Shooting 'on location' easy with sites that could double as Zimbabwe, Australia, Denmark

If you’re in Broward County, you could be anywhere. And that’s what Broward tourism officials want filmmakers to know.

Stare out across the grassy Everglades and be transported to Darwin, Australia. Look up from the escalator at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and imagine you’re climbing into Copenhagen, Denmark. Gaze at the Atlantic Ocean slapping against the crags near Port Everglades and forget you’re not at the Bering Sea.

From pastures to swamps to the obvious could-be-California beaches, the county landscape is diverse. And the county's new “sizzle reel” — a short film clip showing familiar Broward County images with the names of their location doubles superimposed — proves it.

Broward film and entertainment commissioner Noelle Stevenson produced the short clip to market Broward County as the ideal film-shooting location. The reel was shot by Canvas Films Inc. at no cost to the county, Stevenson said.

It’s not virgin territory. Broward County’s “Mount Trashmore’’ landfill in Coconut Creek hosted the iconic “Hollywood’’ sign in 2011 for the movie “Rock of Ages.”

The images are convincing.

It’s not a stretch to imagine Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach as a believable Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Dusty horse barns in Davie offer a plausible picture of the year 1881 in Tombstone, Ariz.

The ornate Hindi temple in Southwest Ranches could just as well be in Saudi Arabia.

And who would question whether the Broward Main Library’s unique, stepped architecture makes it a building in Buenos Aires?

The clip announces at the end, it’s “a world apart ... yet so close.’’

People in other Florida counties like to smugly say they “don’t want to get Browardized. They don’t want to look like us,’’ Broward Commissioner Kristin Jacobs said after watching it.

If they only knew.


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