So here’s the challenge: take a scene from a movie and then track down the actual location where it was shot to document what things look like today. No biggie, that’s something we do all the time here at BIGDoer.com: In fact it’s in some ways one of our trademark skills. It’s interesting to our readers (that’s what they tell us), we have a blast carrying out the research and it’s even more fun trying to line up the “now” shot so that it matches that of the one captured from the film.
The “then” shot we’ll use this time was taken from the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain. We’ve done other T&N posts inspired by this movie and it sounds like fun. The scene we’ll explore is brief however, some would say insignificant, one that appears on the screen for only a moment before it fades from memory. One most people who’ve viewed the film will never even recall.
That’s more of a challenge but certainly nothing beyond our abilities. We don’t get stumped much.
Not done yet. It gets harder. The story takes place along a lonely rural road on the almost featureless prairie. There is little to see. There is a road heading away, a solitary tree and a shrub. Very little to work with
Now I’m worried. We have to track down something that obscure? Are we crazy?
Probably. Likely. Most certainly.
So here it is, exorbitant amounts of research, numerous phone calls and emails to crew members and those connected to the film and much time spend driving around trying to find the exact road that in appearance matched that of the one were looking for. All that work to capture one picture. It was a tall order. Yes, but we did it.
Of all the movie then and now locations we’ve managed to find, this spot was one of the hardest to track down. The scene it was in was so brief and the shooting location lacked anything much in the way of background details, making the challenge particularly daunting. It’s taken months. Recall, for these reports, we DO NOT use fan websites to find locations, That would be to easy…and boring. Rather, we simply use our detective skills. We like a challenge.
Let me tell you it’s a lot of work doing this and I am not sure why we bother.
I guess I do…cuz it’s fun.
I guess we should give a little backstory on the the scene we explored in case you have not watched the movie. One of two main characters in the film, Ennis del Mar, in an effort to forget his secret lover Jack Twist, has recently married and found work on paving crew. In an overall view we see men and machinery toiling under the hot summer sun. Ennis can be seen brandishing a rake, used to level out the asphalt ahead of the road roller. Heat waves rise above, reminding one just how difficult the work environment is. It’s hard work and it’s lonely work. The scene ends.
The only difference between the then and now shot is the pavement seen in front. It was a movie prop. The road, located not far from Beiseker Alberta, is and always has been gravel.
The image from the movie is copyright Focus Features.
To see some other movie then and now posts, follow these links…
Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge – then and now.
Superman 3 then and now – opening scenes.
Silver Streak movie then and now – walking the tracks.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date of adventure: August, 2014.
Location: Near Beiseker AB.