One of the themes we want to explore in the process of making our film, is that of unused spaces… places that used to be used for something, but now aren’t. One of the locations in Blackburn we initially selected wasn’t available, but Alex from Capita suggested that we take a look at Griffin Lodge (next to Griffin Park) in Blackburn. It wasn’t a place I’d heard of, but after doing some online research and looking at the details Alex had sent through, we decided it would be a great place to film.
We arrived to film with a rough shot list, a torch and a box of props – but it was important to us that we allow the environment to inspire us too. We didn’t want to see the site prior to the filming day – so that we could approach it fresh and not over think things.
We looked around the site with Alex and Claire first to see which areas we were drawn to – choosing the central staircase, cellar, vantage point overlooking the staircase, and one of the rooms on the top floor. The upstairs room appealed to me instantly, as it had a collection of photo negatives scattered around the room, and it led us to filming a scene we hadn’t planned in there.
Some of the textures on the walls especially were amazing – peeling wallpaper, mouldy damp patches creating new patterns… and from a filmic point of view, even the shattered and fractured glass panels/windows sparkled in the sunlight. We filmed much more than we needed too – and had to postpone a planned second location for today, as we were enjoying being in this one so much!
When we were filming the final exterior shots from the park outside the front of the building, a group of young teens came up and asked us what we were doing. ‘Was it haunted in there’ one asked me… and seemed relieved when I said we’d not seen any spooky stuff. We chatted for a while, and I explained about the film, and Found:ed, and when the festival was on.
I really liked the Fight Club type look of the house and it worked well for the sections we were filming – but it is a shame that it has gotten so much damage over the last few years and I hope it finds a buyer who can restore it to full health as it could be a stunning building again.
There’s not a lot of info about the building online... but there's a little bit here: http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/8272444.Historic_Blackburn_building_put_up_for_sale/