far, Frankfurt seems like a good choice for shootings. We will continue to search for some locations, and next time I’m looking forward into seeing some mines and underground tunnels!