Locations are extremely important as they help to tell the story.‘The location settings are often integral to both the story being told and the costs of telling that story’ (Joh Garon 2009: 160). In this post I will go over the specific locations we used, why we used them and how we found them.
When designating roles for this film I called upon a friend of mine called Abisola to be the location manager/ head scout. She has a background in events management and she also loves decoration and set design so she seemed perfect the role. Together we isolated the sorts of locations we needed for the film and then attempted to contact the location owners.
For the film we initially needed a Pub, main house, a corner shop, a hospital. The outside areas consisted of outside flats, particular streets and a park bench. We also narrowed our search to the east London as this is where the film is set.
Flats (main house):
Rikita Samuel the casting director for the film happens to live right outside the West ham stadium. I approached her to use her flat as this is the perfect location for the film and she obliged. This is an integral part of the film as it holds key scenes and also tells you a lot about the family Billy is from and what sort of life he lives. It also gives you an incite into the world and the community which he is from. I want to use a lot of long shots in this film to set scenes. I will use these shots as establishing shots which I think will help put the film in perspective. I got this idea from a film I watched called ‘Cass’ which has similarities to my film.This inspired me and is a film I am using as a point of reference. The director of the film is Jon. S. Baird. Her house is well sized which gives us the room to set up lighting, sound and camera equipment. Unfortunately the house is very feminine, but to overcome this small problem we will move things about and shoot around this as this house is perfect for our film in every other way.
Cost – Free (Paid to take the mother out)
Finding this location was extremely difficult. We first tried new ham general hospital and then they refereed me to the Royal London hospital in whitechapel. Both hospitals were little help as they are very popular and do not commission media work like this. We then tried Queen Mary university in mile end and they put us in contact with their branch in central London. Bartholomew hospital. We negotiated prices with them for a while, trading location agreements and accessing the health and safety paper work before signing the dotted line. We knew there was so much riding on how this location and the hospital scene in general as it is such a defining moment in the film. I found inspiration from the film Law abiding citizen (2009) in this there is situation when Clyde Shelton a father of a murdered daughter torches his daughters murderer. The shot pace, and intensity is amazing, also the minimal use of dialogue is great. This is something I have incorporated into my film. (Below are emails from the hospital and ourselves)
Cost – £130
Finding a this location was relatively straight forward. We went into the Boelyn Tavern which is the pub just outside of the West ham stadium and asked if we could use the location. We explained that we are students and how we needed it for a short scene in our short film. They were very helpful and supportive and granted us full permission to film in the premises. The pub has a huge significance behind it as it is something, which represents British culture. It is also houses the scene where Billy and his ex partner Denise meet the doctor for the first time. We see the pub used in British soaps like Eastenders, Emerdale, Hollyoaks and so fourth. So the use of this location alone gives the audience signifiers into genre the film maybe and the sorts of characters it may have. The pub also plays in to the football theme which surrounds this film.
Cost – Free
Location agreement: Pub agreement 2
Finding this location was more difficult then I first imagined. We identified the location but every time we went to see the owner he was never in. This was frustrating. We then got a hold of his number and managed to strike a deal with him over the phone. The use of this corner shop was strictly for the kids scene. The size of the shop was exactly what I was looking for. The other shops we viewed were too big and did not capture the same authenticity as this shop.
Cost – Free
Location agreement: Shop agreement 2
Here are some extra shots from the outside locations.
These location will help to tell the story of the film. ‘A location affects the look of the entire film. It can dictate the look of the stage sets. It can set the psychological mood of the story. A good location scout can bring so much to a film that very few people will ever realise’.(The importance of film 2010). This entire process was very stressful. It required patience, negotiating skills and transport money. Even though Abisola’s and my efforts were successful there is also a lot I can learn from my experience. For example I didn’t get the casting director to sign a location agreement for her housee because at the time I didn’t feel this was necessary as she is apart of the crew. Looking back on things this was a very risky ploy as she could’ve pulled out at any time.
Garon, J.M. (2009) The independent filmmaker’s law and business guide: Financing, shooting, and distributing independent and digital films. 2nd edn. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press.
2016, B.H. (2016) The royal London hospital. Available at: http://www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/the-royal-london-hospital/ (Accessed: 6 March 2016).
Law abiding citizen (2009) Directed by Gary F. Gray [FILM]. USA: .
B, C. (2010) The Importance of Film Locations. Available at: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-of-Film-Location&id=5508278 (Accessed: 6 March 2016).