Double Take: Filming In The UK

Double Take: Filming In The UK

Thinking of filming abroad? Before reviewing your budget and booking your flights, consider a double location in the UK! 

Filming on location in the UK can be a challenge – and why we offer the full wrap around service to filmmakers and photographers! Filming overseas is often more challenging and certainly more expensive. So why not consider a double location to give your shoot that overseas look and feel? Knowing Sussex as well as we do, we thought we’d share a few local doubles used on the South Coast…

Lewes – double for Tuscany 

McDonald’s advert to launch and promote their 2022 Italian themed summer menu was filmed in and around Lewes. The cast of two drove on a Vespa through their ‘Italian’ country surroundings to end up at their local drive-thru and place an order. As well as shooting at Castle Gate, just off the main Lewes high street, production company and regular clients Anonymous Content filmed nearby at a local vineyard, in a car park and on the surrounding paths and roads.

We received an initial brief from them at time of scouting locations – we presented several options including Chichester, Arundel and many roads across East and West Sussex, all suitable as a double of Italy! With Lewes confirmed, we supported with traffic management, providing cones and traffic management operators. We also arranged for stop/go traffic control issued by East Sussex Highways and coordinated a unit base at East Sussex College car park.

Beachy Head – double for Gibraltar 

There’s a scene during the pre-title sequence of James Bond: The Living Daylights where a Land Rover drives off a cliff. While most of the scene was shot in Gibraltar, the actual stunt of the Land Rover falling off the cliff was filmed at Beachy Head! Bond’s escape via parachute and the vehicle exploding was all shot on Sussex’s south-coast.

Close to Cuckmere River, stunning beaches and an expansive landscape, Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, is the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff and offers breath-taking sea views and open landscape. It’s fantastic for a photoshoot – capturing the sea views, Beachy Head Lighthouse and the white chalk cliffs all in the background. It’s a popular filming location often used as a double (again!) for the White Cliffs of Dover due to their bright white colour! 

Leonardslee Lake and Gardens – double for Himalayan Valley

Horsham’s Grade 1 listed garden provided a double location for the hillside gardens in “Black Narcissus” – the 1947 psychological melodrama depicting the conflicts within a convent of nuns in a remote Himalayan valley.  

The 240-acre estate provides a range of settings for filming and photography.

Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre – double for California

“James Bond: A View to a Kill” sees antagonist Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) attempt to destroy California’s Silicon Valley. Except the film’s climatic scenes at Zorin’s mine wasn’t filmed anywhere near California… the entrance to the mine was shot at Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre (with former chalk pits with quarries etc).

With a focus on transport, industry, communications, craft and nature through a variety of exhibits, the museum features industrial narrow-gauge and standard-gauge railways, trains, a village garage and cycle shop, a bus garage with vintage buses, classic fire engines and associated equipment, an old bicycle collection, wood yard and wood turners, and much more! It’s a fascinating location for historical and industrial style filming and photography.

Arundel Castle – double for Belgian chateau 

2017’s “Wonder Woman” sees Arundel Castle provide a double location for a Belgian chateau under control of the Imperial German Army. The exterior of Arundel’s medieval castle was used in the scenes at Erich Ludendorff’s gala (the interior scenes were shot at Hertfordshire’s Hatfield House…)

Arundel’s historic town features narrow cobbled streets, historic ruins and listed buildings that have allowed it to keep its historic charm – it’s a fantastic location for a period drama. Arundel also has a beautiful boating lake and the River Arun running alongside the town makes for many great waterside locations. 

If you are planning an overseas shoot, then consider a UK based double location! We have 1000’s of council, business and privately owned locations on our books. Get in touch and speak to our team directly.