The importance of location in Ticket To Paradise is inherent in the film’s title. The rom-com, directed by Ol Parker, follows a divorced couple (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) to Bali, where they attempt to stop their daughter from marrying a local she’s just met. The film, like so many classics of the genre, relies on its aspirational setting to augment the will-they-won’t-they storyline. It follows the characters through lush, tropical islands, to white sand beaches with turquoise water, and around a luxury resort where each room has a private infinity pool.
Although the film is set in Bali, it wasn’t possible for the production to shoot on location. Instead, they looked to the coast of Australia, specifically places around Queensland, including the Gold Coast and Brisbane, to replicate the aesthetic and vibe of Bali. The team, including production designer Owen Paterson, scouted numerous locations in the region to find a collection of real-world spots to pair with set builds created at Gold Coast Studios. We sat down with Paterson to discuss how Ticket To Paradise’s titular setting came to be.
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How did you create the world of the film? What was it like using all of these locations around Queensland?
It was really quite a complex process. We tried to make it as invisible as possible. When you’re in an art department you’re trying to tell a story. Or, we’re telling a fib, if you like, and we’re needing to tell that fib all the way through the film. So the audience will be told that they’ve gone to Bali and then they’ll journey with the film and the actors and their story unfolding in this series of environments that creates a world that’s its own world in Bali. It can never quite be Bali, but for our intents and purposes it’s as close to Bali as we can make it. But it’s our version because the camera sees where our DP aims the camera.