19 July 2018 by Eleanor Webster
Did you know that National Museums Liverpool’s venues frequently appear in films and on television? While you may have spotted us on the evening news or recognised one of our museums or galleries during a trip to the cinema once or twice, its unlikely most visitors are aware of how often we play host to camera crews and production companies.
While many projects, including collections-related documentaries and news programmes, are managed by our in-house press team, commercial filming projects – such as blockbuster films and drama series – are looked after by our multi-award-winning events team, Hosted by National Museums Liverpool. Events Sales Manager, Hanna Ghariani, has worked with a number of clients on commercial location filming as part of her role. She tells us more about her experiences…
“Since I joined National Museums Liverpool, the amount of location filming work that my team have been involved in has increased significantly, with Liverpool becoming of the most popular cities in the UK outside of London with production companies. In fact, Liverpool Film Office recorded its busiest ever year in 2017, with 289 film and TV projects shot in our city!
This has given me the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, with each one being completely different. No location filming day is the same, whether it’s a chilly day in December and we’re helping to keep the cast and crew warm, or looking after a hawk!
When the films and television programmes shot in or outside our venues are released a few months later, I often spend more time trying to spot the museums and galleries than actually focusing on the story and its characters! Viewers simply enjoying the plot may have missed our museums in some of the most popular releases. For example County Sessions House, a non-public venue located next to the Walker Art Gallery, has been the location for many recent projects, such as the BBC’s ‘The Witness to the Prosecution’ and ‘The City and The City’.
The Walker Art Gallery itself is featured in ‘Safe’, a new Netflix series. Any frequent visitor will recognise our stunning jewel-coloured walls and the beautiful ‘Echo and Narcissus’ painting by John William Waterhouse in the third episode, among other shots of the gallery.
Only an expert would have been able to spot World Museum in Sky One’s latest drama ‘Bulletproof’, with its back entrance being used for three days location filming. And very few people know about the historic cells on the lower ground floor of County Sessions House, which have been used for several other dramas!
There really is nothing like the pride of seeing our museums and galleries on screen, and knowing that I played a part in helping to produce it. I get excited for every new project, although I usually have to keep things top-secret until the film or programme is released!
Another wonderful element of working on projects like this is the fact that income generated from hosting location filming projects at our venues supports National Museums Liverpool, and the important work it does.”
To find out more, please visit our website. If you think you’ve spotted one of our venues on the television or in a film, let us know on Twitter at @hostedbynml.
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