Location shoots, like color and sound films, have been around for much longer than most people realize. Seeing other parts of the world was a major draw and every film studio worth its salt had teams shooting footage in attractive and/or exotic (for them) locales.
If they can shoot it, I can GIF it! Here are a few interesting selections. Most are from the early years of cinema, where the real and the artificial collided in a most fascinating way.
Leaving Jerusalem by Railway (1896) is a simple shot taken from the back of a departing train but what a fascinating chance to see the diverse occupants of the city, which was under Ottoman rule at the time.
The French Pathé Frères company captures the Kremlin in the 1909 actuality Moscow Clad in Snow. Moscow was no longer the capital of Russia at the time and would not resume its place for nearly a decade.
When the Seine flooded Paris in 1910, cameras were on hand to capture the everyday life of Parisians coping with the disaster. Good news: there were zero fatalities.
The Lad from Old Ireland (1910) is thought to be the earliest fiction film shot in Ireland and it makes ample use of the scenery and the locals. It was made by the American Kalem company and the results were so pleasing that the team returned repeatedly to Ireland in order to make more films.
Douglas Fairbanks shows off his acrobatic skills to Marjory Daw. Oh, that thing in the background? Just the Grand Canyon, no biggie. This is from his 1917 adventure/comedy A Modern Musketeer.
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