Peter Savage goes on location.
The Barbican Estate has always been a popular place for film-makers, not only professionals but also for the producers and directors of the future. To break the tedium of lockdown your intrepid reporter has been “behind the scenes” on location.
On a damp, cold weekend in March, Aldersgate Street became the setting for a Mick Heron “Jackson Lamb” thriller series “Slow Horses” starring Gary Oldman and directed by James Hawes for Apple TV. The fictional Slough House is located on “a rainy” Aldersgate Street.
Making a feature film is expensive and the long list of credits that roll across the screen, as we make for the exit, gives some indication of how many people are involved in the process.
One vital role for a successful film is that of the Location Manager whose responsibilities, in addition to finding suitable locations for shoots in consultation with the director and designer, includes negotiating access and drawing up contracts with location owners, obtaining permission for access with local authorities and the police, scheduling crew arrival dates and times, ensuring the appropriate technical specification for equipment, power sources and crew accommodation on site are met and that health, safety and security requirements are complied with, providing support information to all services and crews, arranging schedules for the day with the assistant director to ensure continuity, managing the location on the day and resolving practical people-related problems, supervising location support staff including traffic management and security, and the provision of refreshments, toilets, rest rooms and first aid. He then has to supervise the clearing up afterwards.
Those of you looking forward to patronising the new Chinese takeaway will be disappointed. It is a figment of your imagination!
My thanks go to Nathan Flaher, Location Manager of Left Bank Pictures Ltd, for his help with this article.