Securing locations and recces

We started producing the film with the ‘Out-Classed’ version of the script in mind so the locations that we needed included:

  • Office Space – Conference Room, Office Workstation Space, Canteen
  • Nightclub Space – Entrance, Corridors, Dancefloor, Toilet, Bar, Beer Garden
  • Concrete-Jungle Outdoor Space/Park
  • Misc: Apartment Room, House Room, Lab Corridor, Pub Space

For the office space we called various places on Gumtree – http://www.gumtree.com/office-space/coventry but we were quoted up to £500 for the facilities that we required for just 1 day (apparently they had to clean an area just so we could use the areas we wanted). This is something that I completely was against paying for. Locations should be free because I am potentially using it to advertise their businesses, etc.   I emailed various people for office space but no-one seemed to reply. The scale of the office space we required was simply too big so I guess people were unprepared to help because we were students with a severe lack of money. The problem with acquiring office spaces is that they are either all taken or simply being used for long period of times in a year. It simply wasn’t feasible or possible to hire out an office space. We kept trying to locate one, but we were unsuccessful – this was another driving factor to enter Mark IV of the script ‘End of Nights’ removing an office space from the script/story altogether. It was really demotivating being told that we had to pay grand amounts to secure a pretty crappy office space. Absolutely no-one helped us at this point, the best advice we could get was to use one of the rooms in Coventry University, I wanted to cry at this point. I wanted authenticity, not a university room.

We assumed nightclubs were going to be the hardest to find. The best way of contact to them was through their Facebook pages, so we started sending heaps of cleverly formulated messages to various nightclub venues (around 5 in total). None of them got back to us apart from Club M, Coventry. We spoke to the assistant manager of Club M and he was more than happy for us to see and use the place as long as we held an after-party there upon the completion of filming. We agreed. ClubM recces can be found here;

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/73462357@N06/sets/72157632864264447/

The club itself was fantastic. It had the latest tech, it was a genuine nightclub with pitch black walls, the box-office was perfect, the toilet’s walls were painted in blood red and car parking was aplenty. Technically we couldn’t have got a better club – it was perfect for the events in the story. We were really happy with ourselves for securing what we thought would be the most difficult task of all so we took a massive sigh of relief and moved forward. However the second time I came for recces (with the new DoP) the assistant manager who agreed to meet us on the day was actually in Scotland; this was incredibly devastating because I had to make the DoP (the final DoP who had taken time off to visit the club) wait 30mins, for no-one to even turn up. This looked bad on me and my fellow producer and showed the true nature of the assistant manager. He could have easily notified us about his absence. Fortunately he met us later in the week. DoP loved it but stated that additional lighting would be required. This club however was to cause us massive problems in the future – see Production at ClubM.

For the outdoor scenes we already had a location in mind, Stoke Aldemoor Park. We went down there and started taking some recce shots. It had a reputation for being ‘dodgy’ – one look at the recces explains my point perfectly;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/designbygeo/sets/72157632980200408/

I really wanted to use the areas highlighted 1 and 2 to feature the subway in the film. It would give the film a true sense of darkness and depravity, especially when the gang would be abusing a woman in darkness and Ted and Grace would walk right into that mess. The scene was simple enough so not much planning was required at this point. There was a road nearby that featured spaces for cars so I was happy with it, it also could not let us down because it was a park and a park isn’t going anywhere.

We had thought of Misc locations but were honestly not going anywhere with them. Parts of the script that needed them were minimal and too small to merit such effort to find them so we started to begin doubting parts of the story that actually needed them.

Again, this is what lead to the Mark IV change – ‘End of Nights’. Once that version of the script went gold we had already secured the nightclub and the outdoor locations so all that was left was finding a place for the councillor scene. Funnily enough we needed a realistic office, one room this time, so we asked around once again but to no avail. A friend of mine showed us a room but it was far too messy and filled with equipment to qualify as a councillor’s office. We did however find a nice somewhat suitable room in our university building (two actually) and booking it was comparable to selling your soul to the devil, so a lecturer advised us to walk in on the day and use it. And that we did.

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