From derelict school to flexible film location
months of hires
In late 2018, we met the team at a school in North West London known as Big Creative Academy. The school was struggling for funding, striving to keep disadvantaged six form students in education but with very limited time and resources.
A large part of the school was made up of original victorian buildings in a poor state of repair; full of old desks, chairs and equipment and with extensive rubbish and superficial damage caused by guardians. The school had experienced several false starts in getting these buildings demolished to pave the way for better facilities.
When Location Collective came across the school, we immediately saw the potential of the beautiful brick classrooms with high pitched roofs despite their condition.
We knew that no production would entertain hiring the location in its existing state; it would be too much work for any single shoot. With a limited window of availability before the buildings were finally demolished, our team quickly set to work clearing the site, investing our own money upfront to ease the burden on the school. We hired a specialist company to clear the most filmic areas; the halls, classrooms, assembly hall and gym, transforming the site into a viable and exciting film location.
In total, we had 9 months to drive filming interest before redevelopment. During that time, we secured hires from a series of TV commercials, music promos and photoshoots including a promotional trailer for the BBC’s Comic Relief. As the icing on the cake of our time working with the Big Creative team, we secured a significant week long hire from Amazon Studios’ TV drama London.
In total, we generated £45,000 in filming revenue over a 9-month period across 12 TV dramas, commercials, music promos and photoshoots.
We really enjoyed working with the Location Collective team. From the minute we met them we could see how passionate they are about what they do. Offering to clear the school for us and to cover the cost of this upfront made it a very easy decision to take the leap and give filming a try, and it was exciting to see the film crews in action on site. The funds that filming helped generate for the school are greatly appreciated.
Victoria Spence, Director of Operations & Clerk to the Governing Body, Big Creative Academy