F minus 9

Today I’m a location manager

We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. Pinner. Pinner is a village masquerading as a town which is really a London suburb. Pinner has the perfect village police station, with photogenic flowers outside and baskets hanging around the door. This, with some cheated camera angles, will do perfectly.

Several minutes were spent drawing a detailed sketch of the building to decide exactly what can be shot there–the entrance and the front–and what can’t–anything across the road where there’s a pub on one side and a row of shops on the other with a line of bottle recycling bins in front of them.

Pinner police station is actually on the corner of a fairly busy junction so I need to get all the reverse angles, looking back at the parked car (the Westfield) and the old lady driving off in it while we’re in the village on Friday. Then when those are cut together with the police station exteriors from Sunday, it will all look like two views of the one small location. Ah, the magic of cinema.

Back home, I call the Metropolitan Police operations room in Harrow (another London suburb) and am told to fax through details of my plans to one Inspector Yoxall, head of operations. It’s done. I’ve actually gone one step further, anticipating their next question, and checked that my union (Bectu) membership gives me public liability insurance cover for filming on the streets. It does.

One problem solved. Now I’m just waiting to see if I can do a bit better on the calibre of candidates who’ve responded so far to my requests for a camera assistant/focus puller.

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That all sounded too easy, didn’t it. Well, it was. I mean, it wouldn’t be the same if there wasn’t *something* to slow the whole production process down. Today it’s that I can’t get access to the school location–my police station interior–until next week because the school caretaker has gone sick. Of course, I’m working next week. So planning lighting and shots there is going to be, um… interesting.

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