Some locations feel like they’re made for film – think rolling green hills of New Zealand as The Shire, the sands of Tunisia turned into Tatooine in Star Wars, or Central Park, which has played itself in so many movies and TV shows from Elf to When Harry Met Sally. Other locations are not quite so iconic but still feel familiar, such as Maeve’s caravan park in the Wye Valley where a lot of the drama plays out, or Blackpool’s Central Pier, which appears regularly in If Only.
Often the most recognisable locations are streets, markets or cafes. They can add a sense of place to a story, especially in small towns where street scenes are a familiar sight. They’re also easy to transform into whatever setting the script calls for, whether it’s a busy city square or a traditional townscape with shops and restaurants.
Bigger shoots will usually have a unit base where they can keep their equipment, catering trucks and Winnebagos for the duration of the shoot. This could be a house, or a large outside space such as a carpark or playing field. This will also be where the crew will eat their meals and spend most of their time.
Often smaller photoshoots and film productions won’t need a unit base as they’ll only be shooting for one day. However, if your house is close to a motorway or under a flight path it will make life more difficult for the crew as they won’t be able to get in and out easily. For this reason a location manager will letter-drop your neighbours before they film, so everyone knows what’s happening.
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