Here’s what we find to be the TOP 10 of most appealing traits of the popular farms
- Very close to London. As much as other major cities are also home to shoot crews, we find the lions share are travelling from London.
- For feature films, mainly based at a film studio (eg Pinewood, Longcross, Warner Bros), farms with the right aesthetic that are close to the film studio will also be in hot demand.
- Unspoilt and original. Unscathed buildings, of their time, natural landscapes without an eyesore, it’s the traditional, “step back in time” farms which hold the most universal appeal
- The epic. That could be huge vistas and landscapes, isolated buildings in the middle of nowhere, vast expanses of water. Dramatic scenes might also be fields of blue or gold, a decaying manor house or lines of towering pine trees in a forest.
- The “farm vibe” mix. If you have an old house, old farmyard, some farm animals, an old tractor, some bales of hay and pretty fields, you are on to a winner. This might sound classic but it’s amazing how many shoot briefs take this canvas and shoot extraordinary images from it.
- A house with historic character, of its time. Anything “contemporised” immediately loses its appeal for the Farm Locations client. Our clients come to us for the authentic, the original, the real deal. For houses, they want the 1950s kitchen that a farmer still lives in, they seek a decaying remote cottage that a villain has escaped to, or a pretty chocolate box cottage oozing with genuine vintage character. There are many briefs where, although the exteriors are the main draw, a wet-weather option is important, or potentially just a one room shot to anchor the feature. So for owners to also include a house in the mix is a major advantage.
- A super host who embraces the world of filming, who lives on site and is reactive and responsive (the industry runs very fast at times). Read more on what makes a great host.
- The wild side. Natural beauty is sometimes all a shoot needs. They are not looking for “farm-y”, just wild. That could be tall grassy landscape, wild flower meadows, wild waters, woodlands or wooden structures tucked out of the way. Farms are brilliant at providing these features.
- Good access into the farm and plenty of hard standing for all weathers. On the practical side, any medium-large sized crew will likely bring large trucks on site and will need to have good access to where they need to go.
- A crew facility for the small to medium-sized crews, including loo, kitchen facility and light, warm spaces for hair, make up, wardrobe, production and kit storage. It’s the small crews (and sometimes the medium 25-50) sized crews that choose farms where there are good facilities for them on site. They might not have the budget or wish to bring in their own loos, wardrobe units, dining buses. Where a farm can provide a base to include room to eat, the loo, get ready and sort kit, this will be a big plus when decisions are being made. Some farms offer their own houses as crew bases, some have empty offices or houses on site, some provide a simple solution (perhaps a farmyard loo, a barn space, a hose pipe and power.)
There are very few farms which tick all the above and indeed most shoot briefs do not rely on it all. Here at Farm Locations we do have an open mind on what farms will work and here are the types of farm in hot demand for the agency