The Conjuring 2 brings its chilling update to London

The Conjuring 2 brings its chilling update to London

Are you ready to jump out of your skin again? The Conjuring 2 is about to open, and this time around, even the production team was a bit nervy. There’d been some eerie happenings while the first film was shot, so this time around, when the shoot began in LA, a Catholic priest from Santa Fe was brought in to bless the set.

Based on another real-life case of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, this film is set in 1977, when the duo head to London to help the Hodgson family. Here’s the trailer.

In November last year, the filmmakers were in Camden to shoot a car speeding through the night streets, from University Steet, onto Gower Street, along the junction with Torrington Place and then left into Keppel Street. The Seventies car was joined on the shoot with six other period action cars, so the streets wouldn’t look empty.

Shot with the permission of Scotland Yard, the Met Police Film Office also provided outriders to create a rolling roadblock for the action sequence. And Senate House accommodated tech rigging to make the shoot possible.

FilmFixer manages the film office service on behalf of Camden Council. FilmFixer director Karen Everett said this sequence for an important period shoot worked extremely well. “This shoot, on behalf of a Hollywood production, was managed extremely efficiently by all involved. It’s a brilliant example of what’s possible in London when all the relevant authorities are working together.”

Crime-fighting bromance gets real about London

BBC One’s New Blood brings a youthful twist to the crime genre – saddling its fresh detectives with university loans, poor job security, and unable to buy a place to live in London. It starts tomorrow at 9pm.

Adding to this honesty about London-life, Stefan and Rash are first generation – hailing from widely differing family backgrounds.

The contrasts of London too, are honest – Stefan and Rash come up against the super rich and powerful – the new breed of criminals who hide behind legitimate facades and are guarded by lawyers.

The production filmed between October last year and February this year, across Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Camden and Islington. Anthony Horowitz wrote the seven-part series – take a look at the trailer here.

Horowitz was inspired by his own two sons in their mid-twenties; their difficulties getting a foot on the career ladder, finding somewhere to live, building a life in London. He wanted to look at the Y generation because, “so many TV shows seem to focus on middle aged men and women… For a long time I’ve been interested in the so-called Y generation, this generation of young people who are demonstrably less well off than the generation above them.”

And a look at the Serious Fraud Office is long overdue, he says, “As far as I know, the SFO has never been dramatised on the screen and I have to say that they’ve been fantastically supportive. The work they do, fighting white collar crime, is hugely important and yet it really is a David and Goliath struggle.”

FilmFixer handles the Film Office service on behalf of these London boroughs. FilmFixer director Andy Pavord was thrilled to see a fresh twist brought to the series.

“London has a great, long-standing reputation for providing moody locations to crime drama – but this series is one that young Londoners will really recognise. It can be tough to get ahead in the capital – particularly when you are just starting out. This probably makes it even more galling for young detectives up against the corrupt super rich.

“By contrast, we wholeheartedly congratulate the production for working so respectfully with Londoners on location, providing generous donations to make life even more fun in London, by way of thanking residents.”

Val Solomon-Smith, is a spokesperson for Lupin Point’s Two Towers Housing Co-operative Limited in Southwark. Some key scenes were filmed on the rooftop there, and a donation made to residents.

She says, “The donation was really welcome. It’s gone toward social events for all the residents in our towers. And we didn’t find the filming disruptive. The makeup artists used our meeting room. It was all fine.”

Aside from the action shot on the roof at Lupin Point, Southwark’s Brandon Estate saw some thrilling scenes shot – and also received a generous donation. You’ll also see the crime fighters walking down Druid Street.

Nearby Lambeth saw filming along Upper Ground and then Belvedere Road where one of our leads is stumbling along having had his drink spiked earlier that evening. He narrowly misses being hit by a truck, as his buddy pulls him out of the way just in time.

And in Lewisham the Montpelier Café at Blackheath features, along with one of London’s favourite local secrets, AJ Goddard’s pie shop on Deptford High Street.

Across the river in Camden, you’ll recognise scenes from the rooftop of Camden Town Hall on Judd Street, Tavistock Place, Euston Road, University College London Hospital, Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road.

You’ll see the crime-fighting duo hail a taxi in Argyle Street, and a nifty stunt at the Oasis swimming pool on Endell Street, where they jump off a 20ft platform into the pool.

In Islington the production made a donation to the Dania School. There’s the view of Islington’s Caledonian Road and Danbury Street over canal bridges.

On the corner of Baltic Street and Domingo Street, the characters leave a charity office building and get into waiting car.

There’s Exmouth Market, a cyclist along Finsbury Square, interiors shot at CityPoint and Grays Inn Road, along with the Mail Centre on Almeida Street, where a news crew reports on an accident at a building site, with police in the background.

Summer tear-jerker filmed in Islington

Set to be this summer’s big weepie, Me Before You shot a couple of key scenes with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke in Islington.

The film opens on June 2nd, take a look at the trailer here.

Clarke filmed in West Library on Bridgeman Road, looking for books, and working on a computer.

And some green screen scenes were shot at Finsbury Leisure Centre’s squash courts and football pitches.

The story sees a young carer fall in love with her paralysed employer, played by Sam Claflin of the Hunger Games.

Writer JoJo Moyes has told the media, “I’m the parent of a disabled child. What I want to convey with the story is that a disability is the least important part of a person. You can fall in love, be irritated, laugh — what someone is physically able to do should be unimportant.”

Sam Claflin found keeping still most of the time even more difficult than the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games, saying, “You have to understand, to not move, to sit in a certain position, to keep my hands still… I was using muscles that I’d never used before. Of course, I can never fully understand what it is to live like that.”


Mustang Matt brings Top Gear to Southwark

The new Top Gear’s Matt Le Blanc sped into our hearts – and our Southwark offices – here at FilmFixer.

We’re looking forward to the new series, starting on May 29th, also featuring Chris Evans. You can see the trailer here.

Le Blanc was filmed tearing along Great Suffolk Street, hurling a black Mustang into doughnuts. And in-between takes, he and the crew used our offices as the Green Room.

Le Blanc was joined by US rally car driver Ken Block, with some excited onlooking going on from a safe distance by locals.

FilmFixer manages the film office for Southwark Council. FilmFixer director Andrew Pavord says, “We work hard to ensure that residents are consulted, protected and respected. This sometimes means we say no to a filming application. But usually we are able to negotiate on behalf of residents to make sure problems don’t arise. We are looking forward to seeing the sequence when it airs on the small screen.”

Love, Islington

All eyes were on Camden’s Gloucester Crescent last year at the release of Lady in the Van, home of the true story by Alan Bennett. Now, Islington’s Thornhill Crescent doubles as Alan Bennett’s Gloucester Crescent in Love, Nina. Starring Dame Helena Bonham Carter, the series is also based on true stories.

The five-part BBC One series starts tonight. Here’s the trailer.

It’s based on the letters home of Nina Stibbe, who arrived from Leicester in 1982 aged 20, to nanny the children of Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books, and her ex-husband the film director Stephen Frears. The boys were Sam, 10, and Will, nine. The real Sam Frears stars in this TV series as neighbour, “Ray”.

Alan Bennett lived over the road and regularly popped in for supper (sometimes clutching a tin of lager). Jonathan Miller, Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn all lived on the same street. The novelist Deborah Moggach lived across the road and film director Karel Reisz (The French Lieutenant’s Woman) lived not far away.

Various houses in Thornhill Crescent hosted filming for five days, their ground floor rooms and hallways playing rooms in Gloucester Crescent.

“It was just a matter of squeezing past for a few days,” one of the residents, Mr Robert Milne explains, “And not walking in at certain times, during a take.

“To make the set look the part they sent our 1970s furniture off in a van – swapping in other 1970s furniture. Although some of our books did audition successfully for a part in Alan Bennett’s library – they were chosen according to colour.”

(Alan Bennett is re-named Malcolm in the series).

Mr Milne adds, “the experience was interesting and enjoyable. Although I did see someone looking confused in the street at one point, as the production re-numbered all our houses. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks in the TV series.”

Mr Aron Cronin, a neighbour, is treasurer of the local residents’ group, the Thornhill Square Association, which received a generous donation from the filmmaker by way of thanks.

Mr Cronin says, “The donation was very welcome. We have yet to make a final decision as a community, but we could certainly put funds towards repairing the Victorian railings around the square and improving the gardens.

“The crew gave residents some copies of the book and reading it there was a lot that resonated. We know the era and we know the people it’s about. Although it’s set in Gloucester Crescent, it’s all very familiar to us. So I am looking forward to seeing the TV show.”

Mr Cronin adds that residents would welcome filming back: “So long as the crew was respectful and considerate, we would be happy to see more filming. And we would certainly welcome the income which would be put to community projects.”

The Thornhill Square area has an intact 1850 garden square, with crescents at both ends, a church, a library and a wood. Films shot in the square include: My Best Friend’s Wedding (2015); Me Before You (2015);Criminal Justice (2009); The Clocks (2009); Tripping Over (2006); Love and Other Disasters (2005); V for Vendetta (2005); A Very Social Secretary (2005); The National Lottery (television advertisement) (2005);Four Weddings and a Funeral (1993) and The professionals (1979).

Aside from Thornhill Crescent, Islington locations included the Alpino Café on Chapel Market, Barnsbury Stores on Hemingford Road and Cally Pool.

But the filmmakers also popped back into Camden next door, the real Gloucester Crescent’s home borough. On the Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate, Nina arrives to return an old lady her cat. St Paul’s Church Hall in Camden Square hosts a yoga class and Nina buys her meat at James Gubb Butchers on Leather Lane. Conway Hall interiors also feature. And Nina is seen walking along Regent’s Canal.

Croydon’s: Going Forward

Jo Brand and Omid Djalili bring Croydon back to our small screens tonight in the wry BBC Four comedy series Going Forward.

Jo Brand’s character from the series Getting On, Kim Wilde, has quit nursing for the NHS and entered private health care. This comedy about broken Britain, focuses on the wider social implications of dysfunctional state services.

Here’s the trailer for the three-part series.

Viewers will recognise extensive filming in local streets and private homes across Croydon, including Edgecoombe in South Croydon, where Kim visits a patient.

Homes in Nightingale Road, Lapwing Close, Quail Gardens, Warren Avenue and Copes View were used, along with the council flats at Broadcoombe. And Regus Croydon played the office interiors.

Florence’s Carnegie Hall and Big Apple digs? Filmed in yours truly, London

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant graced the capital between May and July last year, while filming the biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, with a number of our buildings standing in for New York locations.

Brixton Academy was used in Lambeth, including its back courtyard. Florence gets out of a cab, aghast by her surroundings, wondering whether the character Cosme McMoon (her accompanist) really lives there. She covers her face with a handkerchief before walking inside.

Interiors at Camden’s Freemason’s Hall play the hotel where Florence lives. And you’ll see Kingston’s Surrey County Hall.

The big sequence of Florence’s Carnegie Hall performance, just days before she died, was shot in the Hammersmith Apollo using FilmFixer sister product FilmApp.

The film opens today, celebrating the life of “the world’s worst singer”, whose happiness shone out in her joyful performances of terrible singing.

Given all the stunning period buildings London has to offer it makes perfect sense that we were able to re-create some of Florence’s New York haunts of the Thirties and Forties.
Take a look at the trailer here.

HOFF course it’s a hit! David Hasselhoff is back as flailing version of himself

David Hasselhoff’s TV mockumentary is back on Dave tonight in a new series – get ready for even more self-parodying mishaps.

The first series last year, with Hoff based in a down-market hotel in Sutton, saw him auditioning for the role of himself in a biopic – a part which he failed to land.

Tonight Hoff goes so far as to fake his own death, which inevitably backfires. The solution to this? Hoff goes into rehab and gets into selling confessional videos.

FilmFixer helped out in Kingston last September on the Old London Road, where the Hoff gets into a stretch limousine and takes off.

The series is a brilliant example of what’s possible on a small budget, with handheld or tripod mounted cameras.

FilmFixer manages the film office for south-west boroughs featured in the series.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “The series is a brilliant inversion of how you might expect the industry to operate. Hoff’s unglamorous self-mocking show has been sold back into the US (to AXS TV), the market that made him an A-list celebrity, via BBC Worldwide sales.

“London’s outer boroughs are attracting stylish productions including Kevin Costner in Criminal and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins. But we are also pleased to see Hoff embracing our native self-deprecating humour and exporting it back to America.”

London’s wider possibilities uncovered in Undercover

New Sunday night BBC drama Undercover has millions of us gripped – and possibly a bit confused. But we don’t mind, as we get behind Sophie Okonedo’s thrilling character – a top-flight lawyer, unaware her husband of 20 years is an undercover policeman spying on her.

Shot between July last year and January, locations across London, in Merton, Southwark, Camden, Lambeth, Islington, Haringey and Kingston, were used in the six-part drama. It started this month.

Take a look at the trailer here. Lead character Maya, played by Okonedo, is about to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions. Maya’s husband, Nick, is played by Adrian Lester. It should all feel eerily possible – writer Peter Moffat met Helen Steel, one of seven women who sued Scotland Yard after learning she had been seduced into a two-year relationship by an undercover officer.

“One of their biggest problems is that the law ruled it wasn’t possible to prosecute any of these men for rape, which is hard for them to understand because they were having sex with someone who wasn’t who they said they were,” he told The Observer.

FilmFixer manages the film office for these London boroughs. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “It’s significant that Undercover, with a very complex locations brief, made really good use of services in Merton, as well as Haringey and Kingston, outside the capital’s centre.

“As filming increases, it’s important to decant as much as possible to the outer boroughs, to take the pressure off the centre. This will be key to keeping filming sustainable.”

In Merton, a private home on Wandle Bank was used. As was All Saints Community Centre, where a donation of thanks will fund a day out for its visitors. The centre is dressed in the series as a secure psychiatric unit.

Driving scenes from Merton take in Wimbledon Road, Plough Lane, Haydons Road, Merton High Street, Kingston High Road, Dorset Road, Morden Road, Morden Hall Park car park, St. Helier Avenue and Rose Hill Roundabout.

Some of the most significant scenes were filmed in Southwark’s former Tower Bridge Magistrate’s Court on Tooley Street. In period scenes, of 1996, characters have been arrested and taken to a police station, where a fight breaks out. There are also scenes where a character walks free, out of the police station.

Also in Southwark, a character walks along Alberta Street onto Braganza Street checking that no one is following her. And the Blue Fin Building is used.

The series filmed Camden locations in Haverstock Hill, around Belsize Park and Steels Village, St Silas Place, the Shipton Estate, Burmarsh Estate playground, Marsden Street, Gillies Street, and Woodyard Place Estate, raising extra income for residents of Shipton and Burmarsh Estates. You’ll also see the Gipsy Queen pub on Malden Road, and Chancery Lane and Belsize Park tube stations.

A Lambeth home on Fieldhouse Road in Balham plays a key part. And filming also took place inside The Kings Arms on Roupell Street. In other scenes, two characters walk by Observation Point and Queen’s Stone Jetty, then move to Barge House Street and Broadwall. Another character walks out of the Thirsty Bear pub and towards Upper Ground. Very kind donations were made by way of thanks to Lambeth Estate Residents Association and Hatch Row Residents Association.

Lambeth’s Streathem Cemetery played a North London cemetery. And from Lambeth’s Charlie Chaplin Walk, a character takes the walkways around the IMAX and Waterloo Bridge, about to blow the whistle on some high-ranking officers. But she’s nabbed, injected with a substance and killed, to keep her from talking.

In Islington there was filming at Lady Margaret Road, a café on Junction Road and the Oak and Pastor pub.

And on a big shoot like this, a film crew needs a unit base – which can be tough to find in a built up city like London. But Haringey’s Finsbury Park provided an essential space when filming locally, as did Kingston’s Ashdown Road carpark.

Idris Elba brings Paris to London in Bastille Day

Even Paris wasn’t quite French enough for Bastille Day, starring Idris Elba – with London playing the role in some key scenes.

Elba continues to thrill his fans in this film, as a CIA agent who teams up with Richard Madden from Game of Thrones.

And an important charity in Islington benefitted – with a kind donation from the filmmaker going to the 500-year-old Cripplegate Foundation, still caring for deprived residents. The donation was made by way of thanks for filming along St John Street.

St John Street sees characters arriving at a warehouse in frantic search for a missing character. There’s a fight, a car goes up in flames, and mopeds speed away.

A bank robbery scene takes place in Southwark, in the old bank vaults of a building on Hopton Street. And the action is heightened on Tanner Street, with burning car effects and mopeds speeding away.

In Camden, Old Central Martins steps in as the interiors for a series of French homes. And there are more interiors at Kings College library on Chancery Lane.

Islington Filming Manager Jodi Moore says, “We’re so happy to have been able to welcome Bastille Day to the capital. London is a beautiful and versatile city, as proven by it doubling for worldwide cities again and again. Productions like this can bring so many benefits to the economy and we’re especially happy that they were able to donate to the fantastic work of the Cripplegate Foundation.”

Bastille Day opens today. Take a look at the trailer here.