Supplying on-location facilities vehicles to the British Film and TV industry for outside broadcasting since 1992
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The story of HNA Facilities
How it all began
The media industry is not usually something one falls into by accident. But that is exactly how it happened for MIchael Cohen, when, in 1992, he was approached by a line producer to hire a winnebago trailer for the up coming series of El Cid which was filming on location in Alicante, Spain.
The rest as they say is history, but not in the way one might think. Accruing artists' trailers, costume trucks, dining buses and honeywagons over the next decade was only a stepping stone leading up to the purchase of a complete set of brand new bespoke facilities trailers from America.
In 2001, having been awarded the contract for a new Manchester based drama called Cutting It, Michael, now working with his son Mark, ordered thirteen state-of-the-art American trailers with slide-out sides offering double the traditional accommodation. (In addition to the production office, honeywagon, dining trailer and generator, new make-up trailers costume trailers, artists trailers (winnebagos), two-way trailers, three-way trailers and star trailers were ordered.)
Then disaster struck: 9/11
On the morning of 11 September 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks on the United States led to the closure of the ports, where thirteen bespoke HNA facilities trailers were waiting at the docks to be shipped to the UK.
Without their new facilities vehicles, HNA were forced to pull out of Cutting It, which went on to enjoy critical and commercial success over its four seasons. Its lead actor, Amanda Holden, became a household name, and Booth Street — located off Deansgate — became a renowned location.
Despite the disappointment and a heavy delay, the facilities trailers eventually arrived at Liverpool docks, where they were driven to HNA Facilities' first Manchester yard on Caernarfon Street. Instead of Cutting It, HNA Facilities ran six seasons of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Blue Murder.
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By 2010, HNA Facilities had supplied location facilities vehicles to more than eighty outside broadcasting productions, which filmed across the country in cities including London, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds. In addition to England, HNA hired facilities vehicles to locations in Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
HNA acquired over a hundred vehicles, enabling up to six concurrent productions.
The BBC announced their intentions to move a large portion of their TV, radio, and film industry to Manchester, which went on to significantly outperform all other regional cities, and HNA Facilities became the go to operator in the North West.
Despite the government's efforts, London still remained the hub for large budget television drama productions. HNA Facilities serviced them from their yard in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, with shows including: Dickensian, Luther, Taboo, Spooks, Silent Witness and Whitechapel.
In 2014, HNA Facilities opened an office and yard in Glasgow, Scotland, and from there they facilitated dozens of Scottish dramas including: Garrows Law, Shetland, Love Sick, Eve, Scotsquad and Muncie.
In 2016, HNA Facilities went to Belgium and Germany with the second series of The Missing, filming in deep snow. Again production threatened to be hindered by terrorist attacks. This time they were in Paris, causing delays and uncertainty for cast and crew aboard the Eurostar, which passed through France.
Coordinating operations from HNA Facilities' new larger Manchester headquarters, Mark ensured the facilities vehicles and their operators always exceeded the demands of production. And it is this ethos which Mark and Michael adhere to to this day.
Bringing a wealth of experience and an ongoing schedule of vehicle upgrades, Michael and Mark ensure their customers receive the very best in quality and service for dramas, feature films, advertisements, and live sporting events, every time.
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