Check out some Blue Plaque properties and buildings that have been touched by the magic of the movies, tv and good old rock’n’roll.
Michael Ingall the renowned property developer stated the importance of a building having a story.
We all know the marquee value of Blue Plaque properties, but there are many more properties that have a story, a signature.
Side Note: I did a search on Ebay for a book by Ernest Hemingway and found one for $6.
The same book with Hemingway’s signature and notes is on sale for $40,000.
As well as the stately homes, castles and mansions there are many factories, office buildings, hotels etc. that can be said to have been touched by the glamour of the movies and ‘Hollywood’.
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire has regular showings of movies like Shakespeare in Love that were filmed there.
850,000 tourists a year visit Salzburg in Austria because of The Sound Of Music.
We have 69,000 locations in our database, therefore many thousands of stories.
Contact us today to find the stories behind the buildings in your chosen post/zip code.
What brought me here today was a Progressive Property Event in Knightsbridge on a cold and rainy Wednesday night in February 2016.
Michael Ingall started speaking and as I iistened I was reminded of director Andrew Stanton when he went to pitch Finding Nemo to John Lassiter, head of Pixar.
Finding Nemo was the biggest selling DVD in history but in the beginning Stanton walked into a meeting with Pixar boss John Lasseter to tell the story of a widowed clownfish named Marlin and a blue tang fish named Dory traveling across the ocean to find Marlin’s lost son, Nemo.
Stanton was tooled up with visual aids, brought voiceover mock-ups and storyboards showing key plot points and story arcs. He pitched hard for over an hour – putting everything into bringing his script to life. When it was over, Stanton collapsed into his chair and asked Lasseter what he thought.
Lasseter replied: “You had me at fish”.
What Lasseter was saying was that from the moment he started speaking he said one word that riveted him into wanting to hear more. He listened and the inspiration that Andrew Stanton felt was shared by John Lasseter, who in turn became so inspired he put the project into the Pixar process. The process followed but shared creative inspiration led the way.
On that night in Knightsbridge Michael said, “there has to be a story” and in the style of John Lasseter at Pixar, Michael had me at ‘story’, then he followed up with ‘creative’, “be a bird” and I felt that here was someone who would share my inspiration.
I have a fountain of stories from across the world for you Michael and from the first story you will get it. I would like to share them with you but first as there are patent pending processes on-going directly connected to what I’m disclosing an NDA and NCA titled Disneyland Express Stories is required. Would you mind signing these?
The phrase that my inspiration coined as I listened to Michael was ‘signature building’. Now, what do I mean by that? Let’s take an example from the book world; a classic book by say, Ernest Hemingway. I checked on Ebay and found a
copy of Farewell To Arms for $6.48 http://www.ebay.com/itm/A-Farewell-to-Arms-Hemingway-Ernest-/231834069132?hash=item35fa63288c:g:dvUAAOSw9N1VuzEY
I then looked for a signed copy of A Farewell To Arms and found one for $40,000 http://www.ebay.com/itm/ERNEST-HEMINGWAY-A-Farewell-to-Arms-INSCRIBED-FIRST-EDITION-/121871897161
A massive increase of 666566.6667% because it has a signature in it.
So, how do we recognise signature buildings? Heritage. The art and antiques world calls it provenance. Tittenhurst Park in Ascot sold for £15M in part because John Lennon can be seen sitting in the drawing room at the white piano singing Imagine.
Not saying that you’ll give a building an uplift like that but what if you found something hidden in the fabric, the detail of the building. An undiscovered treasure. Could that be possible?
According to The Evening Standard: If you buy a prestigious blue plaque home you have considerable bragging rights. The English Heritage scheme marks its 150-year anniversary this spring. “If potential buyers are looking at a couple of similar properties and one of them is a blue plaque home, they are more likely to choose it,” says Christopher Sellwood, director of Foxton’s. The really well known Blue Plaques like Jimi Hendrix’s are famous but there are many faded signatures out there waiting to be revamped and re-imagined. Disney calls it imagineering.
Hollywood and the movies
Hollywood arrives at a location. Sets are built that become iconic then they tear the sets down and move on. These icons can be recreated where Hollywood and other great movie cities created an authentic signature.
I have a database of 69,000 geocoded (mapped) movie and tv locations worldwide. In there will be suitable projects for us. We have an app that shows the locations around wherever you are or wherever you search. Look around the locations and see what can be bought. Remember, you are potentially Imagineering, bringing the magic of Hollywood back to the neighbourhood.
Think of Disneyland as a giant main Tesco. As well as the big Tesco’s there are dotted around lots of Tesco Express’s. So, applying that logic to our potential projects, each individual movie or tv location might not end up a full on Disneyland but it can certainly be a Disneyland Express.
Created by Hollywood, built by us.
The Granada Studios played host to many much loved tv shows and these signature productions should be celebrated in the surrounding area. Names come to mind like Emmerdale Park, Last Of The Summer Wine Avenue etc.
What tv creative wouldn’t want to write in an authentic writer’s studio, even in the area surrounding and therefore connected to an authentic writer’s studio?
At 94 Baker Street The Beatles created The Apple Boutique but it was much more than a shop. My dear departed mate Paul Tennant was in Focal Point, the first band signed to The Beatles’ company, Apple and ‘above the shop’ 94 Baker Street became a creative centre for his band and many other musicians. Paul Tennant, I used to call him Beatle Paul, used to tell a story of the day they were in one of the rooms. John Lennon was passing and popped his head round the door. “What are you doing, lads?” he said. They replied, “We’re writing a song but we’re stuck.” Legend has it that he sat down, picked up a guitar and helped them to finish it, thereby co-writing their song. Imagine is a song written by John lennon but imagine writing a song with John Lennon? Paul wrote a book titled, All You Need Is Luck, endorsed by Sir Paul McCartney and you can buy it on Amazon. It’s ironic that 94 Baker Street that housed The Beatles and their employees should now house the TA Reed Employment Agency. 94 Baker St is in the news with an apartment in The Apple Apartments being offered for £750 per week. That building or those apartments could be a perfect rent to rent opportunity. Imagine the Imagine Suite, The John Lennon Suite, The Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Room and so on? A Disneyland Express.
Other Beatle shrines are: The Cavern, John’s House, Paul’s House,
Best stories in the World
Some of the best stories in the world come from the arts; books, films, tv shows, music etc. and this is where I tell you a little bit of my story.
About me and The Quiet Man
I was born in the wild west of Ireland, Galway in 1951. That summer as I lay in my cot a Hollywood movie was being filmed 11 miles down the road starring the biggest actor in the world at the time, John Wayne, the movie co-starred Maureen O’Hara.
The film was The Quiet Man and it is Stephen Spielberg’s favourite movie.
Question: In the film E.T. what is E.T. watching on the tv in Elliot’s house?
Fact: that clip from The Quiet Man being used in blockbuster E.T. made more money than the original film.
In Cong, Co. Mayo where a lot of the Quiet Man filming was done you can experience; Ashford Castle where the famous fight scene between John Wayne and Victor McLaglen took place, you can stay at The Quiet Man Hotel where they play the movie all day and night, The Quiet Man Cottage (nowhere near the original and actual cottage!), The Quiet Man Church. In Cong they have taken advantage of the love, interest and passion tourists have for that wonderful movie.
The Sound Of Music
I was at Confex at Earl’s Court a few years ago and there were stands there with the tourist boards of different countries: Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Scotland etc. I went to the Austria stand and the Tourism Minister was there. I asked her, “do you know how many tourists visit Salzburg each year because of The Sound Of Music? She replied, “I should know that, shouldn’t I? I said, “would you believe 850,000 tourists a year visit Salzburg because of a film that was made over 50 years ago?” She was wowed. There is even a company called, Edelweiss Tours.
Field Of Dreams
In the movie Field of Dreams Kevin Costner’s character hears the famous phrase, “build it and they will come’. Although the actual phrase was, “build it and he will come’ well HE obviously brought his wife and kids and their friends and their wives and kids etc.
Brings you a flavour of the movies and Hollywood but we can go beyond that and Planet Hollywood could be an exit route.
San Francisco – Bullitt
The Monaco Grand Prix is the world famous F1 race through the streets of Monaco. There are, however, many other potential Monaco’s, notably in San Francisco. Question: What is the most famous car chase in movie history? Steve McQueen’s Bullitt released in 1968 on the Streets of San Francisco (tv show) is acknowledged as having one of the best car chases of all time.
Alcatraz – I toured round in 1989, met an ex-inmate and at the end of the tour the tour guide said, “If anyone has any ideas on what we can do with Alcatraz Island let us know.” No one has yet brought an acceptable idea. Anyone got any ideas?
Turin – The Italian Job
Bullitt Director Peter Yates was one of the original choices as Director for The Italian Job. The Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin became iconic for the cars on the rooftop scenes. An article from the BBC reads, “The Lingotto factory remains, as does the imprint of Fiat on the Italian consciousness, colossal. Michael Caine’s band of thieves may have made off with the gold on screen, but for generations of torinese, the treasure remained behind.”
Imagine the Italian Job Suite ! Double meaning there but never mind ! The “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off Suite” and so on.
New York, New York
Remember Marilyn Monroe standing over the grating in the movie, The Seven Year Itch? 51st and Lexington in New York. 3,000 people turned out to watch Marilyn film those scenes at 3am in the early morning. Such was the crush that filming proved almost impossible.
The grating without Marilyn
Re-creations of signature buildings can be seen:
Disney Theme Parks, Warner Brothers Theme Parks – Hard Rock Café – Las Vegas
Downton Abbey – Imagine if they turned it into a hotel !!! What would the suites be named?
Bracknell – Harry Potter.
Leavesden Studios Tour for Harry Potter
Beaulieu in Hampshire is a great stately home but it buys the glamour of movies and tv to put in its grounds to add to its attraction. It has one of Elvis’ Cadillacs, The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, all the the Top Gear cars, including the written off ones. Del Boy’s Reliant Robin, Mr Bean’s Mini, Wallace and Gromit’s Car, James Bond’s Jaguar XKR. It’s well worth a visit. The place that housed James Bond’s original Aston Martin became a car museum.
It is said that The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan was the model for the first theme park, Disneyland. The museum was originally given to Thomas Edison in 1929 contains Edison’s laboratory, Harvey Firestone’s workshop, the Wright Brothers workshop and many other exhibits transported there, re-erected and offered for exhibition.
What constitutes a museum? It is defined as a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited. Have you got a passion for collecting? Turn your building into a museum and as Jonie Mitchell sang, “took all the trees, put ‘em in a tree museum, then charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em”. That’s a business !!! Old building bought BMV, put your collection in, charge the people, use the commercial multiplier times your annual income to get your money back out and sell it on… job done!
Airport House in Croydon
On the site of London’s first airport on Purley Way. You will know it because there is an aircraft between it and the road. The building has been faithfully and beautifully restored with many artifacts from the golden pioneering era of flying, Amy Johnson, Lindbergh and all. Today it is a serviced office centre and a cool place to work.
What passions are evoked when someone looks at your property? Have you found the secret sauce to give it that amazing flavour? The most amazing chefs have the ability to bring the best flavours out of food. They have a passion for food and it shows and they charge top dollar for their products. Listen to a master like Richard E. Grant on Hotel Secret as he describes his favourite hotels. He discovers and describes the secret sauce of those hotels.
Here are some extracts from his diaries and he extols the virtues of his favourite movie locations:
The ‘Locations effect’.
Extracts from the film diaries of Richard E Grant.
About Richard E Grant
“I’m still star-struck. I’m thrilled to say that hasn’t changed.”
The first trip to New York
“Afternoon flight across this continent and it’s like the whole world is below: from desert to snow, Rockies to oceans, all reduced at this altitude to Jasper-Johns-scapes and Jackson Pollock patterns. Glee at the request to fasten our seat belts…Indigo evening sky, the plane banks sideways and I see this Oz from a God’s eye view. Dazzling. I can clearly see the Empire State, Chrysler, Liberty and the dark oblong of Central Park.
Later, crossing the Queensborough Bridge in my chauffeur-driven limo, I swear I have a mini-hovercraft levitating under my bum. My head is jammed with Gershwin going GAGA. Yes, I have seen this skyline of ‘scapers all my movie-going life, but Jeezus, this is that Coke slogan come true. It’s the real thing.
Pedestrian crossings read WALK/DON’T WALK. Nothing in between, like these sparkling monoliths fingering the sky. Shimmering. Lacquered. Confident. Glossy glass-scapes. Art-deco wedding cakes, Towers of Sheer. Where do they make people with the confidence…call it what you will… to have dreamt and constructed this….NEW YORK with its double-barrelled title, Big Apple is the last thing that comes to mind. No Cinemascope, Technicolor, 3D, Cinerama, Mega-Scope, Supermarionation or I-Max can convey what you get through the retinas.
Into, onto and within Manhattan and push-button down the window and fix the lugs (ears) on to the sounds. Steam jets like breath from the road and it’s Taxi Driver. Horns honking and maybe Gene Kelly’s gonna skedaddle on by. Sirens wailing somewhere close and it’s Shaft and ‘Papa was a Rollin’ Stone’. Boom, boom, BOOM. Yellow cabs and neon and cops on horseback, and drug stores with light-bulbs and glossy oranges and brown paper bags and it’s Annie Hall, ‘cept I can’t quite see Woody Allen or Diane Keaton. But as near as dammit. And Frankenstein’s full voltage has plugged into my bolt.
I bound down the stairwell and into 44th Street and run to Times Square on Broadway. GUYS AND DOLLS FOR REAL. Bright, brash, busting with people and I feel about as alive as I think I ever will be.
The vast electronic billboard in Times Square fixes the temp at minus 15 degrees C. With wind. Understand the meaning of wind-chill factor for the first time and duck into a bookstore to try to restore circulation to my numbed ears.
Flick some pages but all the print I can see says, HERE YOU ARE SONNY! DREAMIN’ THE DREAM THAT’S DREAMIN’ YA!
No cold or wind can bolt this feeling down. Come signs of circulation and I am out there! This time, these moments have been YEARS in the making. Selznick! Cecil B DeMille. KING STOMPIN’ KONG.
Alan (Corduner) has planned the sightseeing tour: Rockefeller Plaza to see the open-air skaters, Radio City Music Hall, up Fifth Avenue to the Plaza Hotel – just as F. Scott Fitzgerald said it would be. Into Central Park and on cue it starts snowing, topping up the nightfall. Almost black and white and as near as dammit to the (opening and closing) credits of Manhattan.
Downtown and up the Empire State Building to breathe the rarefied air and ever endless view of – below, beside and beyond – NEW YORK.
The first trip to LA
26 April 1990
Flight to Los Angeles but uh-oh, the ticket reads GATWICK-DALLAS-LOS ANGELES. I now compute that a direct ten-hour flight from Heathrow has been converted into an eighteen-hour (butt) arse-paralyser. Upon arrival al LAX my legs grasp the true impact of JET LAG, this flight having rendered my resources around Gravitation X. Even the eyeballs are weighed down. A medium sized limo hauls my tired-olds to the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard and the driver takes this as his cue to give me a run-down of everyone who has died in the joint, from (John) Belushi backwards.
27 April 1990
Messenger bikes round a fat envelope full of dollar per diem (per day allowances). A very good reason to get out of bed and test the Californian climate and cuisine. The hotel is one of the few really old buildings here and recognizable from those black-and-white stills of Hollywood haunts of the thirties. It feels as though you might just pass Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in the corridor.
28 April 1990
…It’s only when I press the button in the convertible to get the sun roof retracted and take a right onto Sunset Boulevard that my old ticker accelerates faster than my foot. Sun blazing down, music Kiss FMing, and the red car is nosing towards Beverly Hills and I’m a-thinking, Blow me down, gals. This is the Swaz (his nickname for himself as he hails from Swaziland) off to meet the stars. (He has an appointment to meet Steve Martin at his house in Beverly Hills).
A bored Mexican sits smoking beside a blue clapboard stall, which proclaims ‘MOVIE STAR MAPS’. Being a lifelong movie buff, I cannot convey just what a stomach growling thrill it is to have an address in hand of one of them!
23rd May 1990
The Fox studio lot is everything I imagined a movie studio would look like. The offices are hidden behind the façade of New York City circa 1900, which, it turns out, were the sets for Hello Dolly. My parents took us to see this on New Year’s Eve, 1969, in Africa, when I was twelve, and I find myself standing still in the parking lot, twenty-one years older, in the middle of my ‘dream’ that has come true.
First trip to San Francisco
P134 – 24 May 1990
Dawn flight to Frisco and the city looks exactly like Dirty Harry showed it to me on a drive-in screen in Swaz. With a soundtrack of Sinatra eulogizing the Golden Gate Bridge, the driver pointing out the aftermath of the latest earthquake, which has left an overhead motorway buckled and lying on its side like a toy, and here are those streets from Bullitt and round the corner it’s What’s Up, Doc? With a little High Anxiety thrown in. Bits of Hitchcock scroll their way through my viewfinder…
Back to LA
P194 – 7 Feb 1990
Go alone to see Godfather lll, not wanting any interference in this longed-for ‘return’ (of The Godfather), not anticipating the unexpected wet eyeballing as the screen goes pitch black and that mournful theme music horns and haunts its way through my head and catapults me back to the Cinelux Cinema in Swaz seventeen years ago, where and when I determined seriously to pursue this dream of becoming on of Them who acted in stories in a Never-Never Land called Hollywood. Now, you would be right in thinking this is so much syrupy gloop, but it is this single dream that has silently kept me going. Which in some smallish way, but more biggish than I dared hope for, has been realized.
P248 – 14 October 1990
Fly back (to LA). New house rental. New start. Sony Columbia Studios down in Culver City. The sound-stages formerly crammed with Never-Never Land sets are now Transylvania, London and the English countryside. Winona (Ryder)’s character Mina’s estate has been built in a vast studio, with painted cycloramas, exterior mansion, terrace and sunken topiary garden and lake. The latter has been created in what was once the pool used by Esther Williams for her forties water-ballet extravaganzas. Grand opera. Victorian furniture, gas lamps, sweeping staircases, horses, carriages, servants, gravel, high Gothic costumery, music-relay through loudspeakers, a multitude of technicians, set dressers and scene painters, lighting, camera tracks, in fact a BIG STUDIO PICTURE as seen in old movie annuals, recreated and come to life. This is where The Wizard of Oz was shot, and for once in Los Angeles, you can glean a sense of the past. Everything is going to be shot on sound-stages, making this an unusual production since most films these days are shot on location. It feels incredibly exciting and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Location, location, location is the cry everywhere. If you can’t afford or you want more than just location, location, location then look for movie and tv locations because that one special location discovered by you could change a building, change the face of a whole area, Create a business, bring jobs and gentrify it around you. As the area gentrifies, buy more and more using the secret sauce of your filming locations app.
The Filming Locations App
Our app contains 69,000 movie and tv locations. You can search it, you can travel to your favourite goldmine areas, fire up the app, which will use gps and see what was filmed in your favourite area.
Worldwide: 69,000 locations
UK: 8,000 locations
USA: 22,000 locations.
Get it today and start your locations journey towards your next beautiful signature property.