How to become a Creation Catalyst

Songs of the South of England – Mill Stream

Songs of the South of England – Mill Stream

At jj Locations we’re very proud to have long-standing relationships with many location-house owners, some of these relationships are as old as the agency itself. Mill Stream is one example of a unique location whose owners feel part of the foundation of jj Media. Our chairman and founder, Johnny Jones, got to know owner Bill Parsonage many moons ago through their work in the photography industry. Johnny noted the potential for Bill’s property to become a source of inspiration for photographers seeking a countryside location offering more than the average farm.

Quirky shack at Mill Stream - a place to escape city life... and duel banjos!
Quirky shack at Mill Stream – a place to escape city life… and duelling banjos!

For many years since Mill Stream has welcomed a rich tapestry of shoots – and a few famous faces – on to its other-worldly slice of south east England. Fashion shoots have ranged from chunky knitwear to the more avant garde; Bill and his wife Jacqui were delighted to see Kate Moss on site for one of the earliest shoots at the property.

Canoe + Lake + H&S. Perfect!
Canoe + Lake + H&S. Perfect!

Mill Stream has many outstanding attributes including friendly livestock, gypsy caravans, a tumble-down cottage exterior and a serene lake. An intriguing log cabin, that looks more like a remote Appalachian shack than an outbuilding in Kent, sits overlooking the lake and landscape. The cabin was built by Bill himself whose creative mind is unceasingly tuned in to what backdrops photography clients might like to see appear on the farm. The workshop that Bill uses may also be utilised as a set by crews shooting on location. Bill has also helped many crews source props for shoots – if there’s something on a client’s agenda that can’t already be found at Mill Stream, Bill is a dab hand at using his contacts to help. It’s Bill and Jacqui’s hands-on approach to going the extra mile for crews that makes the location exceptional; our agents at jj know that a ‘make things happen’ attitude on set is always appreciated by the clients booking our locations! Props already in situ at Mill Stream range from larger props such as kayaks and vehicles to rustic lanterns, vintage children’s toys and pieces of pottery. There’s even a hen or two who are jobbing model-actresses, ready for their close-up if required!

Animal magic; these friendly beauties live at Mill Stream and have featured in a few shoots.
Animal magic; these friendly beauties live at Mill Stream and have featured in a few shoots.
The cottage exterior, a great tumble-down backdrop for shoots.
The cottage exterior, a great tumble-down backdrop for shoots.

Katy and I visited Mill Stream recently and we spent a lot of time with Bill and Jacqui exploring the nooks and crannies at the property. We were delighted to see that it’s a location that’s constantly, and creatively, evolving. The attractive rural scenes, with leafy dens and rolling fields, were a satisfying world away from crowded, caffeine-fueled Shoreditch.

 

This period gypsy caravan is one of several examples of traveller's homes that Bill has collected over the years.
This period gypsy caravan is one of several examples of traveller’s homes that Bill has collected over the years.

 

Johnny Jones also recently featured Bill and Jacqui in his photography project, ‘Shoot the Owner’, which featured some the U.K.’s most revered location owners:

johnny-shoot-the-owner-bill-and-jaquie

Mill Stream has many period features in a state of beautiful dilapidation, with curious buildings, rickety stables and overgrown gardens. However the location’s seeming remoteness is easily accessible. Location scouts will find the property is located close to the M20, provides good parking and comes equipped with its own location bus. Knowing what crews need on a shoot, Bill’s location bus includes an electrical supply, tables, mirrors, seats, hot water bottles and, naturally, tea and coffee making facilities… some of the set pieces may look like the mountains West Virginia, but a mandatory British cup of tea is merely a stone’s throw away from the location’s USPs.

Mill Stream: attracts rugged men!
Mill Stream: attracts rugged men!

 

This wonderful film and photographic location is reference 1004 on the jj Locations website. More images can be seen here on the property’s page. There are also some images from our recce to Mill Stream below.

To book Mill Stream for your shoot please contact our team at info@jjmedia.com // 020 7749 0500.

Speak soon!

Emma

Images below from when Katy and I visited Mill Stream:

Taken on our recce to Mill Stream - just a snippet of the rustic props available on site.
Taken on our recce to Mill Stream – just a snippet of the rustic props available on site.

 

Tumble-down cottage exterior... lucky close up
Tumble-down cottage exterior… lucky close up

 

Jacqui and the friendliest horses in the world.
Jacqui and the friendliest horses in the world.

 

SQUASHing in one last image... interesting oddities at Mill Stream.
SQUASHing in one last image… interesting oddities at Mill Stream.