If you haven’t got access to Shepperton or Pinewood….
How do you begin searching for a location that is soundproof, tall enough to rig lights, convenient for everybody to drive to, close enough to a B&B to put people up and affordable? We wanted a space where we could recreate the couple’s amazing apartment extremely fast. We wanted it free for 8 specific weeks and we wanted it now.
We looked at London penthouses but we couldn’t hang the green screen outside, so that option, ideal as it was, was scrapped (it was night time so we'd be wanting to shoot night during the day). We needed a space where we could access balcony doors too. We scanned every possible availability in the surrounding Kent countryside and ended up with a shortlist.
We found a Barn in Upstreet. It had many pros but it needed work. The good thing was it was in the middle of a field with no partying neighbours, but the bad thing was the place was already booked for a large wedding party for 4 days right bang in the middle of our shoot. Which meant we had to get in and out 6 times in 26 days. Which in turn means we had to repaint walls, assemble entire set, put back everything, clean, polish and store everything in vans, work out insurances and start the process all over again. Any production designer will tell you this is worse than a nightmare, but in our case we had no other choice. Time was pressing and we had to make a deal and work around that.
In fact we were given a week to set up and get in, which at the pace and level we worked at was no short of a miracle how we managed.
Paul and I were on overdrive, I’ve never seen anybody work more efficiently and brilliantly.
Paul was firing on all cylinders and the excitement was building. We were more determined than ever to get started on our planned day and now that we had all our cast and crew finalized, the only thing we had to do was build the set – in the overall allocated time of 7 days! (we couldn’t do that before because we couldn’t access the space to measure it).