20th Century Studios’ New Sci-Fi Movie Filmed in “Disney World for Cinematographers” — Nepal

My people, who had been craving to see Nepal on that big screen again in a massive Hollywood production after ‘Everest’ and ‘Doctor Strange’, it’s time!!

Nope, not kidding at all. There’s a new film — part of which have been shot it Nepal.

‘The Creator’ is one of the most exciting films yet to be released in 2023. The original-concept science-fiction is set in year 2070 where humanity is at war with artificial intelligence — nope, not your average ChatGPT level AI — but highly advanced artificial intelligence. John David Washington (Tenet) plays the lead, an ex-special forces agent who is looking to hunt down “The Creator”, the architect that has developed a powerful weapon.

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One, Godzilla), the film also stars Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, Eternals), Ken Watanabe (Inception), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) and Amar Chadha Patel, among others. And what’s a sci-fi film without the music by the legendary Hans Zimmer; yep, so they’ve got him for the music part.

While the film is set almost fifty years from now, in a world where AI has risen up against humanity; it still looks a lot like our world as the director chose to film most of the parts in actual locations around the world — in around 80 locations including Nepal, Thailand and the Maldives between January and June 2022. The film is made on a budget of approx $80m, which is not a lot — considering the scale and setting of the film. So how did they do it?

“We didn’t really use any green screen. There was occasionally a little bit here and there, but very little. If you do the maths, if you keep the crew small enough, the theory was that the cost of building a set, which is typically like $200,000, you can fly everyone to anywhere in the world for that kind of money”, Edwards had explained during a Q&A session post the film’s preview event last month. “What you normally do is you have all this design work and people say, ‘You can’t find these locations. You’re going to have to build sets in a studio against green-screen. It’ll cost a fortune.’ We were like, ‘What we want to do is go shoot the movie in real locations, in real parts of the world closest to what these images are.”

And that’s what they did. The crew went to 80 locations, which is a huge number, no matter what kind of film it is. “When you weigh up the price of building a set versus the cost of flights for the crew to go to the greatest places on Earth, if you’ve got a small enough crew, it’s cheaper to go there. So we shot in Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Nepal. It was crazy.”

In an interview with CinemaBlend earlier this month, Edwards further talked about his experience of filming in Nepal. “Kathmandu, in Nepal, is like the Disney World for cinematographers. When we scouted that – because I took the camera with me, and some of the shots are in the movie – at the end of that day, I thought, ‘That’s the greatest day I’ve ever had in my life of filming.’ Everywhere you looked were these incredible faces, this amazing light, and temples and things… cows just walking through and funeral pyres. It was just insanity.”

Well, that’s Nepal for you — home to some of the most beautiful, exotic and even crazy locations. While the film is scheduled for a worldwide release on September 29, its Nepal release is yet to be confirmed. As the film also opens in India the same day, hopefully, it will get a release here in Nepal as well. Fingers crossed!

So stoked for this one. Can’t wait!


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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