(CNN) — Historic tales of trolls and magic keep on in Iceland, an island nation of volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and ice caves.

To utterly uncover every nook of the dynamic panorama, unravel native folklore and battle the pure components, one ought to take to the skies.

Enter Jón Kjartan Björnsson, the pilot with a mission to point the true Iceland.

Björnsson, a helicopter pilot for 35 years, has taken digicam crews, directors and actors to some of probably the most stunning spots inside the nation.

A helicopter can go places in Iceland most people can’t.

FlyOver Iceland

The thundering waterfalls and deep valley gorges seen in TV’s “Recreation of Thrones” and the flicks “Oblivion” and “Flags of Our Fathers” are due to Björnsson’s educated navigation experience.

Björnssons’ explains that since you’ll be able to’t use a zoom on the wide-angle digicam, the trick to getting that intimate actually really feel is shifting the exact helicopter close to the shot: “If it feels reminiscent of you’re shut, you is likely to be shut,” he says.

Iceland, the alien planet

Although Björnsson likes to showcase his strikingly dramatic nation, many of the pictures he permits filmmakers to create normally will not be launched as Iceland the least bit.

In reality, Björnsson says, “Each time directors want to current someplace on one different planet, they shoot in Iceland!”

The aerial filming world is small, explains Björnsson, who describes it as an unlimited family.

The desolate volcanic deserts, glaciers and splendid mossy valleys seen on the planets of Eadu and Hoth in “Star Wars,” in “Recreation of Throne’s” Land Previous the Wall, and in Thor’s home of Asgard have been all filmed in Iceland.

From fast-rushing waterfalls to steep mountain peaks, Iceland's scenery has made it a favorite among filmmakers.

From fast-rushing waterfalls to steep mountain peaks, Iceland’s environment has made it a favorite amongst filmmakers.

FlyOver Iceland

Iceland moreover stands in for an alien planet inside the movie “Interstellar,” the place astronauts journey by a wormhole to hunt out one different home after Earth turns into uninhabitable.

And inside the post-apocalyptic film “Oblivion,” Iceland choices as every a war-torn and ravaged Earth along with its potential substitute, the planet of Titan.

Iceland immersion

Together with work on attribute motion pictures and television assortment, Björnsson might be liable for getting the director and filming crew within the correct spot for the FlyOver Iceland video used inside the exhilarating experience primarily based in Reykjavík.

The FlyOver exhibit, in the intervening time in Vancouver and Iceland and shortly in Las Vegas and Toronto, takes friends on a sensory journey suspended over a 20-meter (65.6-foot) show. The experience blends a number of of those fantastic sights depicted on film with the bodily sensation of flying, along with an exact mist falling in your face from a waterfall.

FlyOver Iceland is an immersive film experience that takes viewers through the otherworldly landscape.

FlyOver Iceland is an immersive film experience that takes viewers by the otherworldly panorama.

FlyOver Iceland

It’s possible you’ll even get a whiff of latest mountain flowers as you glide over a meadow.

In a single stunning sequence inside the Iceland film, Björnsson flies correct by an impossibly slim arch that has the complete viewers gasping and holding their breath as they actually really feel themselves making an attempt to make it by the arch.

In reality, he tells CNN Travel the width was very comfortable at about 50 meters, but it surely absolutely sure seems and feels slim as you embody the perform of the silent passenger, sitting beside Björnsson, trusting Björnsson.

The finished footage from FlyOver and Björnsson’s completely different initiatives — full motion pictures and displays — creates the impression that the viewers is true there with him. It’s as shut as most people can hope to get to plenty of Iceland’s in every other case inaccessible territory.

Remoter nonetheless

Remarkably for an individual who has been flying professionally for over three a few years, Björnsson says he’s really fearful of heights and prefers low-level flying.

One scene inside the eight-and-a-half-minute minimovie takes place at Iceland’s highest peak, at 7,000 plus toes (2,134 meters) above sea stage. “I practically wanted to close my eyes typically!” Björnsson quips.

Björnsson routinely has the prospect to fly over places most Icelanders received’t ever go to.

“Most of those web sites in FlyOver are pretty powerful to get to besides you’ve a helicopter. The little lighthouse merely south of Iceland is likely to be most likely probably the most powerful one. Nevertheless while you’ve the helicopter, you could go wherever you favor to go!”

That distant and lonely little lighthouse is called The Þrídrangaviti lighthouse and is positioned on the Westman Islands, about 5 miles off the coast of mainland Iceland.

The making of the movie

Some components of the island don’t attribute inside the final cut back of director Dave Mossop’s 2019 FlyOver Iceland video on account of local weather conditions posed insurmountable obstacles.

Filming occurred over a yr and a half in all seasons. Mossop says that they’ve been stranded for days inside the northern part of the island when harmful local weather, along with sideways snowstorms and nil gentle, made it unimaginable to film or to depart.

This part of the nation seldom sees vacationers and locals had warned Mossop that flying and filming might be powerful.

Jon Kjartan Bjornsson has been a helicopter pilot for 35 years taking camera crews, directors and actors to some of the most stunning spots in Iceland.

Jon Kjartan Bjornsson has been a helicopter pilot for 35 years taking digicam crews, directors and actors to some of probably the most stunning spots in Iceland.

FlyOver Iceland

The troublesome shoots, nonetheless, reaped good rewards: The helicopter’s positioning presents viewers a grasp of the sheer scale of Iceland’s glaciers, not seen on this technique by land — and even accessible.

Black sands, lava fields and deep inexperienced valleys look like a set of dramatic canvas landscapes stitched collectively into one true masterpiece.

“One of many essential distant places that we acquired to go to and one that you just’d certainly not be succesful to experience in its full impression from the underside is named the Tungnaa river, and I really feel it’s one in every of many seven wonders of the world. It’s merely most likely probably the most beautiful, wild, unbelievable river flowing from a glacier and spreading out over this silt sand,” Mossop says.

When seen from above in Björnsson’s helicopter, Mossop says it seems like a three-dimensional Georgia O’Keeffe abstract painting, created by nature.

Directing hazard

One of many essential dramatic moments Mossop filmed in Iceland for FlyOver was a scene the place kayakers come careening down the Goðafoss waterfall.

Mossop describes this as a “genuinely dangerous stunt.” Although it wasn’t the perfect drop these journey sports activities actions specialists had navigated, it really was extreme stakes because of the sheer amount of water.

“Your complete river channels into this notch and easily piles off of this beautiful basalt column amphitheater and creates unimaginable have an effect on on the bottom of the waterfall … if it goes flawed, you’re going to be buried beneath this mountain of water for minutes. And you’ll undoubtedly, most likely, die,” Mossop says.

Like a variety of the movement filmed for this mini-movie, timing was all of the issues.

“We’ve got been really fortunate we acquired a take that labored. And it’s inside the film and I really feel it is without doubt one of the extreme and spectacular pictures I’ve ever labored on. It’s such an excellent wanting location and such a strong athletic stunt by every the pilot and the kayakers,” Mossop says.

Mossop and Björnsson have captured one factor rather more thrilling and dramatic than an alien planet or a fictional and magical world — they’ve served up Iceland in all its rugged, completely different worldly magnificence.

Luckily for these of us who want to see it for ourselves, no matter appearances, Iceland is unquestionably positioned on our planet.

If you happen to occur to go

Small group tour companies akin to Hidden Iceland arrange journeys to many of the fantastic filming areas all through the nation along with glacial hikes over Vatnajökull the place you could go to the startling blue ice caves.
To see the nation from Björnsson’s standpoint, nonetheless, it’s important to e-book a chopper. It’s possible you’ll arrange a tour with the particular person himself by Nordurflug Helicopter Tours.

For the true Icelandic experience, choose a glacial landing, which costs spherical $725 USD per specific particular person.


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