When putting a commercial, TV series or Hollywood blockbuster together, a vital thing to get right is the location. Who could forget the ice Palace in Kiruna, where James bond stayed; or the hotel room in The Hangover Part Two, where the group discover the tiger in the bathroom; or even the shot of Tom Cruise hanging off a cliff while he was “relaxing” in Mission Impossible? All these great scenes were hugely improved by their incredible locations.
For most films, TV series and commercials, they will have someone dedicated to tracking down these locations. This person’s job can be hugely demanding due to the fact they need to find the right location within a specific timeframe, so the pressure is always on.
They must be continuously taking pictures and noting down suggestions. For instance, when they are at a coffee shop, maybe they think “this would be a great place for a couple to meet in a chick flick” or when at a luxury holiday destination, they may think how it would be perfect for a James Bond film.
However, people tasked with this job must find it very hard, because this isn’t the way it really works. They don’t find a location and then think of a film – it works the other way round, so there are very specific needs which need to be met. Fortunately, there is a resolution to their problems and this comes in the form of film location companies.
There are firms who specialise in providing different locations for different purposes. Need a three-bed semi on the outskirts of Manchester for a TV series, or an ultra-modern high-end bar to shoot the latest Sex and the City film or even a typical busy street in Tokyo? It’s not an issue – these companies can deliver.
This undoubtedly makes the job of the person in charge of film locations a great deal easier and it can also save money as less time is spent travelling to check places out. They may even end up with a better location than they had imagined, as they will be consulting with experts who already have a bank of knowledge on which to draw.
So next time you’re watching a Hollywood blockbuster or Eastenders or even the latest Tetley Tea commercial, take into consideration the work that has gone into producing it – not just the filming itself, but also the time, resources and dedication it has taken to get the location just right.
Article by Jeff Keys
This article was written by Jeff Keys. For help sourcing the right location for film or TV go to www.location-collective.co.uk.