Couple travel the world to recreate scenes at film locations

(CNN) – After making several great trips together as a couple, Robin Lachhein and Judith Schneider, both from Frankfurt, Germany, wanted to do something very special for their next vacation.

They discussed various potential ideas before coming up with something that got them both excited – going to a set and recreating a famous scene.

In 2014, they traveled to Prague and replayed a clip from the 1996 film “Mission: Impossible,” making sure to document the moment in front of the camera.

Over the next several years, Lachhein and Schneider traveled everywhere from Rome to Iceland, New York and even Utah, recreating scenes or promotional shots from films like “Thelma and Louise”, “The Hunger Games “,” Eat Pray Love “,” The Devil Wears Prada “as well as television series such as” Game of Thrones “and” Downton Abbey “.

In 2018, the couple launched an Instagram account, Secret Famous Places, where they share their reenactments alongside stills from the films that inspired their shoots.

The account now has nearly 40,000 subscribers, including Oscar winners Hilary Swank and Marion Cotillard among those posting in the comments section.

Classical reconstructions

Lachhein, 32, and Schneider, 31, who met at a friend’s birthday party 11 years ago, are delighted that their somewhat unusual hobby is getting so much attention, especially since they had never planned to share the images with the world.

“First, we just want to take the photos of our living room, so that we can have fond memories of the places we visited,” Lachhein told CNN Travel. “But more and more people reacted to these images.”

According to Lachhein, some of their friends assumed the images had been photoshopped and were stunned to learn that they had in fact gone to the locations featured in the films, dressed up as characters and had their photos taken from an identical angle. .

“We were laughing when we first talked about dressing like the actors, because it’s a lot of work,” says Schneider. “But then we tried.”

They also go to great lengths to ensure that the angle is as close to the original image as possible.

“You have to get the right angle, the right perspective and stand exactly where the actor or actress was standing,” Lachhein explains.

The first shoot they did didn’t quite go as planned. After dressing in their costumes, putting on makeup and heading to Charles Bridge in Prague to replicate a Tom Cruise pose in the first of the “Mission: Impossible” films, it started to rain uncontrollably.

Lachhein and Schneider had little choice but to turn around and meet again the next day. Luckily, they were finally able to get the shot they needed and quickly started planning more trips to filming locations.

“You have to improvise”

However, recreating an iconic movie or TV scene isn’t as easy as showing up on the spot one day and pulling out a camera.

The couple often have to do a lot of planning in order to figure out exactly where the featured spot in the footage is that they want to focus on, as well as how to get there.

They walked for hours to get to where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dance in the 2016 movie “La La Land”, while the villagers were on hand to help them find a specific rock in New Zealand. from the 2008 action-adventure film “10,000 BC.”

“If it’s not such a big movie, then it’s a bit difficult,” Lachhein explains. “Then there are many hours of searching on Google Maps to try and find an overview of the area.”

On certain occasions, they had to obtain permission to take photos in a particular location, as was the case when the couple replayed scenes from the 2020 movie “Tenet” at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Italy and ” Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones “at Lake Como.

Then there is the small matter of making sure they have identical clothing to those worn by the movie or television characters they are posing under.

“We always try to use the things we already have so that we don’t buy a lot of things,” explains Schneider, recounting how they made a necklace from a piece of steel for a particular scene in “Star Wars” .

“Or we borrow from our friends. Sometimes it’s very easy, you might need jeans, white shoes and a shirt. But for something like ‘Game of Thrones’ it’s very complicated. We have to improvise a lot. ”

One of the most popular stills on their account is a recreation of a footage from the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” taken in Monument Valley, in which they enlisted a group of travelers to stand in the background to make it. more authentic.

If the place where they need to be is in a popular tourist spot, like the bench from the 2014 film “The Fault In Our Stars” starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, which is located next to the Leidsegracht canal in Amsterdam, get the the image they need can be even more difficult.

“There were a lot of people who wanted to sit there,” says Schneider. “So we waited, and waited until it was empty.”

Celebrity Support

Their painstakingly precise efforts proved to be successful on Instagram, with Swank giving the account her stamp of approval when she commented, “This is amazing!” on their image from his 2007 film “PS I Love You,” which also starred Gerard Butler.

However, Welsh actor Tom Cullen, who played Viscount Gillingham in “Downton Abbey” was the first star to post a post, writing “nailed” to their image reflecting a scene from the popular ITV show captured outside. of Highclere Castle in the UK.

“At that point, we had maybe three photos and 300 followers or something,” says Schneider. “So it was very good [of him]. “

As they both work full time, Lachhein and Schneider plan their trips within the six weeks of vacation allotted to them each year.

While some of their followers have assumed the couple’s trips are funded by their families, they point out that they pay for everything themselves and don’t make any money from their photos.

They try to avoid Photoshop as much as possible so that the photos are a true representation of the place, but admit to occasionally using filters and / or altering colors to enhance an image.

While the couple don’t necessarily choose their vacation destinations based on the films they want to make, Lachhein admits that the prospect of visiting the location for the 2010 movie “Inception” played a big part in their decision to make. go to Paris in 2017.

“‘Inception’ is my favorite movie. I wanted to create this scene with Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard at the [Pont de Bir-​Hakeim] bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

“So we had to go to Paris. And we combined the trip with different movies and series.”

They have been particularly touched by the efforts of some locals to ensure they get the exact image they need.

“People are so proud that these filming locations are in their city,” explains Schneider. “And they try to help us a lot. They are so nice.”

While the pandemic put many of their overseas trips on hold for a while, the couple were able to travel across Germany to take pictures, and also paid a visit to Italy last summer, when travel restrictions were briefly lifted.

Although they’ve recreated around 100 scenes from movies and TV, they have a lot more on their wishlist.

They hope to visit London in the coming months, as well as New York and Australia, when international travel reopens.

“The list [of locations] that’s a long time, “said Schneider.” I think we’re going to spend a few more years doing this. “

About Victoria Rothstein

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