1st January 2013
On the eighth day… Daniel Wolfe
Title of film: 0
Director: 0
Production Company: 0
Continuing our festive series where outstanding talents from 2012 talk about their hot lists, who better to ask about his favourite three locations than the master of sense of place, Daniel Wolfe

The often quoted line “location as character” is a cliché but definitely true. Location is such a key component of good work. And particularly in music video and commercials, it can act as a great visual shortcut to mood, tone and feel.

I always start with location and cast, often trying to combine them. If we shoot in a barber, cast the barber, if we shoot in a pub, cast the patrons.

Just as I dislike the use of extras agencies for talent and prefer street casting, I don’t like locations which are on people’s books already. The staples of last-minute music video or commercial shooting. Those websites are depressing.

Where possible I try and find fresh locations that haven’t been filmed before. I like filming up North for this reason.

Manchester Pets and Aquatics:

I’ve shot here twice. Once for Stephen Fretwell’s “New York” and again for The Shoes’ “Stay The Same”.
Both times we just turned up, chucked the owner some cash and he let us shoot.

I’ve always been slightly repulsed by the place. When I was a kid, there were rumours that they had an alligator and a jaguar in the basement. As a teenager I went in first thing in the morning on LSD. I remember the feeling vividly. Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up filming back there twice. The negative atmosphere in there is palpable.

Dalston, Moda Barbers:

I love pale green. We’re in the process of painting our house pale green. I also love proper barbers, particularly within immigrant communities. Moda is a good Turkish barbers that is also painted pale green. I love the simplicity of this location for the scene in The Shoes “Time To Dance”.

Barcelona, Billares Monforte:

Snooker Hall. I love Snooker Halls. I like the feeling of quiet and escape. I spent much of my teens in Rainbow Snooker Hall in Manchester, and have filmed there since, and in other ones. In Barcelona, for a San Miguel commercial, we shot in a great snooker hall, casting local players. It was a perfect location because we also managed to shoot a number of vignettes there; a back room doubled as a boxer’s changing room, the staircase became a lovers’ hallway, and a doorway became a 60s concert venue. It made production happy. The place had a lovely atmosphere, steeped in history and the echoes of many lives.

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