Behind The Scenes: Limit of the Land

When we heard about short film Limit of the Land, we knew it was going to be a special project and were keen to be involved. The shoot would be a little different from our usual line of work, and it presented the opportunity for us to support a British, independent film, funded by crowd-sourced donations.

Set in 1913 against the backdrop of the approaching First World War, the 15 minute film tells the story of two men who row out to relieve the keeper of an isolated lighthouse – and what happens when they discover that he is missing.

Writer and director Matthew Pritchard wrote the film as a response to Europe’s refugee crisis, and what he saw as a tide-turning moment for humanity. We knew that faithfully capturing the film’s physical setting – at the edge of sea and land, while tides are turning and storms are raging – would play a huge part in telling this story and representing Matthew’s vision well.

Creativity through partnership

The Limit of the Land project enabled us to work in partnership with lecturers and creatives from Ravensbourne College – innovators in digital media and design. While Ravensbourne College formed the film crew, Locate provided production management and support.

On Location

Shooting for the film was based in Keyhaven, a small fishing village on England’s south coast. We were fortunate to be able to shoot in such a beautiful and historic location right by the water, and with suitably unpredictable weather we had plenty of opportunity to explore and create using different visuals and camera angles.

A daily ferry took our actors, crew and equipment from the mainland to Hurst Castle and Hurst Point Lighthouse, Milford on Sea – a much more enjoyable commute than the tube at rush hour!

Safety First

Hurst Castle generously provided us with safety boats and drivers, which we were very grateful for as we were shooting scenes on one particularly rainy and windy afternoon. With waves and riptides stronger than usual, most of the crew stayed safely on land while the safety boat headed out to ensure our actor Luke was happy in his small wooden rowing boat – which had to be carefully re-positioned in the water between each take due to being buffeted around by the wind and waves!

Working with CGI

Limit of the Land involves one of the main characters – Daniel – coming across a beached whale while out looking for his father. We enlisted the help of London-based set builders Andy Knights to create a life-like whale for these scenes, to be brought alive in post-production through the magic of CGI. It requires a very specific skill to be able to imagine what the end product of your filming will look like once it is enhanced by CGI, but our team rose to the challenge and it will be exciting to see the final result!

 

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When the AOP approached Angus, producer and co-owner of Locate Productions to ask if we wanted to be featured in one of their weekly newsletters, we jumped at the chance. A big thank you to the AOP for this opportunity to share some of our insight, ways of working and thoughts for the future.

As news begins to trickle in of the industry preparing to open up to a different working world, we were pleased to hear our friends at Locate Productions are busy prepping for jobs in June. Following the post-pandemic production guidance, Locate are well positioned to provide safe production services for all your needs. We caught up with Angus Light to find out more about their services as well as their stance on sustainability in the industry.

Can you tell us more about what services Locate Productions provides for professional photographers?

For both photographers and moving image clients, we have two ways in which we can help; location solutions and/or full production services. Often, a brief starts with the need for the location (and sometimes that’s all our clients require) but frequently develop into the wider production needs of casting, styling, transport, crew, equipment and more.

We started out in the late 90’s and are now a team of 15 location scouts and producers, based in London, Brighton & the South West. During this time we’ve worked in all corners of the UK and more than 40 countries; from global campaigns on the busy streets of London, to shooting simple backplates on frozen rivers in Scandinavia or deserted islands off the coast of Brazil. Safe and smooth production management is at the core of how we produce shoots, with no project too big or too small.

China DarioMitidieri © Dario Mitidieri

What can you offer over other production companies?

We have an ever-growing library of over 10,000 locations both in the UK and abroad. This complements our wealth of production knowledge gained from over 20 years of ‘on-set’ experience shooting around the world, across both stills and moving image. Ultimately, our skills come from working as a team, sharing ideas and collectively finding solutions.

Grass NadegeMeriau    © Nadege Meriau

Having been a speaker at our recent sustainability event can you talk about the actions Locate Productions have taken to be more sustainable and what advice can you offer to others to make a difference?

Sustainability as a whole can feel quite challenging and unwieldly so here at Locate we’ve broken things down into smaller, more manageable situations, which are based on three key strands within our working environment. When presented in small bite-size portions hopefully people will feel the solutions are more achievable, aligned with a general shift in the mindset on how to move forward.

On Shoots & in Production:

  • We use bicycle couriers and carbon negative taxi companies
  • We recycle our waste and have our own water bottles and keep-cups and have started trialing Voltstack batteries as replacements for portable generators
  • We promote vegetarian, seasonal and locally sourced menus to our clients
  • We use public transport wherever possible including train travel rather than car or plane where possible (if safe, given the present situation)
  • We have a network of international production partners to service shoots locally which can reduce the need to travel

Behind the Scenes:

  • We use Good Energy as our as our office energy supplier and our website hosting company, Erjjio, runs off renewable energy
  • Our staff and crew have completed carbon literacy training through the BAFTA/Albert initiative and we use Albert’s carbon calculator to work out how much carbon we produce on our shoots and then explore ways we can reduce or offset this
  • We add an optional ‘1% For the Planet’ to our invoices which, at present, goes directly to a scheme in Romania called Forests Without Frontiers, reforesting the Carpathian mountains

Wider Culture of Sustainability:

  • We are members of organisations who promote a sustainable film, TV and photographic industry; Albert, AdGreen, Purpose Disruptors
  • We support smaller organisations who need content to spread their message
  • We attend events and contribute to the ongoing discussions on how to achieve a low-carbon economy and what that looks like for our industry

 

Rooftop Trigger © Trigger

What is the most obscure location you have shot in?

Possibly Western China where we searched for a remote mountain range, which involved the final leg of the trip on a donkey. But obscure can also be closer to home; once we needed to find a location with a very specific grass length of about 12cm for a fruit drink campaign, but also things like a cityscape helipad for a car shoot and a zumba class in Manchester for This Girl Can.

ZumbaClass AdamHinton © Adam Hinton

What’s next for you?

In the immediate future; starting to shoot safely again. We’ve started working again on projects and are devising ways of delivering the content required by our clients, in a safe manner, following the Covid 19 industry guidelines. Longer term; to continue delivering the high quality of production on new and interesting projects, whilst working towards a zero carbon industry.

Published with the permission from the AOP. The original blog can be viewed here – https://www.the-aop.org/what-s-on/news/post/2020/05/29/focus-locate-productions

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