Finnish Lapland offers accessible and affordable stand-in locations for hard-to-reach winter settings like Greenland or Antarctica, as well as great lakes and Norwegian backdrops.
Visas, accommodation, travel costs and sustainable production goals often mean that you can’t film every setting on location. Luckily, Finnish Lapland offers up stand-in locations for winter and non-winter settings alike, easily accessible no matter where you are and often more affordable than the real thing.
WELCOME TO WINTER
When it comes to winter, you simply can’t do better than Finnish Lapland. And when it comes to grand snowy settings, it’s often easier to hop a 4-hour flight to Lapland than to fly halfway around the world.
When you think Lapland, you think snow. And for good reason. Winter lasts almost 6 months here, with snow falling first in November and usually lasting until May. When you need real snow, not soap flakes, for your Christmas movie set at the North Pole, our cozy villages deliver. Check out this video of Elves Village in Kittilä.
And there’s no need to travel to the far-flung corners of the world to capture the Northern Lights. They look the same over our log cabins as they do over the small twinkling towns of Alaska. The difference, of course, is that you can easily fly directly to any of our airports in a few hours.
Across Lapland’s eastern border sits the vast and complex country known as Russia. Because it’s not always inexpensive, easy or safe to travel to and through regions like Siberia, Lapland makes a great alternative stand-in location! When you need isolation and boundless nature, the forests and lakes that make up most of Lapland are perfect—not to mention more convenient with our rail and air connections.
Greenland in winter is another role Lapland can pull off with ease. Though we do not have glaciers, in winter, both glaciers and Lapland are covered in a healthy amount of snow. And northern Lapland, both the mountainous west and the vast, flat east have that glacier-worn look.
But what about the other end of the world? The vast snow plains of Antarctica are virtually impossible to traverse without years of planning, not to mention the cost. Fortunately, Lapland has 20,000 lakes, most of which freeze over in the winter, offering a flat, snow-covered surface indistinguishable from the bottom of the world. (Throw in a few CGI penguins and you’re all set.)
Filming the next big thing?
Blockbusters love to tell stories set in extreme locales. And what Lapland may lack in California desert-esque landscapes, we make up with snowy film locations you can’t find anywhere on Earth, or maybe even in this galaxy. Check out a few of our locations that hold their own against some of the best blockbuster settings ever.
SNOW ISN’T EVERYTHING
Lapland is covered by snow for more than half the year. But summers in northern Finland offer just as many, if not more, variations and possibilities. In addition to the 24 hours of daylight (lasting more than three months in the north), the natural characteristics of Lapland cannot be overstated, especially for stand-in locations. The endless forests and backwaters will transport the viewer to New England for your horror film.
And our 2000 rivers and the aforementioned lakes are perfect stand-ins for the Great Lakes bordering Canada or northern Quebec, or the Yenisei river basin at the edge of Asia. (But you have to provide your own pandas.)
As a consequence of Brexit, it has become more difficult and costly for European film crews to shoot in the UK. Luckily, the rocky fells and river valleys of our northwestern panhandle feature the glens and straths you’re looking for. The lack of tall trees and the mountainous scenery suggest the fells of Scotland.
The panhandle is also a great place to shoot “Norway” without the expenses normally associated with it. And the northern end of the Scandinavian mountain range rises just over the border, offering verisimilitude.