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Chelsea Football Club is fast becoming a popular filming destination after an influx of filming in recent months.
Usually renowned for its numerous meeting, events and hospitality products, the site is now becoming a hit location for film scouts, TV crews and production companies. In the last few months alone, Chelsea FC has welcomed over 20 production crews on 30 separate occasions and filmed over 40 hours of footage for TV.
The most popular area for filming is the music venue, Under the Bridge, which has recently celebrated its first birthday. A third of bookings taken in 2012 for Under the Bridge have included a filming element, some of the most notable including key scenes for Made in Chelsea, Sky’s hit dating show Love Machine and sporting interviews for the BBC, ESPN and Sky.
With the venue offering 720m2 of floor space, booth areas, two bars, a purpose built stage and a luxury green room, it offers a chameleon-like backdrop and can be transformed using its built-in lighting and production facilities. In addition, the venue has a fully set up outside broadcast area for filming live and four robotic built-in HD cameras that can also be used in addition to production companies own cameras, helping to reduce costs.
For Made in Chelsea in particular, Under the Bridge has been used as a glamorous setting for the cast over several series. The venue’s lighting, sound and staging was used to supplement the production company’s own equipment and transform the venue into several separate looks for the show.
Sky’s Love Machine has also utilised Under the Bridge as locations to film the contestants’ interviews on six occasions this year. Each interview created a different atmosphere in the main space by changing the colour of the lighting at the bars, booths and stage area, as well as using the green rooms as other sets.
In addition to the interest in Under the Bridge, Chelsea Football Club has already hosted the London auditions for Britain’s Next Top Model in 2011, an interview with the Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell for BBC Sports in 2011, been the location for filming with BBC Sports Relief in March 2012 and filming with Justin Bieber in June 2012 as part of his visit to the stadium. In addition, the venue has recently taken enquiries for a Channel Four programme and a BBC series, who each want to take advantage of various locations at Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea Football Club providing unrestricted unloading areas and an onsite car park, production crews are finding the venue logistically easy to facilitate large amounts of equipment, as well as manage their time effectively by making use of the venue’s hotels, restaurants and bars during filming.
Simon Hunter, Head of Venue and Brand at Chelsea FC, comments: “Due to all the different facilities we have on offer it’s understandable to see why we’ve now become a popular filming destination. With hotels, restaurants, hospitality suites, a spa and music venue in one location it’s a perfect choice for production companies looking to get lots of on location filming done in the most cost and time efficient way possible”.
Geraldine Chia, Production Manager at Monkey Kingdom Limited adds: “We were delighted as always with Chelsea Football Club whilst filming Made In Chelsea. The venue lends itself to accommodate TV crews such as ourselves – in particular Under the Bridge offers state of the art facilities including onsite AV and advanced lighting technology. The technicians, security team and catering staff are most helpful. Located at Stamford Bridge and being close to hotels, restaurants and bars meant that we were conveniently located for all the productions needs - I would definitely recommend the site as an outside broadcast location”.