Location Scouting
Day Three

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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa

"The Location Scouting Report" (ロケハンレポート) is a series of articles posted on the movie's official website that follow the production team's location scouting trip to the United Arab Emirates.  They took the trip in order to take reference photos and other materials that would later help them shape the look and feel of the main feature The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa.

Location Scouting
| Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five |

Blog Post Title Date Posted
"To the Desert!"
June 11th, 2015
"The Red Desert"
June 19th, 2015
Episode Nine "To the Desert!"

Originally posted on June 11th, 2015

It's the third day of location scouting and the team has gathered in the hotel's lobby at 4:00am!  Our goal was to leave before the sun came up so we could look at the desert's sunrise from the sky above.  That's right, we signed up for a "hot air balloon tour" over the desert!

We took our breakfasts in the take-out bags we asked the hotel to put them in and left right away!  We got on the highway and, after driving for a little bit, arrived in the desert area.  Even though it was pitch black out when we got out of the car we could still feel the heat of the desert sand through our bodies.

The open flame from the hot air balloon's burner lit up the area around it as warm air was fed into the envelope, causing it to swell.  It was soon time to take off so we all jumped into the gondola. that was about chest-high.  If you include us members of the location scouting team there were 22 passengers altogether on this large sized hot air balloon.  The balloon shot up into the sky and soon we got so high up that the people, cities, and roads down below all looked like tiny little dots and lines. 

It was so amazing to be able to look out over the desert like this!  We could hear "oohs!" and "aahs!" from the other passengers all throughout the gondola as we burned the image of the desert into our minds and took reference photos.

From the cockpit directly below us we would occasionally hear a voice say "Goooo~!" and then the sound of the burner would become so loud that we couldn't hear ourselves talking.  The heat of the fire was being used to either raise the hot air balloon or lower it, you see; just as we thought we were diving in close to the ground we'd swoop right back up again.  We were able to see both the sand dunes from up close and the wide expanse of the desert from up above as we felt the wind around us.

This happened over and over and then, before we knew it, it was already time for the sun to come up.

The sky was a gradation from indigo blue to madder red.  We could see 360 degrees around us, from the sky tinged with the colors of the sunrise to the sight of the big wide desert.  We were able to have a tranquil moment as we looked over the desert.

When we were riding the hot air balloon we really felt like we were the Rocket-Dan from the TV series!!  The writer in charge of the main feature's script, Mr. Tomioka, expressed a newfound appreciation for how the Rocket trio is blown away by Pikachu's Thunderbolt almost every episode along with a hot air balloon just like the one we're riding in.  Will we change the Rocket-Dan's role in the film after having this experience!?

By the time the hot air balloon landed the sun was blazing hot and was making the surrounding area shine brightly.


Episode Ten "The Red Desert"

Originally posted on June 19th, 2015

Since we had gotten up so early we we went back to the hotel after our hot air balloon adventure to spend the rest of the morning resting.  That afternoon we were planning to go to a red desert area in order to appreciate these badlands even more.  Are we really spending the entire day in some desert??

We split up into five land cruisers and headed even further southeast from where our hot air balloon ride had begun earlier that morning.  After riding for a while we could finally see the red desert off in the distance.

We stopped for a bit so the cars' drivers could prepare for the next stretch of our journey.  That preparation included...deflating the cars' tires!?  It turns out that they let some of the air out of the tires to prevent them from sinking into the soft sand and getting stuck!

We picked up some of this sand to feel it for ourselves and it really was quite soft and fine.  It wasn't white-ish like the sand we saw when we were on the hot air balloon and instead had a red tint to it due to all the iron it contains.

As we waited for the preparations to finish, we wandered around and found a single "Sodom's Apple" flower growing at the entrance to the desert.

Once all five cars were ready we hopped back into the vehicles and took off!  We drove off-road in all directions, going up and down as if we were on some kind of theme park ride or something.  Our guide books had said that the ride was so bumpy that we should bring some kind of medicine to help with the motion sickness and we couldn't help but agree with them.  We screamed (from excitement...?) so much that our bodies were shaking for a while.

The cars stopped and we climbed down from atop the sand dune to continue toward the horizon.

But then a strange feeling came over us. 
Our surroundings were so different from what we're used to in our daily lives that it felt like we had stepped into a painting with us in the middle of it.

We were in a world without sound.  The soft sand flittered about a bit and started to get on our cameras.  Even though we were worried that the sand would get into our cameras' lens we couldn't help but take pictures at the patterns it was making in the air as it danced along the wind.  After a good while we decided to head back to the entrance of the desert so we could make it back in time to see the sun set.

The way back was just as bumpy and crazy as the trip there was!  And then, right as the friendly and hospitable drivers were asking us if we were OK one of the other cars' tires got stuck in the sand!  Luckily they managed to get out somehow only to get stuck again a little bit later!  This time the entire car was stuck in a chasm between sand dunes!  We had to end up having one of the other cars pull that car out with a rope.  Meanwhile it was starting to get dark...

Once we got out of the desert and back onto the paved roads we breathed a sigh of relief.  We were really thankful not to be left behind in the desert in the middle of the night!  We felt like we had finally returned to the real world.

Location Scouting
| Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five |




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