Production

Pre-Production: Potential Filming Locations

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Requirement for locations

Before looking for locations, I went through the script to see if there were requirements which would be needed at the locations for the film’s story. I found these would be:
  • Open plan house – so characters have enough space on floor to work, can move around, pace etc. – and so there is also room for filming equipment and crew
  • Space in the bedroom for my intended opening tracking shot – and space to put a whiteboard which explains the concept of the multiverse, as well as cabinet for alarm clock
  • Large mirror in the bathroom so that a clear shot of Vera’s reflection can be seen – this is important to the story as Roni making Vera look at the difference between their reflections leads to Vera realising what her overworking is doing to her and thus deciding to give up (the story’s turning point)
  • Ideally the living room and kitchen would be different rooms so characters can move between them – this is because a lot of scenes are set in Vera’s living room so moving to the kitchen can help break these up so the characters are not constantly in the same room
  • Not too stylised – Vera’s house would be quite plain as Vera would be more interested in work than decorating her house – thus the house also needs to be quite small as Vera lives alone, and this would make it easier for her to upkeep, as Vera wouldn’t want to spend time cleaning, when she could be working
  • Wall space in living room for newspaper articles detailing Vera’s career
Using these requirements, I looked at a variety of different apartments and houses on airbnb since I didn’t want to rule out any possibilities which could be surprising or surpass what I had expected. After narrowing these down, I then made mood-boards of the locations which seemed the most likely to work for the production, making lists of pros and cons below to help narrow these down even more.

Vera’s house

Apartment in Whitstable

Logistics

  • £73 per night
  • 5 minute walk from station
  • Possible to travel from London stations to Whitstable station from between £25-£40 – takes from 1hr 15m to 1hr 24m for train journey

Pros

  • Spacious – room for Vera to work on the living room floor – large bedroom so space for Vera to move around, and for camera to execute tracking shot
  • Kitchen and living room, although close together, are two separate rooms so characters are able to move from room to room
  • Plain and simple decor which fits Vera’s characteristic of not spending much time on her home because she’s always working
  • Will need some set dressing, but there are shelves/cabinets which can be personalised/can hold books
  • Dining table which can be converted into a desk – if Vera did have a dining table, she would probably not use it since she spends so much time at work, so usually isn’t at home for meals – thus, she would probably use it as a desk since otherwise it wouldn’t be useful to her
  • Within budget
  • Within walking distance to coffee shops and restaurants on main Whitstable high street, as well as the train station

Cons

  • Small bathroom and small bathroom mirror – could be hard to film scene where Vera sees her reflection – but could be possible to move the scene to another room or replace the mirror
  • Potentially too coastal looking – but this could be fixed by removing some decor and set dressing
  • Sofa is against wall – would need to change directing plan of tracking out from behind sofa for end shot, or move the sofa
  • Have to climb stairs to reach apartment – could be difficult when bringing in equipment, but not impossible – could potentially need to check accessibility for this when on a location recce
  • Listing says no pets – would need to ask owners about Vera’s goldfish

Apartment in Margate

Logistics

  • £87 per night
  • 15 minute walk from Margate station
  • Train fares from London terminals to Margate station cost between £25-£50 – train journeys are 1hr 30m-1hr 45m

Pros

  • Similar to the type of apartment I imagined Vera living in when I was writing the screenplay, due to the Scandinavian style of the furniture which is minimalist and simple
  • Large bathroom mirror
  • Desk which would be a central part of Vera’s apartment due to her overworking
  • Listing states pets are allowed

Cons

  • Not many pictures online
  • The bathroom appears small in the images which are online – could be too cramped to film in
  • Pictures online also show that the living room and kitchen are one room, which means that the space could be cramped, allowing the characters not much space to move around in and also not enough room for the equipment and crew

House in Tunbridge Wells

Logistics

  • £112 per night
  • Half an hour drive from Tunbridge Wells station
  • Between £15 and £25 for train fares – 45-50 minute journey from London stations

Pros

  • Spacious living room, kitchen and bathroom
  • Has a small patio out the back – I somewhat like the idea that Vera could go out there to look at the stars after being overwhelmed by her reflection which makes her realises what her overworking is doing to her

Cons

  • Potentially too rustic and not modern enough – I imagine Vera living somewhere quite modern and smaller than this so that it is easier to upkeep which would fit her character as she wouldn’t like to spend time cleaning when she could be working
  • Kitchen and living room are the same room – since a lot of scenes are set in Vera’s living room this takes away the option to have the characters move rooms – although it is still spacious enough for them to move around in
  • Is almost fully booked until March – we would ideally need to film before this so we had enough time for post-production

Apartment in Maidstone

Logistics

  • £257 per night
  • 15 minute drive from Maidstone East station
  • £25 train fare from London to Maidstone East – journey takes 55 minutes to 1hr 5m

Pros

  • I mainly decided to look at the listing for this apartment since it was small and has plain decor
  • Balcony attached where Vera could potentially look at the stars

Cons

  • Exceeds the budget
  • Could be cramped to film in the bedroom as the room is only has small alleyways next to the bed – the kitchen and bathroom are also quite small

Lab

Discovery Park, Sandwich

Logistics

  • Filming costs not listed on website – but owners have agreed to talk about budget/costs
  • 8 minute drive from Sandwich train station
  • Train fares between £40 and £81 (£81 for anytime return) from London stations to Sandwich station

Pros

  • Professional lab space
  • Locations is available as a filming location
  • Brightly lit – would contrast with and thus exaggerate how tired Vera becomes, helping to establish her exhaustion due to her overworking in the opening scenes
  • Could film from outside through the glass into the corridor at night – would make an interesting wide shot if this was possible

Cons

  • Train fare is very expensive and could exceed the budget (depending on how many days we would need to film) – could book accommodation for actors near location if this would be cheaper

Kent Science Park

Logistics

  • Filming costs not listed on website – but would be possible to look into
  • 11 minute drive to Sittingbourne station
  • £26 train fare (anytime return) from London stations to Sittingbourne station

Pros

  • Professional lab space
  • Cheaper train fare than that for discovery science park

Cons

  • Unsure if could be used as filming location – but it would be possible to also look into this

Final locations

From this, I plan to look into the apartment in Whitstable, since this matched most of the requirements I found would be needed in the script, as well as would be affordable within the budget and available on the filming dates. However, the director of photography and I will need to recce the apartment to see if the stairs make it accessible for bringing in equipment and if it is as spacious as it seems in the pictures.
For the lab, I decided to pick the Discovery Science Park because, despite being expensive to travel there, we would only need to film there for one day, so I found it is within budget.

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