Sky Earth Hour | A Day In Location Assisting

We asked Will, a location assistant for Locate Productions, to write about his experience on one of the latest Sky ads. Locate Productions sourced the location from our location library and location managed the shoot.


Skys’ latest ad campaign aims to promote, encourage and celebrate the efforts of the WWF group who, every year run ‘Earth Hour’; “an annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet”. Within the campaign, over the last month Sky have been promoting their ‘Earth Hour’ ad, using one of our great residential locations down in Surrey.

Shot in February. There was a prep day included within the schedule, which allowed for Locate Productions, myself and Nick Williams to come in early with Ben Myhill and his Art Direction team to prepare the house for the next days shooting.

Once all flooring was protected across all three floors of the location, with Corex and carpet protective film; the team proceeded to rearrange and redecorate sections of rooms, and install props. There were 4 sections of the house and garden in total to prepare for the camera crew and director, Bradley Reiman.

Shoot Day:

With a crew of around 40, the day started at a fast pace, despite a reasonable call time of 9am. The day had been categorised into sections, sections which were divided up based on scenarios within the house.

Scenario 1: Was shot in the first bedroom. It featured a young girl reading a book under the bedcovers using a torch. For this scene the Gaffer crew had to black out the windows and a smoke machine was introduced to enhance the light beam from the torch on the cameras.

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Scenario 2:  The next shot moved up into the attic bedroom, which had been completely redecorated with space posters and other astrological toys. Wardrobe doors were changed and other props were introduced. New beds were brought in so that the two lead boys could jump about on the bed and act out a light war with their torches. Again the rooms had to be blacked out, and smoke machine introduced to create an atmospheric environment and allow for the torch lights to show up.

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Lunch:  The team broke for lunch, and we were driven to location base. Where familiar faces got to mingle as well as be introduced to the unfamiliar. The crew were a particularly friendly bunch and numbers and contact details were certainly exchanged. Lunch was made particularly special due to Bruce and his catering team, ‘For Goodness Sakes’, Who always deliver great, healthy meals with lots of choice. The stand out meal for myself was the spinach and feta pie, served with a delicious nutty salad. Cheese and biscuits are always provided and always delight Nick, when I bring them back to location.

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Scenario 3:  This is a scenario I hardly managed to see the workings of due to preparing easy-ups and other bits for the 4th scenario. It was the kitchen gathering, which you can see in the promo vid. From what I heard in the hallway outside, the ‘Fake’ laughter was particularly hilarious from the crew and the actors, to get the perfect shot of a group of friends having fun over candle lit dinner. During prep day, this was a room that involved a lot of props to be brought in, it shows off well in the footage.

Scenario 4:  The garden shot involved the transportation of gas burners, easy-ups and concrete slabs to protect the ground. Unfortunately it had been a pretty miserable day, and it only got worse as night fell, as did the rain. The scene involved friends and family sitting around a camp fire. This fire was created by the gas burner and everyone sat under the easy-ups as the rain pounded heavily. There were a further two easy-ups providing shelter for the camera crew, director and 1st and 2nd AD, Paul Mcann and Peter Bromfield.

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Wrap: There was a scenario added towards the end of the shoot, which involved turning off the light, heading into the garden. Once this shot was wrapped, the standard protocol of trying to get out before overtime commenced.

Myself and Nick had already gone behind each scene once they were finished with each spot, and cleared up, removing any flooring protection and returning the room back to it’s original state. Closing off rooms is also important once a scene is done. This saves a lot of time when crew are looking for items that have been misplaced and avoids damage to the property.

Earth Hour was a lovely shoot with a great team and friendly actors. Nice shoots always add to the atmosphere and productivity of the team, which somehow seems to reflect the mood on the day, within the footage.


Be sure to take part in Earth Hour, 19th March at 8:30pm – 9:30pm, where people will be turning out the lights globally in aid to celebrate our world and give a rest to the vast surges of energy. Watch the promo footage on our Youtube here

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We caught up with the owner of one of our favourite locations, Brown House, for an insight into her experience of recently hosting a multi-media shoot during lockdown.

What were your initial thoughts when you were asked to host a shoot during lockdown?

Personally I was happy with the idea, however some of the family were concerned about strangers coming into the house who might bring infection, so we thought about it quite a bit. It made an important difference that the shoot was in the garden rather than in the house.

What were your main concerns ahead of the shoot?

The shoot itself was to be outside, but of course the crew would need access to the kitchen and the loo, so would not be entirely outside. The main concern was if the crew were not careful, they could inadvertently bring infection into the house. They were reassuring that they would be very restricted where they went and we decided we would disinfect the surfaces in the kitchen and the loos after everyone had left.

How did the experience of this shoot differ to pre-pandemic shoots?

Everyone was absolutely delightful, as always! On the recces, everyone wore masks, used hand sanitiser and kept their distance. They spent very little time inside the house, for instance they waited for each other and talked outside, rather than all being in the house at the same time.

How was your experience while the shoot was happening?

I was in the house to start with, but out for most of the day. The team were thoughtful, for instance they suggested opening up the side gates to give most people direct access to the garden, which limited the number of people who needed to come into the house. And they brought a winnebago, which was used as a green room instead of using a room in the house. During the day, someone needed to make a call – rather than just go ahead and use the study, they phoned me to ask if it would be OK for that person to sit in the study to make that call, which of course was fine.

Did you feel that the Covid-19 safety precautions put in place by the production were adequate?

Yes, very much so. Everyone was wearing masks, including outside even though it was hot. Most or all people were outdoors most or all of the time, they set up tents outside, so there were just a few people in the kitchen. Covid warning signs were also put up,  reminding everyone to wash their hands and the loos were clearly signed so no-one would go into the wrong rooms – they were very careful. And the house was left immaculate afterwards, as always.

What advice would you give other location owners, ahead of hosting a shoot in the current climate?

It’s a personal choice, people must make their own decisions. However I am happy we did it and this was a few weeks ago, the virus was more prevalent then than it is now. When we got back in the evening, we wiped down with disinfectant all the doors and surfaces where people would have been, it didn’t take long.

Any further comments or interesting tidbits you’d like to add?

Its always fun to see how much extraordinary effort goes into an advertisement!

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