Thursday, 10 February 2011

Getting a recce

Now, that’s more like it…

Location scouting day #2 has proved considerably more rewarding. My previous St Alban hankering has now withered away to a simple curiosity regarding what the Old Hospital would actually look like on fire. Basically, the same thing that I wonder about most of the buildings I see.

Because today we were invited to gaze upon the Officer’s Mess.

And, by Christ, did they make a mess… a stately building on an old RAF base in Hampshire, shut since 1996 when the military decamped from the area. 

Now, this is the proper blend of shabby magnificence that we’re talking about.

Long corridors? Yeah.

A fucked-up décor throughout? Mais, bien sûr.

Space for a couple of balls? Hooyah.

Damn! All it’s missing is a bar…Actually, they’ve got one of those too.

So, what’s the downside? 

Well, it turns out that we’re not going to be alone.

The building sits in the midst of a bunch of bomb-proof hangars, and alongside a military-grade airstrip. It’s a potent combination for attracting other planes. On a clear summer’s day the Lee Flying Association will happily fill the surrounding skies with their Sopwith Camels from dawn till dusk, like a noisy mosquito infestation. Wednesday is glider day; at least then we might get the odd quiet moment, save for the sound of crashing balsa.

All in all, not strictly post-apocalyptic.

However there is a major difference between planes and the M25, and it comes down to what happens after dark. The cars carry on driving; the planes have to stop. So, there is a perfectly workable solution which involves shooting Resurrection throughout the night. Sure, it means a script re-write, but then again it’ll need re-working anyway once we settle on any location. A four week diet of pro-plus and it’ll only be the Coastguard helicopter that encroaches on the end of the world.

And so I’m delighted to report that my earlier concerns about finding a suitable venue are now properly assuaged. This place ain’t ideal, and we will certainly be going to have a look at other locations. But there’s a film here if we want it.

Actually, it’s what we share the inside of the building with that’s a bit more of a wild card. Mick, the very helpful property management guy that showed us around, swore that the building was haunted. The cleaner refuses to set foot inside after hearing furniture being moved around an otherwise empty house (which explains a lot about the state of the place now).

I wonder whether it’s worth hiring a second camera and asking someone to document us making the film. Then, if the phantom handy-men appear we may end up with two horror movies for the price of one.

“They came to make a scary film. Until they become the cast.”

Ooooooooooooh. Creepy.

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