Filming at Heritage Locations - Protecting A Heritage Location

Latest 19 Apr 2022

News Story

London is known worldwide for its amazing period properties and heritage locations. These offer location filming a level of authenticity and historical accuracy that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. However, preserving and protecting these locations from the activity of a busy film or television production, can be a challenge unto itself.

Film London’s Winona Navin-Holder spoke to some of our partners about the different creative ways in which they protect and conserve heritage locations, and parkland.

Spencer & Fry

Spencer & Fry are a team of highly skilled preventive conservation experts and filming conservators, with over 80 years collective experience.

We asked them to share their top tips and tricks for protecting a heritage location!

Spencer & Fry’s Top Tips

1. Upside down foam stair handrail protectors are useful for putting cables in so they don’t mark floors or walls.

2. Some historic houses have temperamental electrics. Plug covers can be used to discourage people plugging into house power and blowing the fuse.

3. It is useful to have signs to put on objects that belong to the property so it is obvious what isn’t a prop.

4. The bottom of floor length curtains can be put in boxes to stop them being trodden on.

5. Things being brought into the house should be checked for any moths, beetles or mould that could transfer to and damage the contents.

6. LED lights do not get as hot as halogen and tungsten lights and do not emit UV so are safer to use in historic interiors.

7. Adhesive backed foam (Tessa) tape can be applied to the edges of set construction flats to protect historic walls and floors

8. If lilies are in flower arrangements their stamens should be removed as they can stain surfaces.

9. It is useful to have a spill kit (kitchen roll and a spray bottle of deionised water) on standby if food and drink are part of the scene.

10. Washable shoe covers or MukGuards are less slippy than single use blue plastic shoe covers and are better for the environment.

11. Locamats for floor protection hold more dirt, are safer and are a more environmentally friendly alternative to Correx sheeting

12. Filming conservators can support locations with filming to mitigate damage to historic interiors and objects.

If you are interested in working with Spencer & Fry, you can find their details here.