Film crew moves in to council building in Hertfordshire but mystery surrounds project

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Cameras rolling at county council's County Hall

FILM crews have taken over parts of Hertfordshire County Council’s landmark County Hall headquarters – but mystery surrounds when the footage will make it to the screen.

Last year Hollywood actor and director George Clooney caused a real stir when he used the ‘ballroom’ for a scene in his movie, ‘The Boys in the Boat’.

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And the distinctive white arches at the front of the building are said to have been used as a backdrop for the tv series, Endeavour.

Film crew moves in to council building in Hertfordshire but mystery surrounds projectFilm crew moves in to council building in Hertfordshire but mystery surrounds project
Film crew moves in to council building in Hertfordshire but mystery surrounds project

But so far staff at the county council say they haven’t spotted any big name actors visiting the building, this time.

Nevertheless lighting rigs, security and crew have been based at County Hall for the past week – complete with a small village of catering vans and support vehicles on the former cricket pitch

Filming appears to be focussed in the ballroom area. But county council officials are staying tight-lipped about the detail.

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“There is indeed filming taking place at County Hall, but no famous faces I believe,” said a spokesperson for the county council.

Film crews at County HallFilm crews at County Hall
Film crews at County Hall

“From time to time we rent out parts of our property portfolio as locations for TV and film – last year George Clooney used the ballroom at County Hall to film a scene for the film ‘The Boys in the Boat’.

“Sadly, under the terms of the contract we have with the production company we are not permitted to disclose the nature of the filming so I can’t tell you which channel/streaming company it is, what the show will be called or who will star in it.”

The distinctive building appears to be becoming increasingly popular with film makers.

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And executive member for resources and performance Cllr Bob Deering says the income is welcome – directly impacting on the council’s finances.

Hertfordshire County CouncilHertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council

“We have an increasing media business,” said Cllr Deering.

“I think the penny dropped with us that because of the 1930s characteristics of County Hall – in particular some of the rooms inside – it’s potentially a location of some interest to film makers.

“We are definitely promoting County Hall as a location for movies – and with some success.”

Financially, Cllr Deering says the income from film companies is ‘sufficiently interesting’ for the council to make a concerted effort to get bookings.

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And there are now council employees who have this as part of their role.

“We do now have officers – and part of their job is to deal with movie companies and film companies,” he said.

“The revenue is very acceptable and we are happy to have it. It’s in the interests of residents because the more revenue we can generate – the less pressure that puts on council tax.”

The increasing presence of the film industry in the county comes after years of efforts to promote investment in the county by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

And LEP chief executive Neil Hayes says the challenge now is to ensure there are people with the skills that the industry needs.