Is it correct to use the verb phrase "take place" with "the video" or "the documentary" or "the film" for a subject, just like "the story" or "the scene"? Thank you.


To take place [somewhere] means "to be set or situated in that location". With something like a movie or a novel, you would use this to describe the location for the story, not where the movie was filmed or the novel was written.

Most of the movie Titanic takes place aboard the titular ocean liner, which, historically, did hit an iceberg and sink on April 15th, 1912.

In terms of media, take place is generally used for fictional stories. In documentaries, because the story is the same as the actual events, we would instead say it is filmed in (or filmed at or filmed on location in/at) some area.

With fictional movies (and other stories) you can be specific and say a particular scene takes place in some location.

The opening scene of Titanic takes place on the docks at Southampton, England, about 60 miles from London.

Otherwise, as FumbleFingers points out, events like concerts, competitions, political rallies, etc. can take place at a certain location or venue.

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  • I wouldn't say things that "take place" are particularly likely to be fictional - it's perfectly natural to say that elections or the World Cup take place at specified intervals / locations. It's more a matter of saying that we don't normally speak of documentaries "taking place" in that way. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 4 '18 at 17:22

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