Location, Location, Location!


Last week the team and I ventured to the capital to have a much needed meeting with Yomi Afolabi’s younger brother and his uncle the narrator. I will go into detail in the next post about what was discussed. Soon after the heated and much anticipated meeting we popped around the corner to visit the Stockwell Centre. This is a potential location for the bulk of our interviews with the family and friends of Afolabi. The emphasis on securing the perfect location is huge as ‘getting access to the right locations can lend your story credibility and interest’ (Video maker 2016) which will effect the overall success of the project. On entry we were not surprised to see two functions taking place at this popular location. After speaking to one of the owners we soon realised that this may not be an ideal location for us as they are always busy, and are unable to control sound in the neighbouring rooms if there is another function taking place. This coupled with the fact that they are almost fully booked for the next month and a half also did nothing for our chances of securing this location. Yomi was quite keen on using this venue as it is not too far from the family home, and because of it’s accessibility.

Initially I saw all the interviews taking place in the family home like I mentioned in my previous post, or somewhere with sentimental value. This is no longer an option for us as Yomi said it would be impractical and uncomfortable for the family involved which I understand. Later that day Yomi sent through a pictures of the family home in sound London. They are below. From the pictures the room looks relatively tight with a lot of memorabilia and pictures scattered around the room. This sort of family home could potentially work in our favour as it is real and would be free to use although I think we would have an issue with space, timing  and cluttered shots. I also understand that Yomi’s mother is relatively old which is also an additional factor to take into consideration. On the other hand using a hall like the one mentioned takes away from the authenticity and the family feel which I first envisioned when taking up the role of director. For me this ultimately means that we have to find a suitable location which caters to all of our stylistic needs. Either that or try to create one which will also be a challenge and time consuming, not to mention costly. We did not speak to the owner about the cost of the hall as we were put off, which in hindsight was a poor move on our part because it may turn out to be our best option. This is a mistake on our part which we will learn from.

Time is very much fast spent and even though Yomi promised to view a couple other locations during this week it is important to keep tabs on him and conduct our own thorough search into finding an ideal location which fits our budget. During the meeting he also discussed the remaining locations he has in mind for the documentary which were the cemetery, the crime scene, family houses, a hall and a couple other minor places. Acquiring filming permission from places like the cemetery will not be an easy feet. Many potential complications could arise which in turn makes me very wary about getting things done as soon as possible. The urgency which we exude is not of the same level as Yomi’s and the uncle. Which is both frustrating and understandable, after all they don’t have a degree on the line. This is evident to see through the lax replies we receive in the group chat will formed with us the film makers and Yomi and the uncle. With all this being said we will continue to plough on and focus on reaching our weekly targets in that hope that the pair will click into gear.

Room 1:

This is the initial interview room we were first shown. It is extremely small and would be more ideal as storage for belongings and equipment then a location for filming. It is completely impractical especially when you consider the lack of space for lighting. Also the window exposes us to many outdoor sounds, and other visual distractions. The owner also informed that she will be unable to grant us the license to move the objects out of the room. This room is a defiant NO GO!

Room 2: 

This second room is more ideal. It is quite a large space with room to move and feel free. The large open space windows could also act as a potential distraction visually, and orally. The room also harbours a certain acoustic which will not work well with the interview. The wooden floor and a lack of material to deflect sound could also cause an issue. The space may even be too big, and it most defiantly lacks the family feel which I was initially going for. Lighting this room will also be very difficult as there is not much control over the lights and there is an open planned window. If we can’t control the light on set we may have to control it in post which is a situation we want to avoid. ‘Getting the light right when you film is much better than trying to improve badly lit footage when you edit’ (Film 2016). This is because there is less room for improvement in post. I will mark this location as ‘if worse comes to worse’. POTENTIAL.


Policy, V.P. and Sitemap (2016) How to get access to locations for your documentary. Available at: http://www.videomaker.com/courses/669/getting-location-access (Accessed: 4 March 2016).

Film, L. about (2016) Light. Available at: http://learnaboutfilm.com/film-language/picture/light-and-colour/ (Accessed: 4 March 2016).


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