Henry the Lost Dog - London Video Production
The Dogs Trust commissioned Magneto Films to make video to support their lost dogs campaign. The story of how we made the film is a great case study for London video production – read on to learn how we secured location permissions, liaised with council and scouted locations for filming.
One of the best things about being a London video production company is that when it comes to making films to be shot on location, we know all the ins and outs of finding locations, getting permissions and organising logistics. So when Dogs Trust asked us to make a film that featured an actor, dressed as a dog, wandering the streets pretending to be lost, we didn’t bat an eye-lid… we just got on the phone and started organising everything.
Here are our top 3 tips for producing video in London
1. Location Scouting
Going out on a recce is an invaluable part of London video production, so if we’ve got time we always get out on the streets and start walking. In this case, we knew our client wanted to film in Islington, so we spent a good few hour looking for suiatable spots, checking for access, hazards and most importantly, any sound issues such as roadworks, noisy crossings or air conditioners. We were also able to drop into shops and cafes to find out whether they’d be happy to allow some filming and to look for good places to feed the crew.
2. Gaining Permission
Although in theory you’re able to film pretty much anywhere on the public streets without permission, in practice, getting permission from the relevant authorities always makes things go smoothly. For this shoot, our first port of call was the excellent FilmFixer – they ‘re a one stop shop for liaising with the various borough councils. A brief chat with them revealed that we’d also need permission from Transport for London as they were responsible for Upper Street, one of our main locations. Their RedRoute Filming unit were able to help is through the process and organise everything for us.
If an army marches on its stomach then a film crew runs on parking…. and its stomach. Even if you’re a small crew with just a single vehicle, countless hours can be lost just looking for parking, so planning ahead really helps. We’re often able to arrange parking at a client’s location for the camera vehicle as it’s usually the most heavily laden. Then we look for good value NCP or other parking options. It’s also worth looking at some of the websites and apps that allow you to use people’s drives or private spaces – try JustPark or ParkOnMyDrive.
Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A. More about Jeremy