Replica brands

Norwich Location agency joins landlords with leading UK brands

A Norfolk-based location agency is expanding to help even more owners turn their properties into locations for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

East Coast Locations is the sister company of modeling agency Sandra Reynolds and was founded in 2013 as Norfolk Production.

It was later rebranded as East Coast Locations and now works regularly with some of the UK’s biggest fashion and lifestyle brands, from Next, Joules and Boden to Denby, Radley and Parker Knoll – as well as companies locals such as Virgin Wines, Hopkins Homes and Cotswold. Company.

The team manages an ever-growing library of locations for clients and offers production, photography and video services, as well as design and branding services, and matches commercial clients with locations, crew and venues. local talent.


The East Coast Locations team, left to right: Lily Arundell, Emma Keal, Charlotte Lord and Rhiannon Bond
– Credit: East Coast Locations

The team recently moved into a new office on Westwick Street – the former home of Cookes Pianos – to cope with their growth despite the pandemic.

“We were so busy throughout the lockdown, which we just didn’t expect,” says whereabouts agent Rhiannon Bond. “The shoots were really tricky and I was afraid at first it would end completely, to be honest – but it didn’t work out. Being one of the industries that could not work from home, we worked throughout using very strict Covid protocols.

“Some clients chose to stay in London and do some studio filming, but as we have so many open spaces here in Norfolk, others wanted to travel out of town and be outdoors. We have plenty of filming and living properties here, so crews were able to regroup and stay in the house where they were filming.

As the business has grown, so has its customer base and its site portfolio now includes sites not just in Norfolk and Suffolk but across the UK including London and the north. But Rhiannon says one of their biggest “benefits” remains their local knowledge, which often encourages some of the biggest brands to come – and then come back – to Norfolk.


Bracon Hall, near Norwich, which is a rental house through East Coast Rentals

Bracon Hall near Norwich is one of several Norfolk-based properties in the East Coast Rentals portfolio
– Credit: Camilla Andrea Photography

“When a client books a location with us, we also organize the logistics for them, reserving the best beaches and outdoor spaces as well as other locations that work for them and fit their shooting schedule. For them, it’s the value of what we do – we know the whole area and everything we have here.

“We also offer full production, from crew and creatives to catering and filming planning, which makes it easier for crews to travel here. When we bring clients to Norfolk, it’s nice because once ‘they see what we have here, they usually always come back.

Rhiannon’s role as Location Agent includes sourcing new location properties and balancing location owner and guest expectations.

She says the process generally works in two ways: either owners contact the team with a location they might be interested in, or Rhiannon and her team scout them based on a client’s file. “Sometimes I’ll just walk past an amazing house and just go ask them if they would be interested because a lot of people don’t know it exists or it’s an option in Norfolk,” she says.


Beautiful Georgian reception room at Bracon Hall near Norwich which is used as a let house

One of the reception areas at Bracon Hall near Norwich
– Credit: Camilla Andrea Photography

But not every house is an ideal location, even those that might fit the specification aesthetically.

“Home should be appropriate and suitable for all the things you need it to do,” says Rhiannon. “Some people have amazing homes but they’re quite small or too dark or there’s no parking or something is a bit tricky, logistically, with them.”

Lots of people like the idea, says Rhiannon — especially if they’ve spent a lot of money on a renovation and see it as a way to recoup the cost — but it’s hard work. “You have to be really committed,” she says. “You can’t have family photos everywhere and fridge magnets. The house must be aesthetically perfect all the time during filming and recce.

“It can be long days, you have to be comfortable with a lot of people in your house and moving your furniture around. If a client has paid to use your house for the day, they can’t have a landlord chasing after him, seeming anxious every time he moves anything – he needs to be able to work freely and our landlords know they can always count on us to make sure their home is back to exactly the way it was found by the end of the day.


Beautifully decorated children's bedroom at Bracon Hall, near Norwich, which is used for location filming

Inside the Children’s Room at Bracon Hall, near Norwich
– Credit: Camilla Andrea Photography

“It can be very rewarding to have your house used for filming and obviously there’s a financial gain, but you also have to be okay with what goes with it and a lot of people aren’t. Your house is a space really personal, so I think most of the time vacation rentals, venues and event spaces are great because they’re built for that – but when it works, it’s really special.

“Some of our location owners are awesome. They’re so accommodating, so easy going. It’s kind of a two-way thing: is your home right for us and is the location work right for you? It’s all about to match that.”

Rhiannon says she visits each home she lists to get a sense of the space, though often clients send her floor plans and photographs to help her understand its layout. In many ways, it feels like a process similar to buying a home: “Once you visit, you see it so differently,” she says, and because client briefs can be both vague and very specific, she says it’s important that the team know every property in the location thoroughly.


Mid century style living room in Slow Norfolk in South Norfolk which is used as a location house

Lifestyle brand, Slow Norfolk, has two homes, including this one in South Norfolk
– Credit: Emma Chapman Photography

The standard rate for an eight-hour shoot is normally around £1,250, says Rhiannon, although it varies. “Some of the stately homes cost upwards of £5,000-6,000 a day, then also if you want a small cottage and want to use their kitchen for a few hours, that can be different too.” East Coast Locations then takes a commission of 20 pc.

But when venue owners, understandably, ask how many bookings they’ll get, how much money they’ll make, or the size of crew they’ll need to host, Rhiannon says it’s hard to know because every shoot is different. “It can be a team of four people, up to a team of 50 people. Each shoot works on a case-by-case basis.

“I think the most amazing homes are going to be booked for absolutely everything that sometimes we don’t get any bookings for – and other homes like a lovely little cottage are booked every week. It’s so random. You can’t not estimate how these things will unfold.

“Some of the homes I find and fall in love with just aren’t booked as film locations – it’s interesting to see how trends change and what brands are looking for from season to season.”


The home bar area of ​​the property in South Norfolk at Slow Norfolk

Slow Norfolk’s home bar
– Credit: Emma Chapman Photography

Often the choice of properties follows seasonal patterns – although these are often around six months ahead. This means that when we speak in July, Rhiannon says that many locations are being set up for Christmas. “It’s the hottest day of the year and you’re putting up Christmas trees and fake snow – it’s the weirdest job!”

The team serves a wide range of clients and has a growing property portfolio, from traditional stately homes to lakeside cabins and modern architectural feats to renovated barns.

They recently launched a new website, making it even easier to find a location, and Rhiannon says she’s also always on the lookout for new properties.

Like what? I ask.

“Anything coastal whitewashed with white floors and just lovely, airy and seaside. I think that’s one of the biggest requests from guests – they want direct access to the beach so they can film in the house and then literally walk on the sand. I know this doesn’t come up very often, but if any readers have something like this please contact us…


Bel Air, Surrey, a modern home in East Coast Location's growing property portfolio

East Coast Rentals has branched out and now serves the whole country – this very special Surrey home is part of their portfolio
– Credit: Site Creation

“And everything that is surprisingly architectural. I think something like that is another reason to come to Norfolk – people already know we have the beaches and the stately homes, so it’s having these really cool homes that brands or customers will want to travel for.

But the most important thing, she says, is a big Georgian house – as long as it’s not white. “I’m looking for something that has very high ceilings, all the traditional features like ceiling roses and large fireplaces, but minimal furniture. So if anyone lives in one, I’d love to hear from you.

For more information visit eastcoastlocations.co.uk

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