Bristol Film Office

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Bristol Film Office came down to speak about using locations in Bristol, I feel as a producer for a project I am likely to deal directly with acquiring locations so this was definitely worth while. Bristol Film Office offer dedicated services to the production industry, with Bristol growing as a media hub it is an extremely useful to encourage and endorse filming in the city. Last year there were around 400 enquiries for filming in Bristol, with 200 permits issues, this year there have already been twice as many permits and enquiries. Shows filmed in Bristol include; Deal Or No Deal, Skins, Atlantis, Sherlock, and Doctor Who.

As a student my dealings with the film office are only in the case of using public spaces and council property. If you ever film in these spaces you need to have a permit, thankfully if you are filming in the street or outdoor (without needing supervision) it is free to acquire the permit. In the case of council owned property there may be costs to pay.

When dealing with a private residence you can talk directly with the owner without the need for the Bristol Film Office, however there is a suggested code of conduct to follow. Last year on one of the productions I worked on there was an issue with the location charging more than originally agreed on the day, having raised this issue I am now aware of the support the University will provide in this circumstance and that I am entitled to a free solicitor as a student. The recommendation is to confirm the location through a contract, then document and keep track of everything, therefore if anything goes wrong you have enough evidence to query or take legal action if deemed necessary.

The key things to remember when filming on location is a copy of the risk assessment/health and safety documents, a copy of your public liability insurance (in this case UWE) and a copy of the permit. With all these documents you are pretty much covered for any query or issue faced, along with a contract if it is a private resident most issues can easily be avoided.

The main thing I took away from this lecture other than the appropriate paperwork and procedures when acquiring locations is to be creative with your locations. If you require a forest for a close-up shot could you use some trees in your back garden? You don’t necessarily have to find the exact location, but find something that can signify and represent it, something the audience can identify. As a location scout constantly consider the shot, there is no need to load on unnecessary costs and paperwork if you can achieve the same look without the hassle. This phrase will constantly go through my mind whenever looking for locations: BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR LOCATIONS.


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