Filming on Location: Unit Bases
Filming On Location: What is a unit base?
Film unit parking facilities - unit bases - are an essential commodity in the filming world, especially in London, where parking facilities are more scarce, parking fees are high and the bureaucracy surrounding street parking can be prohibitive. Depending on the type of production, productions filming on location may need the equivalent space of 30 - 60 regular parking bays. Technical vehicles, generators, changing room vehicles, make-up and wardrobe, toilets, catering vehicles - they all have to be parked somewhere. To the newcomer, it is amazing to see the number of vehicles and amount of manpower required to create even a minute of film.
It is the responsibility of the location manager to find unit bases that are big enough to accomodate all the vehicles, are reasonably close to the film location, which ideally have access to electricity and water, and which are not too expensive. Easy, huh? The location manager is also responsible for making sure everyone has accurate directions to each unit base and detailed layout plans - these are called "movement orders". On most feature film or television productions, the location manager will enlist the help of a unit manager, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the unit base and for making sure everyone gets to the next. In the course shooting a feature film, as many as 100 different filming locations may be used and for each location, there has to be a unit base.
Generally speaking location managers rely on their own knowledge and those of a few peers for finding suitable unit bases. The Collective provides members with a range of location management support services, one of which is our free unit base database. This facility enables the location manager to enter the postcode of his film location and view unit bases within a given radius of that postcode. This means the location manager can save a great deal of time and, given that some companies charge a substantial fee to find and book unit bases, the location manger can save the production money.
The Collective has also introduced a postcode search facility for searching its film location library. You can try it here...