What makes an ideal filming venue?
We have seen so many historic houses on our TV screens in recent years. They are being used as filming venues for period dramas and feature films and even stately backdrops for outdoor cookery programmes, documentaries and roadshows. Of course, Broughton Hall would love to get in on this action, even if it’s just a little slice. And we have done well so far…
Recently, the BBC shot their winter drama The Thirteenth Tale in the old kitchens of the Hall and out on the Yorkshire parkland whilst clothing companies Pretty Little Things and Go Outdoors have used the hall for filming their adverts, the latter coming back numerous times.
Broughton was used for the films Wuthering Heights and A Woman of Substance, both starring big Hollywood actors and actresses. That was so long ago however, we feel another blockbuster is surely due our way. But, what can we offer to encourage these location scouts to put Broughton Hall forward as the ideal historic house for Julian Fellowes’ next cinematic masterpiece?
Helpful staff, good timekeeping and support
Let’s start with the basics. A film crew are already laboured with back to back tasks once they are set up on location so what is helpful to them, although it’s probably the last thing on a director’s tick list, is a friendly and supportive office team. As hospitality is our speciality the Broughton team are only a phone call away to be on hand within minutes at the Hall or any one of our venues on the Estate, to provide everything from refreshments to photocopying. Our five star service also comes in handy as everything is done with efficiency and a courteous smile – enough to help even the most stressful of filming days.
Beautiful settings are surely a bonus for filming locations. We only have to look outside the window here at the Broughton Estate office to see the striking yet humble Yorkshire landscape, complete with picture perfect rolling hills of lush green grass and infinite wildlife; from sheep and cows to rabbits, squirrels and birds – not forgetting our own Percy the Peacock who is forever strutting his stuff around the parkland (we’re sure he wouldn’t say “no” to a cameo role). Spend a day, a week, a month at Broughton Hall and all your cares are forgotten. Peace reigns. Whether the film crew are on a tea break or filming the next outdoor scene we can vouch for a beautiful setting being a source of both inspiration and comfort during a hard day’s work.
Heritage and architecture
Now introducing the venues themselves here on the historic Yorkshire Estate, all of which are unique and can offer the filming location scout something a little different from the norm. Broughton Hall houses centuries of family history in portraits, characterful features, high ceilings and heirlooms and the atmosphere of the rooms themselves naturally lend the Hall as a perfect period setting for filming. The colours and interiors of the staterooms can suit as a backdrop for royal weddings, regal occasions and society parties whilst the intimacy and cosiness of the bedrooms can showcase the Hall as a private yet stately mansion house. The old servants’ kitchens are a joy to behold and need little dressing to capture the notion of yesteryear. Eden is simplistic, light and spacious; a complete contrast to Broughton Hall, whilst Higher Scarcliffe is mysterious, rural and remote; perfect for those Jane Eyre-type remakes, crime thrillers or mystery dramas.
Acres of land
Sprawling countryside, woodland, formal gardens, streams, old derelict buildings, barns, stables, unspoiled parkland and cottages – all culminating in 3000 acres of land available for exclusive use during filming. We can’t control the weather on the Broughton Hall Estate but we can control the setting. And it’s all yours for the taking.
Overnight accommodation and private space for actors
This is what it says on the tin. Broughton Hall, Eden and Higher Scarcliffe combined sleep up to 25 individual overnight guests – the Hall itself in the centre of the action can sleep 15, so is perfect for actors and actresses who would otherwise have to find accommodation elsewhere. This way, they can be as close to the filming location as possible and the spacious bedrooms and en suites give them private time away from filming to look over scripts and take a breather.
Variety and convenience
Choosing to film their next big TV drama, advert or feature film on such a varied location has all sorts of benefits for a production company. Everything is within walking distance at Broughton Hall. Parkland strolls for those creative thinking sessions, inspirational views and beauty spots to explore; healthy yet delicious lunches at Utopia, which can either be ordered for delivery on tight filming schedules or the crew can take a short break from filming to enjoy a stroll up the delightful formal gardens; Utopia itself with its landscaped walled garden, perfect for getting five minutes to yourself on a bench amongst the shrubbery and winding paths;
endless car parking nearby but not too close to the location venues to spoil the scene and masses of flat outside solid ground space for setting up filming equipment. The list goes on but the best way to appreciate what this thriving Yorkshire Estate can offer is to visit it. We hope our next filming adventure is just around the corner – after all, who doesn’t want their 15 minutes of fame?