Stepping Through Film with Thomas Duke

Film enthusiast Thomas Duke celebrates his love of the cinema by traveling to the locations of some of his favorite flicks. While there, he places a still shot from the film in the exact spot where it happened in the landscape. Doing this integrates the scene with the backdrop to reveal more than what we saw while watching the original production. Duke’s ongoing project is called Stepping Through Film and at its core, it is an homage to the magic of movies. “I’ve adored film my whole life, it was always there, a place that I could escape to when life was getting a little tough. I enjoyed exploring the screen through my head and couldn’t wait to, quite literally, step through the films that had helped me through my years of growing up.” Enjoy our favorite pics (spoiler alert!) and be sure to follow Duke’s original photography page on Instagram.

A still from The Joker, for instance, features Joaquin Phoenix standing on steps in the Bronx. Duke traveled to the borough to find the staircase that Phoenix stood on. By knowing what the real landscape looks like, it gives us some behind-the-scenes knowledge that adds another layer of enjoyment to the film.

“The Joker”

“This is from the 23rd episode in Season 4: The One with Ross’s Wedding. Not a lot has actually changed here at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square in terms of the structures and buildings which was so good for these pictures!”


“On the 29th September 2012, Amy and Rory said goodbye to the Doctor. The episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” broadcasted 7 years ago today and was an emotional swan song farewell to a loving couple of companions alongside Matt Smith.”

“Doctor Who”

“There’s a true beauty to this little group of films. 3 powerful, singular, mesmerizing stories told with heart, depth, and meaning. They show morals we should all live by through the connection that a human has with his friend, a friend whom others would call a “monster”, a “beast”, or a dragon without a heart.”

“How to Train Your Dragon”

“I took the location image when I visited Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. The filming for the first film mainly took place in the city as it looks quite like a vintage New York, with lots of added green screen of course! The shot of Newt walking up the steps was filmed at St George’s Hall. I thought it might look quite nice and look slightly more fitting to cut his figure out like this as the background would never match with anything – it was mainly CGI and doesn’t actually look like the soundings around the real location.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“I took this photo of Carl Fredricksen’s floating house while returning from one of my travels last year. I was sitting on the plane staring out into the unknown – I’m really happy I was able to capture an essence of such a beautiful film!”


“This shot is from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and I chose it to show the beauty and leadership of one of the greatest wizards that ever lived… Albus Dumbledore.”

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

“Welcome to Hogwarts! In a few moments you will pass through these doors and join your classmates but before you can take your seats you must be sorted into your houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Now while you’re here, your house will be like your family…”

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

“The scene was shot on the Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and with the help from Salisbury Plain Safaris, I was able to pinpoint the EXACT location for the trenches.”


“Dunkirk is one historical event where many lives were lost but also saved. It’s a moment in history that will never be forgotten. No photography can do justice but the least we can do is keep it in our memory and commemorate those who fought for us.”


“Hulk and Thor come crashing through the large windows at the front of the station and continue their little quibble about who the strongest Avenger really is.”

“The Avengers”

“The Battle of New York bought Captain America back into the folds of action today. This is a shot of him ferociously jumping off the Park Avenue Viaduct as he speedily escapes the fire from Loki’s goons… and doing so with style.”

“The Avengers”

“This film is beyond a cinematic achievement and any visit to an Iron Man location is an iconic one for me! The moments beforehand involving Doctor Strange and Bruce Banner were, although based in NYC, shot in Atlanta but luckily at least one part of that battle is based around New York City here in the Washington Square Park.”

“Avengers: Infinity War”

“Another trip down dreamy lane took me to this incredible scene from Inception; where Ariadne first ventures into a dream world. “Cafe Debussy”, where DiCaprio and Page sit as their surroundings explode around them, no longer resides in the corner – it’s now a lovely little bistro.”


“I always admired the connection between Kevin and this lady (the wonderful Brenda Fricker), who was just a stranger in Central Park. With a little caring consideration, Kevin sees the love within this human being and makes their Christmas whole again.”

“Home Alone 2”

“I ventured to the coastal regions of Cornwall (Looe to be exact) to find the perfect rock to encapsulate this iconic moment in reality.”

“The Little Mermaid”

“What an amazing place to explore! It took a while to figure out where each place was but with the help from the wonderful team at Puzzlewood, it was really great to see exactly where each different scene took place. Trees and rock formations have slightly changed over the years but for the most part, the general landscape and details have stayed recognizable.”


“It was so much fun exploring Cardiff properly for the first time. I’ve traveled over and under the city before but never in heart of it all.”


“Here’s another scene from the beloved rom-com where Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster are looking over the Thames talking about love. They’re seen sitting on a bench, which is no longer there, on the London Southbank.”

“Love, Actually”

“This film is full of family adventure and the relationship between the characters is what makes this story glow.”

“The Incredibles”

“The joy of walking across the stunning Brooklyn Bridge for the first time will forever be engrained in my memory. Yes, I may have been capturing a shot of a brutal, murderous assassin and his 4-legged friend but nevertheless it was really lovely and the sun was shining.”

“John Wick: Chapter 2”

“This is Broadgate Tower right behind Liverpool Street station. Those escalators! In the show, this exact spot is where the entrance to heaven and hell resides.”

“Good Omens”

“Before his untimely passing last year, Stan Lee made many cameos in the movies based on his world of superheroes – the one shown here is from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ where Stan sits and watches the graduation speeches and then remarks “I know that guy!” as Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man jumps on stage to graduate.”

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

“What do you think about when you think of Spider-Man? I think of him swinging through the concrete jungle of New York City. I imagine people looking up in awe at this superhero protecting them from above. Inspired by this, I took these cut-outs to the top of the Empire State Building and shot each movie iteration of the character soaring through his iconic home.”

via [mymodernmet]