9 January 2010

Goodbye: Location Scouting

The other job I was able to get on with over the past month was finding locations for the outdoor scenes in Goodbye.

My requirements are simple: a green field, cheap parking, and close proximity to the second location (my flat).

Usefully there are two communal gardens within five minutes walk of my home. One offers everything Goodbye needs: With the added bonuses of continual traffic noise and trains running past one end every 10 minutes.

This meant travelling out of Camden and into Islington. This is where I found the perfect location in a large park.

Caledonian Park, Islington
This could be the best location for Goodbye. Pity about the cost.

The field was very large, parking was available outside the entrance, it was near to my home, there was little traffic noise, and there were long paths - useful in case of rain on the day, as Goodbye's actress could run along them instead of the path.

The downside is that the land is Council property, and so I'd need to get a permit to film there.

Like many areas in London, Islington is covered by the film liason company The FiLM Office. The Office proved extremely helpful, offering a permit for a four-hour shoot for £250. But a complete unwillingness to negotiate, and the requirement for taking our £5 million worth of insurance for the shoot.

As a backup I checked with Camden Council's film office (Camden - one of the largest boroughs in London - isn't covered by The FiLM Office). Their representatives wouldn't give me a firm figure, however that office's website said filming would cost is "From £125 per hour". Plus an administration fee. And insurance.

As you can tell, making a no-budget film can be somewhat expensive.

Thankfully, there may be a cheaper option - a local church, which has a picturesque garden. If you can crop out the building works. The downside is the land is part-owned by the council.

Church grounds
If you ignore the graves and the cheap fence, it's really rather lovely here.

If the church grounds are unobtainable, shooting Goodbye will cost means either finding someone who can loan me a very large garden, doing it guerilla style, or running lots of rehearsals before shooting begins. I'm leaning towards the final option.

And that means finding somewhere I can rehearse with the actors and DoP, that's not going to wipe out my meagre budget.

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