Damilola, Our Loved Boy, 2016

We were approached by Minnow Films regarding their feature about the tragic murder of Damilola Taylor, which already had the go ahead from the BBC. They wanted to film on location in Southwark – where Damilola was killed. This presented enormous red flags given the trauma that it could trigger for the local community. However, we understood that the production intended to show Southwark in the best light, raise awareness of important issues, and tell a vital human interest story. Lead by Sue Russo (then Southwark Film Officer) FilmFixer embarked upon an incredibly careful and thorough process of stakeholder engagement. We wrote to Southwark’s Head of Communications, Chief Exec, and Head of Housing with the proposal, committing ourselves to close engagement with every stage of the production, and were authorised to film on Silverlock Estate in Rotherhithe. We influenced the decision to cast a local schoolboy as Damilola, secured placements as runners and extras for estate residents, hosted residents’ meetings throughout the process, secured donations to the Tenants Residents Association, and joined up the process with positive press stories. Both internal and external stakeholders were delighted with how the process panned out and attitudes towards filming on the estate were entirely overhauled. A number of high-profile shoots have been welcomed since, including Save Me (2017, World Productions, Sky Atlantic) and Informer (2018, Neal Street Productions, BBC).