Taking a production to the farm opens up a world of possibilities with undiscovered locations, unexpected features and so much space to work with.
British farms offer millions of acres of landscape with all forms of architecture, crops and props, not forgetting thousands of miles of private roadways. They continue to surprise us all as to what can be discovered on a farm location, with plenty of aspects entirely un- farm-y (think schools, chapels, woodland cabins, beaches, pools).
When filming on a farm, the opportunities are endless, original and inspirational and we at Farm Locations offer a new, reassuring way for landowners to offer their own slice of Britain’s landscape for filming. As a niche specialist with expertise in our field of farms and farming, we are here to help make filming on a farm much more accessible than ever before.
Farm locations provide a vast selection of settings; from the industrial buzz of a large working farm to the secret find of a hideaway cabin, there’s so many backdrops to hire. With a collection of farms conveniently located within the M25, sourcing your ideal shoot location within easy reach from London, is also easier than you may think.
Here’s just a taster (it really does only scratch the surface) of the features offered when filming on a farm:
- Endless landscapes and vistas: crops, marshes, wild flower meadows, parkland, valleys, rolling hills, flat and expansive, woodland, evergreen forests and coastal
- Exteriors and interiors of period farmhouses, chocolate box cottages, country houses and grand stately homes. Even modern quirky grand designs.
- All manner of gardens including the pretty cottage style, productive vegetable gardens, walled stately gardens and also market gardens with acres of produce being farmed.
- Traditional and modern agricultural buildings from timbered ancient barns to vast warehouse spaces, round silos and granaries on stilts, stable blocks and workshops.
- Cabins and Lodges, including those by the water’s edge and secluded within a woodland setting
- Water frontage including lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries
- Working Farms with a busy farm vibe and an array of activities with machinery, vehicles, animals and more
- Unexpected features include quarries, cricket pitches, motorbike racing tracks, railways, churches and monasteries.
Multiple looks can be achieved across different parts of one single farm, especially with the diverse array of properties and buildings that they can be home to. Farms also offer practical spaces to create sets on location too.
Where many scripts require the use of multiple locations to solve different scenes, farms can often provide a financial saving too by bringing more scenes to the farm than originally thought to. Take the latest ABRDN TV commercial. A science lab scene was created on location at Foxfield Farm in Kent in the farm’s kitchen, after initially being chosen for its lake setting. The chapel at Hamilton Farm Estate in Buckinghamshire was transformed into a prison cell to record a new music promotion video for singer-songwriter Dotan.
ITV’s Larkins director was able to cherry pick a handful of cottages and houses on a single estate in Surrey whilst also using their private drives for “road scenes” and a sheep field for the fairground. Here to support you
A Farmer’s Helping Hand
Farms come hand in hand with some of the most helpful people out there – our farm owners. Farmers are multi-taskers with a ‘can do’ attitude. They are often skilled in many ways, bringing much needed practical assistance on shoot day. Our farmers have certainly proved their weight in gold on many previous projects:
- Transporting heavy kit and equipment to different parts of the farm
- Participating in filming including tractor driving, sheep shearing and judging reality TV shows
- Providing crew transport transfers between the farm and local train stations
- Towing out “stuck in the mud” vehicles including articulated dining cars
- Carrying out essential groundwork. The owners of Cherry Farm recently solved some challenges met during the Morrisons Christmas TV Ad production, by re-landscaping a field to ensure it was suitable. The owners at Hare Farm recommended their own ground worker neighbours to create the various stunt scenes for The Grand Tour.
Landowners have many connections in the local area, and can recommend someone if they are unable to provide it themselves eg if they have no sheep on their farm, they will know another local farmer with some, as well as good recommendations on filming-friendly caterers, overnight accommodation, and supply of local runners (who already know the lie of the land).
The Wow Factor
Farms are spacious, natural and cut their own slice of Britain, making them great places to let creativity and imagination flow. Epic filming scenes are entirely possible here.
From fields carpeted with wild flowers, golden crops or bright colour blocks stretching as far as the eye can see or breathtaking valley hills and horizon lines, the make for dramatic backdrops.
The buildings and dwellings found on farms and country estates can also be spectacular. How about entirely untouched 1950s interiors, ancient stable yards, disused churches, undiscovered stately piles. The 1950’s interiors chosen for the Larkins production had never been filmed before. Raw unexploited beauty is still in endless supply.
Across the Globe
Britain’s farms provide settings across the ages but also looks across the world too. Many of the farms have been used for filming to create the impression they have been set in a different country.
- Valley Farm in Buckinghamshire, took a production team to Scandinavia with its wide expanse of water and boat house
- Old Valley Farm is transporting a major production to Hungary this Spring with its tree species and horizon lines
- An olive grove is available for hire at Grove Farm in Kent providing an entirely Mediterranean feel.
- Think Provence with the wistful lavender fields at Chapel and Austin Farms in Kent which have inspired many a photoshoot
- Non-native animals are also available for shoots – Camel Farm in South Warwickshire is home to a mix of two humps and one hump camels
- Harvest time and high Summer with the sun bleached crops and tall grasslands, can immediately transport you to on an African safari
Farms are commonly home to a whole range of animals making them great places for filming when keen to include animals in a natural environment. Chickens, ducks, sheep, cows, pigs, donkeys, horses and alpacas are just some of the popular animals chosen for shoots.
We have a lot of experience in arranging the hire of animals and know the importance of a good animal handler, namely the farmer or farm hand.
- Animals are commonly used for fashion photo shoots, especially horses that live on the farms. Recent clients include: High Snobiety, Vanessa Mooney, Uniform Bridge & Co, Saint + Sofia and Vogue
- Sheep are another favourite animal prop. They’ve been used in their droves for epic scenarios including The Grand Tour’s Farmkhana episode and a comedy stunt at South Farm. 1000’s gathered together for a Travis Scott music promo as well as a smaller flock rushing past a car for artist ‘SL‘ at one of our farms near Detling, Kent.
- Cows had a leading role in the launch campaign for Elvie’s breast pump advertising campaign. Shot on location at Court Farm, Kent.
- The quirky alpacas at Chart Farm, Kent were filmed as part of a music promotion video for Michael Dapaar
- A donkey starred in the new Gala Bingo TV advert, filmed at Cherry Farm, Herts
A wide selection of props are available when filming on a farm. Popular items include vintage tractors, hay stacks and bales, classic cars and swimming pools.
Some more unique “sets” can also be found too:
- A perfectly untouched 1950s cottage kitchen at Jolly Farm in Kent, packed with vintage props and furniture
- Traditional workshops and associated tools including general farm workshops and garages, pottery workshops and a blacksmiths
- An original 1682 grammar school room available for hire, complete with original furnishings at Court Estate in Northamptonshire
- Monuments at Nuncourt Estate in Oxfordshire
- Access to the ‘Wye Crown’ etched into a steep grass bank at Crown Farm in Kent
- Vintage fairground including a Victorian carousel, steam traction engines, showman’s steam engines and Victorian Showman’s wagon at Present Farm in Kent
Additional Practical Uses of Farms
Need a unit base or additional storage space?
Farms are not only hired for their shoot-friendly settings and features, they also have many practical uses too:
- Large barns / warehouse space to create set builds
- A unit base only, if located close to a separate filming location. Complete with plenty of hardstanding, road ways and and fields if additional space for crew vehicles are required
- Short or long term storage space for props and materials
Farms make very private and secure locations to hire with their large footprints and extensive networks of private roads and tracks.
Can we help you?
Farm Locations now has a portfolio of over 100 farms, with many in the pipeline to come on stream soon. Landowners continue to approach us to be listed, and we are actively sourcing new special farms all the time.
And that all said, if we still don’t have a farm in the portfolio that meets your brief, please still approach us, as we may just have a connection that can. Email [email protected] or call us on 07802 979348.