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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    So, let's say you'd like to film some indie fantasy or SF project, and you'd like to find a truly ethereal, otherworldly location. And because it's an indie project, and you're working with half a shoestring, it needs to be somewhere in the Lower 48.

    Add a strong preference for areas that are unknown to most audiences, and that no one would expect were actually in the U.S. Where would you go?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    The usual solution is the Vasquez Rocks, but you wanted something not quite so iconic...

    Let me get back to you on that one.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    These are just the results of a quick googling.

    Spoiler: Badlands National Park
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    Spoiler: Paria Canyon, Arizona
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    Spoiler: Antelope Canyon, Arizona
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    Spoiler: Grand Prismatic Hotsprings, Wyoming
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    Spoiler: Fly Geyser, Nevada
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Places with lots of Ventifacts sound like they'd fit your idea.
    Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame based a lot of his wonderful landscapes for his Spaceman Spiff of these kinds of formations, as well as this wonderfully evocative Sunday strip.
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Too bad it's Murica only, cuz there's some pretty bizarre places in Straya. e.g.:

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    If you're looking for a bit more vegetation but with an unusual look, this place might fit the bill:

    http://www.elfin-forest.org/index.htm

    Of course, getting permission to film there might be difficult.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    May also want to look at Lasen National Park in the NE corner of California-high volcanic and next to nobody has been there or seen pictures. Also the swamplands of Arkansas can be rather odd. .

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    For nature-y locations, there's also the Hoh rainforest of Washington.
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    [QUOTE=golentan;17692601]
    Spoiler: Badlands National Park
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    O/QUOTE]if this is alien to you, I take it you never saw the beginning of Jurassic Park
    I usually post from my phone, so please excuse any horrendous typos.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    I was going to suggest Goblin Valley National Park in Utah, but then I remembered that they shot part of Galaxy Quest there, so it might be a bit too recognizable. Then again, it's been awhile since that came out; people might have forgotten it by now. Also, it's another desert/mountain area.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    The usual solution is the Vasquez Rocks, but you wanted something not quite so iconic...

    Let me get back to you on that one.
    I used to orienteer there all the time. So fun.

    But as for alien landscapes? Hah. So easy.

    Spoiler: Worrabout Arches National Park?
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuthalion View Post
    I used to orienteer there all the time. So fun.

    But as for alien landscapes? Hah. So easy.

    Spoiler: Redwoods?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion
    If you're looking for a bit more vegetation but with an unusual look, [El Moro Elfin Forest] might fit the bill....
    That's fantastic, and very much what I had in mind.

    Originally Posted by Togath
    For nature-y locations, there's also the Hoh rainforest of Washington.
    This is outstanding. I've always loved temperate rainforest...although sadly, from a very long way off.

    Originally Posted by sktarq
    May also want to look at Lasen National Park in the NE corner of California-high volcanic and next to nobody has been there or seen pictures.
    Also fantastic. I love this algae-tinted pool in the midst of the conifers and geothermal terrain.

    Originally Posted by Ravens_cry
    Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame based a lot of his wonderful landscapes for his Spaceman Spiff of these kinds of formations, as well as this wonderfully evocative Sunday strip.
    One of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes Sunday strips. That final panoramic panel manages to encapsulate almost everything that Watterson does so well.

    Originally Posted by AdmiralCheez
    I was going to suggest Goblin Valley [State] Park in Utah, but then I remembered that they shot part of Galaxy Quest there, so it might be a bit too recognizable.
    Actually this is an excellent suggestion, and I wouldn't have made the connection with Galaxy Quest.

    Originally Posted by Grinner
    The usual solution is the Vasquez Rocks, but you wanted something not quite so iconic...
    Yeah, anything that's a fixture in classic Trek is kind of the opposite of what I'm looking for.



    Originally Posted by golentan
    These are just the results of a quick googling.
    Antelope Canyon is marvelous--exquisite formations, incredible colors, someplace I'd dearly love to see.

    But it's absolutely iconic. Pbase is loaded with whole galleries of Antelope Canyon. It would be perfect for what I'm looking for, if it weren't so well-known.



    I appreciate all the suggestions so far...keep 'em coming!

    (And I'm always open to a few more shots from 'Straya.)

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post

    I appreciate all the suggestions so far...keep 'em coming!
    Some of them were already linked, but this is worth a watch.

    EDIT: what a bizarre thing. Apparently, the link doesn't work. I have no idea...
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by Killer Angel
    Some of them were already linked, but this is worth a watch.
    Thanks for the suggestions--the link seems to be working for me, at least with the page of photos.

    Those are certainly some beautiful locations, and I'd love to appreciate every one in person. Most of them are very well-known, however, and places like Pamukkale, Huanglong, Wai-o-tapu, the Blue Hole, etc. are absolutely iconic.

    I hadn't known about Vale de Lua in Goiás, though, so that's great to know about.



    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2014-07-02 at 10:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    One thing to keep in mind is that with anything like this there is a lot of individual bias.

    Considering that I'm from Wyoming, I've spend a lot of time in Utah and Arizona, and I've been through South Dakota... well almost all of the links here seem kind of like home. To me the dense forests of the east are a lot more alien than mineral deposits and rock formations.


    Starship Troopers was filmed largely in Wyoming.

    Of course there are a lot of other SF/Fantasy films made in all sorts of different places, it is generally minor things added and film tricks to make many different types of places feel alien.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by Erloas
    Considering that I'm from Wyoming, I've spend a lot of time in Utah and Arizona, and I've been through South Dakota... well almost all of the links here seem kind of like home. To me the dense forests of the east are a lot more alien than mineral deposits and rock formations.
    The dense forests of the East are certainly home for me. Rock formations? Well, in the Appalachians we have some boulders in among the trees. That's about it.



    Your point is certainly taken, and I'm interested in hearing about spots which would be unusual even to people who are familiar with hoodoos and sandstone arches. The sulfur crusts of the Lassen volcanic park, and especially the El Moro Elfin Forest, have enough that's unique about them that they fit very well with what I was looking for. But more suggestions are always welcome.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    If you're willing to add parts of Canada to your list...

    I presume you won't ever want to go far enough north for THIS to be a thing. Pretty much any arctic or tundra setting works though.

    Spoiler
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    or
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    The Cheltenham Badlands in Ontario look like Mars.
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    Spotted Lake is on the British Columbia/Washington Border.
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    There's a spot in Saskatchewan where there is a small desert of sand dunes near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. And while the Rockies are fairly tame the further south you go, by the time they get there they're pretty awesome.
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    Drumheller's valley is pretty but you can get similar much more impressive valleys and hoodoos in the states.

    The Canadian Shield is a huge geological feature of some of the oldest surface rock in the world, but it's pretty much just trees and rocks and water. If it's unusual for your audience though it could be cool.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    I found Craters of the Moon National Monument to be pretty alien (hence the name, I guess). If you needed any really blighted landscapes...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craters...t_and_Preserve

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.


    Vermilion Cliffs
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Just remembered something else. Rainbox Canyon- Its about 25 minutes west of Interstate 15 just south of Fort Irwin. There is a campground (Owl Canyon) about 10 minutes away. Areas somewhat similar to badlands (more rugged and without the plains aspect-just the canyonlands parts basically but with higher color variation)-Also a high contrast setting does amazing things in the area. Downsides-watch your GPD as you can accidentally walk onto military bases (fort Irwin) and South China Lake Naval Weapon Test Range-an Fort Irwin will occasionally buzz you with a Blackhawk or B1 bomber (I used to hunt fossils both in this region and the Montana badlands and the area north of Barstow has more color, canyon variety of size and shape, also easier to get to than most of the ones on the list so far. Also great light.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by SarahV
    I found Craters of the Moon National Monument to be pretty alien (hence the name, I guess). If you needed any really blighted landscapes...
    Thanks, very interesting. The cinder crags definitely have an unearthly look to them.

    Originally Posted by rlc
    Vermilion Cliffs
    Thoroughly beautiful, indeed...but alas, too often-photographed for what I had in mind.

    Originally Posted by sktarq
    Just remembered something else. Rainbox Canyon- Its about 25 minutes west of Interstate 15 just south of Fort Irwin.
    I think you mean Rainbow Canyon, yes?

    Owl Canyon really looks fantastic, and I see what you mean about high contrast. Definitely the sort of place I'm looking for.



    But I'd still love to hear about some steep-sided, fern-covered natural spring in the hills of Kentucky, too. All habitats welcome.


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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Centralia, Pennsylvania is a ghost town with a bizarre story. In the summer, it grows over with vines and weeds and it gets a little hard to tell it from the woods around it, but the leveled ground, lonely standing walls, and residential roads to nowhere give the powerful impression that something is terribly wrong.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Only if you're filming Stargate SG-1 fanfiction.
    I've only seen a few episodes of Stargate and I agree with this.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Not sure about SF, but for fantasy you might look at the Grayson Highland area in Virginia. That place always makes me think "Middle Earth on a budget" when I go hiking there. That place has rock outcrops, rhododendron groves, meadows, spruce-fir forests, and wild ponies.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by Psionic Dog
    ...you might look at the Grayson Highland area in Virginia.... That place has rock outcrops, rhododendron groves, meadows, spruce-fir forests, and wild ponies.
    And apparently muskegs as well, which is really interesting. I didn't know about this park, but it sounds fantastic.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    California's redwood forests are always good for alien forests. They shot the scenes on Endor about an hour north of me.
    And if you're looking for alien rock formations, try looking up the Big Obsidian Flow in the Newberry Volcanic crater (and yes, that's it's unoriginal name) south of Bend, Oregon.
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    If you are looking for closeups Ketona Dolomite Glades in Alabama may work for you-looks pretty normal from a distance but the details are all wrong-which could work for you.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Originally Posted by sktarq
    ...Ketona Dolomite Glades in Alabama may work for you....
    Really cool, thanks. Unique and biologically oddball places are definitely what I'm looking for.

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    Default Re: Alien Landscapes Within the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Only if you're filming Stargate SG-1 fanfiction.
    SG-1 was filmed in Vancouver, BC. Ain't no redwoods in Stanley Park.

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