Landscape El Chorrillo, Pechina, Almería

Located very close to the capital city, 15,5 kilometres and about 20 minutes by car, you can find this spectacular place that has become the most demanded shooting location as a consequence of its apparition in this film. Surrounded by Sierra Alhamilla, which belongs to the municipal area of Pechina, this polyvalent place can be used to recreate many types of environment, from an actual conflictive Middle East country to Egypt in Moses’ time, as it occurs in this film.

The train dedicated to transport iron from Sierra Alhamilla mines to the city of Almeria during the end of the XIXth and the beginning of the XXth centuries run along El Chorrillo and some parts of the train station still remains intact. These edifications are made up with some props to recreate the exact time of the film.

Here was filmed…

This area in the province of Almería turned, for a few days, into the village of Vaes Dothrak, territory of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones, where they hold captive the Khaleesi in season VI. This was the setting for the striking night scene in which the Mother of Dragons shows again that she is also the Unburnt when she emerges from the flames out of a great Dothraki cabin. Also, in another scene, Sir Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis hide among the houses in the village.

El Chorrillo landscape is certainly the new centre of the filming production in Almeria. A relatively recent location that offers the producers the possibility to recreate many different stages in the very same ground, very close to the capital city and with enough space to develop the complex technical work needed to produce a blockbuster. We are talking about the circulation of enormous trucks carrying heavy equipment, something that may be impossible in smaller locations or with difficult access. The construction of the sets, carps used as locker rooms or storage space, canteen, stables it is only possible in a place like this.

At El Chorrillo, the producers created up to five different sceneries for Exodus and occupied most of the shooting time in Almeria. Due to its wide land extensions, open accesses, palm trees paths, buildings that can be redecorated according to different ages and a terrain that fits with any desert location, the area was the best option to film many of the scenes of Exodus.

Although some other spaces of this huge and versatile location were used as well, the main set areas situated in El Chorrillo were five: the outside of the Jewish ghetto where the slaves live, the doors of the city of Pythom with a luxurious square garnished with tall sculptures, different streets and palace indoors.

The Jewish ghetto probably represents the most genuine and popular location of the film in Almeria. The set representing a pair of streets where the Jewish houses are located was built in one of El Chorrillo esplanades. Those pair of streets became a giant city thanks to amazing visual effects.

The most spectacular scene shot in this point was the one when the Egyptian army raid the ghetto following Ramses commands to find Moses and kill him and his family. This scene was highly difficult to shoot due to the participation of horses simulating an action scene along the very narrow streets, where the animals stayed only a few centimetres away from extras and stuntmen. The ghetto still remains in the same place, becoming a place of peregrination and being used (with certain adjustments) in the shooting of other productions, such as Game of Thrones.

The largest location was the square where Ramses addresses the Hebrews threatening them with the daily assassination of a family until they hand over Moses. The appearance of the place seen from the outside was similar to a sports arena, presenting stands and different levels. The magic effect of the cinema can be detected comparing both sides. The one where the film was shot presents a perfect output: a wide square located in an Egyptian city with all the elements needed, including columns and statutes, whereas on the other side, you can see the ephemeral construction made for the film.

Another interesting set construction in El Chorrillo created for Exodus was the tall half-built bust statue, located in the city of Pythom. It was a very sticking image because it could be seen from a far distance and it created the effect of truly being in Ancient Egypt. The image of the fake sphinx half-built was used as the first official picture of the film, introducing Christian Bale riding a horse. It was published by Empire magazine.

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