Filming Star Wars Episode VIII in Dubrovnik Review
(In Real Life)
Since it's not everyday that Star Wars are being filmed in a circus-multiverse called Croatia, we've decided to take this ~700km trip to Dubrovnik with a New Hope (...) to see something interesting, compromising, or at east humiliating, during the weekend shootings, with a help of civilized intrusive attitude and gentle bad manners.
As it turned out, the security at the scenes had prepared almost equally civilized defensive attitude with significantly worse manners to meet our own. And there was a ridiculously large number of them at every step, making sure to educate you on walking and observing rules on-site ("Don't look. Go away.").
This is the satellite image of the Dubrovnik old town; I have marked some of the locations that I will be blabbering about in the rest of the post.
Props.. props everywhere...
The main street was closed every day from 4 PM to 4 AM, and that was the time when most of the magic happened.
Well, that sounded like crap.
"most of the magic happened".
Lords of Kobol.
Anyway, from what we could see, that was the time when the actors were mostly standing around, walking around, the tech and props guys walking around with their backpacks (and standing around), some equipment was being moved, security guys were more agitated than usual, and there was an occasional shout from the director, or some similar species, expressing his emotions about the recorded scene ("Good.").
Okay, to be perfectly honest, we were not really been able to see any specific details, only a glimpse of something happening here and there. The main street was closed and hidden from views. At one moment I heard an explosion and glimpsed at something flying throughout the main street. That seemed cool. But a strong wind on the highway also nearly blew my car away the next day, and that also seemed cool.
Nevertheless, here are some pretty pictures of various props.. which turned our reality into something to be questioned at every moment and every inch (2.54 cm).
|Some cool something above the heads|
|The round thingy; the first thing you see upon entering the old city. |
We were shortly debating if these lights are genuine, or a Star Wars prop.
|Expensive equipment in tents near the city port.|
|The round-thingy from the city walls|
|The "Sea Star" ship: bringing the equipment, maybe the actors, and ready for some scene shootings on the deck.|
It seems that this ship, the "Sea Star", played an important role during the shootings. Some of the photos taken with the actors...acting... are available here.
|Yes, Game of Thrones was here.|
|Croatian crew trying to assemble a fake wall, cursing remarkably in the process|
|And yes, some people almost died here.|
But it was well worth it, learning new cursing combinations and permutations.
|Some cool somethings, I am sure of it.|
|The main street ("Stradun") view|
|The expensive thing in the main street (Stradun)|
|These are somewhat different in tone compared to the original walls, and are easily spotted, |
apart from the obvious design difference.
|Not a part of the Dubrovnik street central heating system.|
|Not a biometric security door entrance system. |
Or, is it?
|Notice the R2-D2 interface there in the upper left corner.|
|Nearly tossed with the rest of the garbage.|
|Now, this was interesting. There is more.|
|See, I told you that there was more.|
|Or even more! |
But is there even even more?
|Okay, I will stop now.|
|This was the location of the leaked stunt scene. |
What leaked stunt scene you wonder?
There were some video leakages. One of them was shot near the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik, showing a stunt rehearsal where a guy is... well.. flying.
Allegedly, this leakage made some people really angry, and the security was even more tight after this incident.
|The location of the leaked stunt scene|
|Again, the location of the leaked stunt scene.|
|Random equipment near the leaked stunt scene. |
Well, random for us at least.
Another video showed some action on the main ("Stradun") street:
|This is my finger. I had better shots at this vessel rolling through the Stradun (landspeeder?),|
but this is the one with my finger.
|Don't be shy, you fake prop!|
|And may I present the main reason that we were hungry on the Dubrovnik hill called Srđ.|
|Just a Srđ hill plane. Nothing to do with star wars.|
Or, has it?
|Our theory was that this guy is making the "equipment" look used, by covering it with some oil, or paint, or something.|
|The working guy in shorts.|
|The ones that are working something.|
|Something with a ladder. Or a fake ladder?|
|Okay, I am done with captions.|
|Star Wars paratrooper renewing the city walls. It was a painfully slow process to observe.|
I hope the guy will live to tell.
Closing remarks on Dubrovnik
Cat piss... Cat piss everywhere...
The cats are filling every corner, every rock, every hole everywhere. Like snails in our garden.
Naturally and consequently, everything smells like cat piss. After a while, everyone start to smell like cat piss. And just after that, the human brain gets rewired in a sense that the only thing it can smell from that moment on is a cat piss. There are probably some commercial electrodes for a private shock therapies that one could administer at home to mitigate this issue.
But, this could be a subject for another article.
Yes, the photo in this section is also Dubrovnik.
A Short Retrospect on Driving Practices in Dubrovnik County
Which is perfectly fine, but there was an intriguing incident which included an attempt of mass murder on the road. Allow me to elaborate.
A black, shiny Mercedes (the-unholy-expensive-class) was behind our car for a few kilometers at a distance of about 3 cm, when he decided to advance in front of us, in an impossibly sharp and evil turn, which included a double white line and, of course, cars approaching from the opposite direction, in an equally dynamic manner.
Was it the Star Wars shooting scene? Were these cars simply fake props?
Anyway, it was about 0.000005 seconds head-on collision miss, an event which would turn our live bodies into a tomato pasta sauce with tuna paste (the last ingredient being from a can, of course).
As it turned out, the car that was coming from the opposite direction was a police car.
And what happened next was the perfectly crafted representation of the Croatian multiverse: The guys in the police car waved and smiled at the Mercedes which nearly turned them into tomato pasta sauce as well (not sure about the tuna), cheerfully greeting the Mercedes driver.
Of course. They are best buddies - the local mafia and the local police.
Filming Star Wars Episode VIII and Dubrovnik The Good
- Filming Star Wars Episode VIII at the moment
- Filming Game of Thrones at past moments
- Fiddling and photographing with the movie props
- Being present at the sets.
- The stones, the walls, the sea, the old city, the fort, the views, the scenery.
- The not-so-impossibly-many-tourists in this time of year.
Filming Star Wars Episode VIII and Dubrovnik The Bad
- Not being able to be a part of the filming. Apparently they took the applications exclusively from the people that have been a part of Game of Thrones shootings.
- Dubrovnik is well known to be the most expensive city in Croatia. This is somewhat less intense off-the-season though (for the apartment-renting at least).
- Border crossing. An irritating and amusing experience at the same time. We were traveling from Croatia, via Croatia, and to Croatia, and somehow, we still had to cross an international border. Well, everything is possible in the Croatia multiverse.
- Closed and protected scene shootings. Well, of course they were, but it is still The Bad.
- The wind.
- The cat piss.
For all of the crazy Star Wars fans out there, I certainly recommend visiting Star Wars Dubrovnik blog, which was a central information hub for all the relevant events during the filming process in Dubrovnik. I would like to thank the girls and guys there for their effort and providing useful info from the sites.
And for all the star wars fans out there: