Hollywood comes to Iceland

Iceland’s stark and dramatic landscape has recently caught the eye of a number of big players in the film industry.

“Flying in over the black sand beaches and lava fields, I could see that Iceland had the rugged and unusual look we needed,” said Clint Eastwood, describing his first trip to Iceland for the filming of ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ and parts of ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’.

Recent films produced in Iceland also include ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Die Another Day’, ‘Hostel’ and ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.’

For Clint Eastwood, not only did the black desert sands of Iceland closely resemble Iwo Jima but other aspects of Iceland also lent themselves to film production. Locally hired technicians and production crews knew the ropes and the technology and were able to communicate easily in English, making the production in Iceland go smoothly.

Iceland has been actively targeting foreign film companies since 2002 – particularly the American and European markets. Over the last five years, foreign producers have spent nearly $50 million in Iceland.

While there are very few production and post-production facilities up to Hollywood standards in Iceland, there are six major rental houses which can provide almost all the required production equipment for a shoot in Iceland.

With its sparkling glaciers, black sand beaches and remote sub-arctic plains, Iceland offers a wealth of landscapes for unique film backdrops. Moreover Iceland is easily-accessible from both Europe and America – direct flights from New York take 5 hours whilst London is only 2.5 hours away.