Graduate blog: My top Norfolk film locations

Graduate blog: My top Norfolk film locations

On the hunt for a killer location for your student film? 
 
BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production graduate Daniel Franklin has compiled a short list of his go-to locations for shooting in Norwich and further afield.
 
Whether you’re new to Norwich and not sure where to start in your search, or perhaps you want to branch out and seek a new place to put onscreen; read on and see what’s out there!

Winterton-on-sea

1. Winterton-on-Sea

Rolling dunes and grassy peaks, Winterton-on-Sea offers a warm backdrop for a blissful moment at the beach…weather depending! See above in a still from local singer/songwriter Leo Lore’s music video.

Mousehold Heath

2. Mousehold Heath

Overlooking the city is The Viewpoint near Britannia Barracks in Mousehold Heath. This location offers you the chance to look down on the city and up to uninterrupted skies.

You can also explore the vast green space of the heathland around you on your way up to the lookout spot.

3. Local businesses

Many local business owners welcome the opportunity to work with NUA students, and making use of the wonderful array of boutique shops helps strengthen the production value of your work. If you have a coffee shop scene, shoot in a real coffee shop! The producer on your project can email, call or even pop in for a chat about renting spaces, often for a small contribution to the running cost of the staff.

This will strengthen your presence as a local filmmaker, which can prove helpful further down the line if you were to go into video content production for advertising.

October studios

4. October Studios

Based twenty minutes outside of Norwich City Centre by car at the decommissioned RAF Coltishall, October Studios is a film and TV production company occupying a vast amount of studio space.

In previous years they have welcomed the filming of projects by final year students – like 2020 graduate Voy Bach’s You Are Here Now. They even have a full-scale set replica of the Oval Office!

5. Airbnb

Using places found through Airbnb can allow you access to a premise that’s suitable as both a shooting location in a domestic setting and be a great way of cutting the accommodation cost for your cast.

Just ensure the owner is happy for you to use it for your university project prior to you setting up your lights and tripod.

Pleasure Beach

6. Outside of Norwich

If you’re looking for a more rural setting, try catching a bus into one of the smaller towns and villages in the surrounding areas. Places like Dereham, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth can offer interesting locations that we haven’t seen on screen before. 

Village halls can make a great unit base if you’re in need of some cover while shooting exteriors, and bus or train tickets are relatively cheap for the journey – especially if you have a railcard. 

7. Carrow Road Yacht Club

If you’re looking for a location that can offer access to bodies of water, flat concrete groundings with open space or a general nautical theme, then Carrow Road Yacht Club is perfect. 

With a clubhouse to help shield you over lunch and onsite WC/kitchenette facilities, there is enough space for your kit and crew only a stone’s throw from Norwich train station in Paper Mill Yard. 

St Mary's works

8. Old Shoe Factory

Behind NUA’s Duke Street building on St. Mary’s Plain is an old shoe factory space that is perfect for those projects that require a rustic gallery-style backdrop – think New York loft apartment, high ceilings, exposed brick walls and concrete floor.   The upstairs space is flooded with natural light and original windows, set in white painted brick walls. The Old Shoe Factory has been used for many productions and events in its life as it stands now, but would also be the perfect place to use for experimentation or pre-visualisation prior to conducting principal photography on your project.   So that’s it. I’ve tried to keep to places I or my peers have shot at to ensure the locations are obtainable… once all the permits and permissions have been secured! But there’s far more places to take a look at too.    See some of Daniel’s work on his Instagram.