One of the locations required for the film was a beach/pier/promenade, so after doing a bit of research into nearby seaside resorts, the most beautiful and logistically viable option was Llandudno in Wales. Myself, Sam and Jake (the Director of Photography) had an early start meaning when we arrived in Wales we could spend a fair amount of time there. The journey was long – about 3 hours each way – but it was necessary research. Due to the distance away from Coventry it was important to be sure that it was suitable to shoot there, so we took a Canon 5D, 60D and 550D and took some footage for a test shoot to show to the rest of the team. Here’s a little glimpse at some of that footage. It’s quite cinematic.[vimeo https://vimeo.com/39789209]
While we were here we locked down the B&B for the cast and crew to stay in when they came across for the shoot and also managed to sort the B&B as a location itself for one of the scenes. We found a suitable cliffside location (where the characters peer down at the beach and see the ‘code’ dug into the sand), sorted the pier and in general it was a very successful day location scouting.
Another important location is the woodland area, which originally was thought to be best at Coombe Park, however we decided it would be more ideal, logistically, in terms of actors, travel and cost, that it would be easier and quicker to shoot nearer to the city centre at Memorial Park. Myself, Sam, Jake and Pete went out to find the perfect location setting for the scene – somewhere that was isolated, without many passers by that had a big nice tree with an open area around it for camera set-up. I don’t think we could have found a better spot than the one we did find, other than it was reasonably close to the road (though no issue really as sound is monitored closely). We did a nice test shoot here, discussed shot types and got a feel for how the shoot was to take place. We found test shoots vastly improved the professionalism of the crew on set for the actual shoot – reducing set-up time (important especially in-front of the actors).
I sorted the ‘old photography store’ location quite easily. I gave Lionel Hughes a call who owns a B&B in Balsall Common, but as a hobby also sells old film cameras, of which he has a stock of hundreds at his disposal. Myself and Sam visited his house and him and his wife were kind enough to show us around to have a look at some cameras. They were also happy to provide their house as an actual location – a beautiful and quaint old wooden house with low ceiling beams – ideal for a set. I took this information to the rest of the crew who were willing to change the script from an old camera shop to ‘their granddad’s house’. His website can be found HERE.
For the computer shop, where one of our main characters (Percy) works, we did not have to look far from the University building we are based in. We literally had to walk for about 10 seconds outside the front door of the building we have our production meetings in to come to a small computer shop, ABC Computers. For obtaining this as a location I just walked in, talked to the guy at the desk, he gave me the number for the owner of the business (Mr Zarandove) who I then contacted to arrange a meeting, met with him the following day and discussed when we would require the location etc. and it was all sorted within 3 days. At first payment was discussed, though I managed to persuade him that we would offer advertisement on our website and hand out their flyers around the Student Union and Media Department in return for their help on the project. The ABC Computers website can be found HERE.
The newsagents/job centre/cafe locations have all been converted into one location – The Deli. The team did well to secure this as a location, as not only were they happy to allow us to film there in return for advertisement, they have also given us £500 to put towards our budget. This was an incredible moment for the crew as we were in desperate need of funds to cover logistics for the UK shoot. Their website can be found HERE.
The countryside location is flexible, therefore we decided that it would be best to shoot this on route to Llandudno, or on the way back whichever was more ideal at the time. The amount of countryside lanes that we saw while travelling to Wales was incredible, therefore we all agreed that it would not be worth spending the time scouting for a particular location when we were surrounded by more than enough possibilities.
Also the bedroom location is fixed – a large room within the Art and Design Building – it’s empty, plain, with white walls and a wooden floor, just what we need for Max’s bedroom which is supposed to be plain, clean and very Zen/Apple influenced.
Another important couple of locations that have been confirmed recently are the Canal Basin and The Apple Orchard. I can’t really say much about them as I haven’t seen them myself, but they are apparently perfect for what we need.
Oh and did I mention we managed to obtain all the locations for free… BARGAIN.