Monday, 16 June 2014


According to WikipediaOutlander, Titanic and Dev-Con 4  are among eighty-two big screen films with shots on location in Nova Scotia. Who knew? We have geography that appeals to the film industry. 

The film industry in Nova Scotia can play a significant role in kickstarting a revitalized Nova Scotia rural economy. I see two thrusts. First, rural areas can find and promote film shoot locations, to attract location scouts and film crews from around the world. Second, rural areas can develop tourism products based on film.


Location Managers and Scouts find locations that set the stage for film, television, commercials, music videos and advertising. They work with the directors and producers. To promote rural film-shoot locations and attract film crews and investors, you need to do more than simply re-paint your white picket fences and hope that passers-by take notice. You need to be proactive. Film shoots require support -- people, facilities, utilities and resources. One needs to easily locate and secure this support. Also, considerable energy is required to research and catalogue each potential location. is a global directory and Google map of movie and TV show filming locations. On this site you lookup where your favorite TV show was shot or discover movies that were filmed near you. shows backdrop locations for film makers interested in areas in and around Bath.

While the above examples point in the right direction, they are sparse. My research shows that there exists untapped potential in creating valuable online and interactive film-shoot location maps and databases.


Film-tourism works. Claudio-Elena Tuclea and Puiu Nistoreanu (2011) relate the impact of film to film-induced tourism and recommend ways to maximize this relationship for economic and cultural development.

I have previously posted related items in this and other blogs (StorytellingWar of 1812)  . How many people have visited the graves of those who perished with the sinking of the Titanic then toured Halifax? Who has browsed the shoot location and the Nova Scotia town of Shelburne where the 1994 film The Scarlet Letter was created? 

We can learn something from the Welsh Tourism Movie Map in North Wales and consider creating something similar here.

This map gives you a sample of the variety of films and television programs shot in North Wales, and will tempt you to come and visit the location settings for yourself such as: Casanova (BBC 2005); Backbeat (Beatles 1994); From Russia With Love (1963); Chronicles of Narnia (2008); Clash of the Titans (2010). predicted in 2012 that the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would boost tourism in Stockholm, Sweden, by 3 to 4 percent, translating into hundreds of millions of euros. 
In the 2006 article "Promoting Destination via Film Tourism", Hudson and Ritchie (Journal of Travel Research, 44,387-396) note that the film Field of Dreams increased tourism numbers in Iowa, USA, by 35,000 visits in 1991.

New Zealand is now affectionately known as "Home of Middle-Earth" after the wildly popular film The Lord of the Rings helped boost visitor counts by 40% between 2000-2006, according to Hemisphere Magazine.

Tourism Magazine (2010) states that 3-6% of visitors to the UK visit film locations during their stay. CNN Travel reports that India's Ministry of Tourism has built "an entire Land of Pi" tourism campaign. In a study in Italy, New Zealand and Sweden, Sue Beeton, CNN Travel author and professor at LaTrobe University, Australia, found people often change travel plans in an area when they are aware of activities related to film. 

Beeton points out that, however, "there is a lack of integration between most tourism commissions and film commissions". In an interview between Switzerland's Anthony Lack and Dr Peter Bolan (University of Ulster, Ireland) Bolan endorses a need for greater collaboration between tourism and film officials. 


A well presented geography, people and resources (in map form on a website, for example) can attract film-location scouts, film production crews and investors from around the world. Successful film tourism can boost destination tourism and visitor numbers. This, however, calls for collaboration between film and tourism stakeholders and visionary leaders with some influence. The right players need to play together in the same sandbox.

With developments in new media and communication technology this task should be made easier today. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for contributing comments to CreativeRural.