SPLICE UP YOUR LIFE

SPLICE UP YOUR LIFE

Brummie Instagram account FilmsOnLocation

"There's not an official name for it," says Brummie Daniel Jones. "I've it heard called 'In scene photography' or 'film tourism' a few times." Moseleyite Danny has a very cool hobby. With his Instagram account, FilmsOnLocation, as his documenting hub he likes to visit film and TV locations around the world — and closer to home — splicing still images of famous (and less famous) moments back into the exact locations they were shot.

Born and raised in Great Barr, Danny, 30, is a video producer for a social media publisher. Essentially he produces short films/sketches/adverts, he write scripts, sources locations, dabbles in casting, and oversees editing for a company based near Erdington.

"I lived away in Canada for a while and it was when I was in Calgary that I started doing this. I realised that parts of the TV show Fargo [below] were filmed in the hotel I was working in at the time. And off I went from there."

As well as in Canada Danny has grabbed scenes in France, England, Scotland and Wales. "I normally try and and do the photos when I'm already in that area," he says. "But on occasions I've gone especially to a place for this purpose. The main one was Barry Island for Gavin and Stacey [below]. That was always high up on the bucket list so I made a special trip to just do that."

"Most of my adventures finding film locations tend to require a fair bit of research, but this house actually comes up on Google Maps as "Gavin and Stacey’s actual house", he laughs. "The lady who owns it welcomes visitors throughout the year, and there are lots of signs in the window saying photographs are welcome."

"I do get funny looks, occasionally. Sometimes, for the angle of the photo, I have to crouch down or sit on the floor or pavement to get the right shot. Whenever I've shown people why I'm doing what I'm doing, though, they tend to find it quite interesting. I was taking some photos outside a house near Small Heath for Man Like Mobeen [above] and the guy who owned the house came out pretty angry asking me why I was taking photos of his house — which you can understand. Once I explained and showed him the photos, he ended up following me on Instagram."

If pretty much anything is filmed in Brum chances are Danny has recreated it. "I've done Di Ray [top], Line of Duty and You Don't Know Me [above]. I also did Enola Holmes which is nearer Bewdley.

"I do it because I love it. I'm quite sad," he adds with a chuckle. "I really like the research that goes into finding the locations and getting to that exact spot. Sometimes the research is easy, someone's written a blog and I just type the postcode in. Other times I'm watching a film or programme, frame by frame, to try and spot a landmark or road sign, and then I find the location that way. Those ones are more satisfying because I always feel like I'm the only person who knows about that location. I also do it because I enjoy the photo lining process. I was really bad at it at first, but now I'm getting better and it's really satisfying when I get it right, as with these two from Killing Eve and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets...

"I've got a few rules: I never do a film or programme that I haven't watched. And I only do locations of films and tv shows that I've actively enjoyed. I went to Dubrovnik last month but didn't do any Game of Thrones content because I just couldn't really get on board with the show. It was hard sacrificing lots of potential engagement for my principles, but a man's got to have your principles, right?"

One of the more surreal shots Danny experienced taking was in Paris where he grabbed this photo [above] from Inception. "I really felt like I was in the movie at that point because it's all about the architecture," he recalls. His favourite shot to date is the one below of About Time, in Maida Vale tube station. "There were so many things to line up in the photo, and it's one of my favourite films, so I was really pleased with the outcome.

And what does Dan make of the Brum film industry? "I think with Channel 4 and BBC being mostly in the north and all the big studios being in London, it can feel like we get left behind a little bit. That's why it's nice to visit some of these Brum locations when possible. Basically every Brummie is disappointed that there isn't more of Peaky Blinders filmed here." The exceptional shot below is a Peaky Blinders scene filmed in Liverpool, for example.

And what for the future? Well Dan's only just got started. "Pretty much the first time I sought out a location was in Bruges for, erm, In Bruges, but that was just to scratch my own curiosity — I wasn't doing scene photography then, just having a look. I'd love to revisit and capture some of the moments from the movie but, moreover, I'd like to go to America. It would be great to capture scenes from Home Alone or even visit Monument Valley, one of the many places Forrest Gump found himself running through. Tricky though, because my girlfriend keeps reminding me it's a long way to go for a photograph."   

You can follow Danny and his FilmsOnLocation account, on Instagram, here


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