Four Thousand Goals in Blackburn, Lancashire

People often ask how we find locations for film shoots, so I thought I’d give a topical example of location scouting across the region.

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Around this time of year in the UK, it seems like every weekend brings another vital, season-defining football match. For better or worse, this country is obsessed with the sport, and I am frequently asked to find locations for commercials involving football or footballers.

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In Spring last year I was given a brief to find a location for a Sky Sports promo. We required a football pitch or playing field with a great aspect and enough room to allow the production company to mock-up a live Super Sunday outside broadcast – including OB trucks, helicopter shots, mutiple camera positions and the regular Sky Sports commentary team.

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I set off up the M61, and swung past Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium to the base of Winter Hill at Horwich. I found a set of sloping pitches surrounded by council semis which provided a great view of Rivington Pike:

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Heading into Blackburn, I found these great terraces near the town centre:

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They reminded me of the opening sequences of Jack Rosenthal’s television play Eskimo Day – finally released on DVD this year.

(I’m going off on a complete tangent here, but if you’re ever interested in what life as part of a film crew is actually like you should check out Rosenthal’s outstanding 1976 television play Ready When You Are, Mr McGill)

Eastwards along the M65, I found some cracking vistas of Pendle Hill from this estate not far from Burnley town centre:

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The terraces and factory form a stadium of sorts for this slightly grubby pitch, not far from Turf Moor, home of Burnley FC:

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Whilst this atmospheric, run-down estate overlooks the ground itself:-

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I found these typical Lancastrian scenes in Rochdale:

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I loved these old-school goal posts at a municipal park near Leigh:

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Whilst these crazy goalposts reveal a little of the psychology of Wigan, a town with rugby league at its heart, regardless of the fortunes of its football team:

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Here are a few more examples which photographed well:

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The client decided to shoot somewhere in the Home Counties. I’ve attached the final promo, which came out for the beginning of the 2010/11 football season.

I think it works quite well, despite the somewhat anachronistic commentary team of Andy Gray and Richard Keys.

I hope this is a good example of a glamourous working day in the life of a Location Scout. If you are interested in using any of these filming locations please get in touch for details.

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