What's great about Darnley Road Studios?
How is Darnley Road Studios different?
“Studios” is a slightly ironic name, we only have one studio – “Studio 1”. It’s a lovely room with big windows on the first floor of a somewhat dilapidated but characterful warehouse in central Hackney. It’s been the personal studio of lighting cameraman and cinematographer Roger Bowles, and has evolved over many years with Roger completing most of the building work himself assisted by colleagues Richard Jones and Simon Minett.
Since optning in 2004 it has been used to facilitate projects for artists and startups that might otherwise not be viable due to budgetry constraints. We aim to continue providing cost-efficient facilities and services to the burgeoning local creative sector with the motto “bigger, better, cheaper!”
Anything I should know when booking?
The building in which the studio is located was, until recently, multi occupancy and we shared our corridor with artists, photographers, designers – a really nice bunch of people. However the landlord has recently terminated the tenancies of all other occupants so we are the last tenants in an otherwise empty space, the fabric of which is suffering. We keep it clean, comfortable and safe, and invest heavily in refurbishment. But we can’t have complete control over shared areas – the loos, access and corridors.
It’s a great location to shoot in and very flexible, but we recognise that it’s not right for every job. While the Hackney location and the industrial charm are a plus, some clients may be looking for a level of comfort and service that we simply can’t provide, and we’d much rather the job went elsewhere than risk disappointing anyone.
We’re always happy to offer you a cup of tea and show you around if you’d like to see the space first!
Who will look after us during the shoot?
What are your catering options?
We can provide crockery and cutlery for up to 12 settings but we do not get involved in catering ourselves. However we recommend the following options, all of which offer a discount to Darnley Road Studios which we are happy to pass on to clients – just contact them direct and mention our name.
Jones & Sons – fully serviced in-studio catering, breakfast, lunch and dinner as required
Our No.1 choice: DRS clients get free delivery and a discount when ordering from our preferred caterers, the excellent Jones & Sons based in Dalston. The varied menu is based on well-made British food of the highest quality, and changes every two months. Jones & Sons is familiar with our premises and offer exceptional food and service, we can’t recommend them highly enough.
Eat-out / take-away options for lunch
Located on Richmond Road just on the other side of Mare street, a 2 minute walk from DRS, there are three brilliant eateries that will offer a discount to Darnley Road Studios clients and can also prepare food to take away:
Raw Duck – perfectly presented Mediterranean-inspired dishes, a perennial favorite with the DRS crew
Patty and Bun – burgers, brilliant ones, eat in or take away
Lardo – renowned for their very superior pizza
Can you provide equipment?
Yes and it usually works out cheaper if you book EQ through us. If you would prefer to use your own supplier remember to include insurance and to take into account delivery charges and our opening hours when balancing up costs.
Most standard studio kit is included in the daily rental including polys and stands, hangers, rails, steamer etc. A full list can be seen on our rate card. We also have blackout, flats and a variety of tungsten lighting, flash, and Kino on site which we can quote for as required.
What about drop-offs and pickups?
We do not have a huge amount of storage available and we are not always staffed on non-shoot days, so we prefer where possible for deliveries and pickups to be made on the day of the shoot. However we know that won’t always be possible and in those circumstances we do our best to help.
If you need to arrange for a delivery or collection outside the hours of your shoot just let us know – it may be necessary to restrict the time slot or pay a small fee to cover someone to attend. Additionally some suppliers have self-access to the studio via a code. Keep us posted and one way or another we’ll make it work.
Is there any parking?
Sadly not at the moment. We used to have access to limited parking but our Landlord has locked it up. There is metered parking on the street and a loading bay adjacent to the front door. We would encourage crew to make the most of the Hackney location and travel by public transport, bicycle, or on foot. It is worth noting that there are several local Zipvans and cars, including one of each at the far end of Darnley road on Chatham Place.
Anything else I should know?
The building in which we are situated, 1B Darnley Road, is an old perfume factory that was built on the site of one of the first glass-houses in the world. For many years it’s been a home to artistic and artisan businesses housing a host of recording studios, one of Europe’s largest record pressing plants, designers, architects, and upholsterers, as well as a leather wholesaler and a short-run garment manufacturer, industries for which Hackney used to be famous.
More recently it has inspired bands and performers such as Alt-J, The Klaxons and James Bay, and been the location for films including A Nice Touch starring Paloma Faith and Dougray Scott.
The owner of the building wishes to sell the site for demolition and development. However it has been locally listed and potentially is to be included in the local conservation area so hopefully the character and use of Stephen House will be preserved. We appreciate your custom and your support in preserving our little corner of the east end as the cultural and artistic hub it has long been.