Interview with Director of Sales at Marriott Hotel County Hall
Date posted: 30.04.2019
What does your role consist of at the Marriott?
Any filming enquiries, even if it is on a complimentary basis, or filming for TV, will all come in via me. When we receive a new enquiry, we analyse the request to determine what the company would like from us, what is needed in practical terms and how we would ideally like to handle the project. What we must consider is our day-to-day availability, and balancing our corporate clients, guests and filmmaking requests. For instance, during August when many of our corporate clients are away on holiday, our wood panelled meeting rooms can be used both day and night, which is great for filming.
But essentially, we always say ‘filming is possible anywhere within the hotel.’
For example, filming is possible in the front office area, which is highly unusual as it is very difficult to film in the reception area of a functioning hotel. Ultimately, as long as our guests are still happy, we can do anything.
What has been your most challenging film experience?
Interesting question as we don’t really see filming as a challenging thing as such, it is more fun for us here at the hotel. The last big film we had in our hotel, was the latest Johnny English release, filmed in August 2017.
It was such an exciting time, and it was so great to work with the entire crew, and to see the filming taking place. The crew were super professional, an absolute pleasure to work with, and the staff here at the hotel absolutely loved the buzz of the ‘film-set life’. And then to see the hotel represented in the film afterwards was just great.
One of the spectacular things about the movie was the transformation of the courtyard, which they turned into a “South of France, five-star deluxe hotel entrance”. They created a fountain on top of the mount, surrounded by palm trees, and parked sportscars around the hotel’s entrance. They then had Johnny English driving into the roundabout in his Aston Martin. I think for everyone at the hotel that was the highlight.
What is so great about the hotel, is that the space is so flexible. So if anyone comes up with a great idea on how to change something, we can basically do it, we just need to restore it to its original state afterwards!
So overall, would I call the experience challenging? Absolutely not!
What is the most recent feature or TV drama that filmed at Marriott Hotel County Hall?
Last week we shot a new feature film called The Postcard Killings, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who you might know from Grey’s Anatomy. It’s about a New York detective investigating the death of his daughter, after she was murdered whilst on her honeymoon in London. They mainly filmed in our Presidential Suite (The Westminster Suite) as well as in one of our bedrooms and in our corridors.
What is your favourite part of the venue and has anyone ever filmed there?
I have a few favourite parts, one of them being the old staircases. The staircases are used firstly as a fire escape route of course, but they are also beautiful. They are just endless, and seem to go on and on forever. They are still in the original 1920s state, made of wood, with a continuous railing that runs all the way from the 6th floor to the basement. I don’t think anyone has ever used it actively for a film.
One of the other hidden gems is our fantastic Library, overlooking Parliament, The River Thames and Westminster. What is amazing, is it can be used as a library, a restaurant, a dining hall or a lounge. It is just a one of a kind location. There are more than 4,500 ancient books in there currently, and the views are just indescribable.
Then of course, we have our wood panelled rooms. All in their original state since the 1920’s and previously used as offices for the Greater London Council. We do a very good job at maintaining the rooms and you can’t find them anywhere else.
What is your favourite film/TV show of all time?
This is a tricky one, as there are so many great and fantastic movies, that I always feel bad about picking one above the others! Favourites are The Shawshank Redemption, that is incredible, or The Green Mile. However, and please don’t laugh, but my ultimate favourite movie of all time is Pirates of the Caribbean. I just love it, I can’t help it. I have seen the first three movies so many times that I know every moment by heart.
It started out as a little, silly, ‘quality time’ moment with my dad, but then it turned into a tradition, and we have gone to see all the other movies together since. Absolutely love it, Jack Sparrow is my ultimate favourite.
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