To totally discover each nook of the dynamic panorama, unravel native folklore and battle the pure components, one should take to the skies.
Enter Jón Kjartan Björnsson, the pilot with a mission to present the actual Iceland.
Björnsson, a helicopter pilot for 35 years, has taken digital camera crews, administrators and actors to a few of the most gorgeous spots in the nation.
A helicopter can go locations in Iceland most individuals can not.
The thundering waterfalls and deep valley gorges seen in TV’s “Game of Thrones” and the films “Oblivion” and “Flags of Our Fathers” are thanks to Björnsson’s knowledgeable navigation abilities.
Björnssons’ explains that since you can’t use a zoom on the wide-angle digital camera, the trick to getting that intimate really feel is transferring the precise helicopter shut to the shot: “If it feels like you’re close, you are close,” he says.
Iceland, the alien planet
Although Björnsson loves to showcase his strikingly dramatic nation, a lot of the pictures he permits filmmakers to create aren’t introduced as Iceland in any respect.
In truth, Björnsson says, “Whenever directors want to show somewhere on another planet, they shoot in Iceland!”
The aerial filming world is small, explains Björnsson, who describes it as an enormous household.
The desolate volcanic deserts, glaciers and plush mossy valleys seen on the planets of Eadu and Hoth in “Star Wars,” in “Game of Throne’s” Land Beyond the Wall, and in Thor’s residence of Asgard had been all filmed in Iceland.
From fast-rushing waterfalls to steep mountain peaks, Iceland’s surroundings has made it a favourite amongst filmmakers.
Iceland additionally stands in for an alien planet in the film “Interstellar,” the place astronauts journey by way of a wormhole to discover one other residence after Earth turns into uninhabitable.
And in the post-apocalyptic movie “Oblivion,” Iceland options as each a war-torn and ravaged Earth in addition to its potential substitute, the planet of Titan.
The FlyOver exhibit, presently in Vancouver and Iceland and shortly in Las Vegas and Toronto, takes guests on a sensory trip suspended over a 20-meter (65.6-foot) display screen. The expertise blends a few of these wonderful sights depicted on movie with the bodily sensation of flying, together with an precise mist falling in your face from a waterfall.
FlyOver Iceland is an immersive movie expertise that takes viewers by way of the otherworldly panorama.
You would possibly even get a whiff of recent mountain flowers as you glide over a meadow.
In one gorgeous sequence in the Iceland movie, Björnsson flies proper by way of an impossibly slender arch that has the entire viewers gasping and holding their breath as they really feel themselves attempting to make it by way of the arch.
The completed footage from FlyOver and Björnsson’s different initiatives — full movies and reveals — creates the impression that the viewers is true there with him. It’s as shut as most individuals can hope to get to a lot of Iceland’s in any other case inaccessible territory.
Remarkably for a person who has been flying professionally for over three many years, Björnsson says he’s really fearful of heights and prefers low-level flying.
One scene in the eight-and-a-half-minute minimovie takes place at Iceland’s highest peak, at 7,000 plus toes (2,134 meters) above sea stage. “I almost had to close my eyes sometimes!” Björnsson quips.
Björnsson routinely has the alternative to fly over locations most Icelanders won’t ever go to.
“Most of those sites in FlyOver are pretty difficult to get to unless you have a helicopter. The little lighthouse just south of Iceland is probably the most difficult one. But when you have the helicopter, you can go wherever you like to go!”
That distant and lonely little lighthouse is named The Þrídrangaviti lighthouse and is positioned on the Westman Islands, about 5 miles off the coast of mainland Iceland.
The making of the film
Some components of the island don’t characteristic in the ultimate minimize of director Dave Mossop’s 2019 FlyOver Iceland video as a result of climate situations posed insurmountable obstacles.
Filming came about over a yr and a half in all seasons. Mossop says that they had been stranded for days in the northern a part of the island when dangerous climate, together with sideways snowstorms and 0 gentle, made it not possible to movie or to depart.
This a part of the nation seldom sees vacationers and locals had warned Mossop that flying and filming can be tough.
Jon Kjartan Bjornsson has been a helicopter pilot for 35 years taking digital camera crews, administrators and actors to a few of the most gorgeous spots in Iceland.
The difficult shoots, nonetheless, reaped nice rewards: The helicopter’s positioning offers viewers a grasp of the sheer scale of Iceland’s glaciers, not seen on this method by land — and even accessible.
Black sands, lava fields and deep inexperienced valleys appear to be a sequence of dramatic canvas landscapes stitched collectively into one true masterpiece.
“One of the most remote places that we got to visit and one that you would never be able to experience in its full effect from the ground is called the Tungnaa river, and I think it’s one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s just the most beautiful, wild, unbelievable river flowing from a glacier and spreading out over this silt sand,” Mossop says.
When seen from above in Björnsson’s helicopter, Mossop says it seems like a three-dimensional Georgia O’Keeffe summary portray, created by nature.
One of the most dramatic moments Mossop filmed in Iceland for FlyOver was a scene the place kayakers come careening down the Goðafoss waterfall.
Mossop describes this as a “genuinely dangerous stunt.” Although it wasn’t the highest drop these journey sports activities consultants had navigated, it definitely was excessive stakes due to the sheer quantity of water.
“The whole river channels into this notch and just piles off of this beautiful basalt column amphitheater and creates incredible impact at the bottom of the waterfall … if it goes wrong, you’re going to be buried under this mountain of water for minutes. And you could definitely, possibly, die,” Mossop says.
Like a lot of the motion filmed for this mini-movie, timing was every thing.
“We were really fortunate we got a take that worked. And it’s in the film and I think it’s one of the most extreme and impressive shots I’ve ever worked on. It’s such a beautiful location and such an impressive athletic stunt by both the pilot and the kayakers,” Mossop says.
Mossop and Björnsson have captured one thing way more thrilling and dramatic than an alien planet or a fictional and magical world — they’ve served up Iceland in all its rugged, different worldly magnificence.
Thankfully for these of us who need to see it for ourselves, regardless of appearances, Iceland is definitely positioned on our planet.
If you go
For the true Icelandic expertise, select a glacial touchdown, which prices round $725 USD per individual.