Danson House, setting for a royal mud bath

Danson House, setting for a royal mud bath

The Favourite,  Yorgos Lanthimos’ bawdy baroque comedy has begun an impressive UK box office run after winning glory at the Venice Film Festival and at the Golden Globes.

The majority of the filming took place at Hatfield House.  However, two scenes were filmed in the beautiful Palladian villa, Danson House in Bexley.

The cavernous Victorian basement (shown here) provided the setting for the servant quarters where Abigail finds her new sleeping area on the floor and where, in another scene, she is given a less than dignified wash along with the other servants.

The crew then dressed another area of the basement kitchen to look like a much more luxurious Turkish bath. Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill share a mud bath here later in the film.

Staff from FilmFixer/Bexley Film Office were there to provide access to the park and worked with the crew to ensure that the shoot went smoothly and that no damages occurred in the grade I listed building while filming took place.

London neighbours got involved in spy thriller: BBC One’s Informer

The BBC’s new character-driven thriller centres around Raza, an everyday, young second generation British-Pakistani man from London who is coerced into informing on his friends, neighbours and members of his community.

Neal Street Productions, who make Informer, did a fantastic job of involving neighbours in the filming process – with around 70 residents at Thamesmead in Bexley offered roles in front of and behind the cameras.

It stars Paddy Considine as Gabe a counter-terrorism offer who recruits Nabhaan Rizwan, playing Raza as an informer. Take a look at the trailer here.

The series will air on BBC One on 16th October at 9pm.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Peabody Estates, which looks after Thamesmead. We also run the film office service for Bexley, Bromley, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Islington and Kingston Councils – all of which hosted filming for the series.

FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “The production worked so well with Thamesmead residents that they opened their doors to allow cables to be plugged in, if need be, or have cast and crew use their place as a green room, and made all sorts of other offers to help.

“Producer Julian Stevens is heading back to Thamesmead to give a special free preview screening of the show, and a talk. Everyone who took part in the local filming, the local culture group, young ambassadors group, and other residents have been invited along. We’re really grateful to Julian and director Jonny Campbell for this and all their positive engagement.”

Julian and Karen spoke a little about resident engagement during filming on the estate in January this year. Take a look here.

Karen Everett continues, “We had about 20 locals as extras in the show, a local young person helped out with stunt ideas, it was great.”

Peabody’s Cultural Programme Coordinator for Thamesmead Lisa Drew added, “Thamesmead is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and has a rich history of filming. It was the main filming location for Misfits, and most recently featured in Sam Smith’s music video and the current PUMA fashion ad. We get a lot of filming requests and for us it is important that residents are welcomed in to the process – invited to take part in filming going on at their doorstep. This becomes a great opportunity to put their interest in film and TV into practice. We were delighted that this production was so open to including Thamesmead locals. Furthermore the production also helped us establish the 50th community fund, a fund that is made up of all filming fees made through filming in Thamesmead. It is for local people to help fund community projects. For more information.

Of the filming, producer Julian Stevens has said, “The story being set in London was one of the key things that appealed to me… I wanted to see my city shown in a way that it often isn’t… the less sexy, less glamorous locations go unnoticed. It’s in those hidden corners and in the shadows that this story comes alive. There are all shades of life, joy and happiness happening in London and we had a chance to go into those places and tell a compelling story. London’s a unique city, it has people from all walks of life, all cultures, all races and I think this show does too.

“It’s a big city to get around, it’s congested and noisy and not cheap but our team rose to the challenge… It helped that we had knowledge of the challenges that London can present. We filmed in quite dense housing areas where there are a lot of people who don’t want to be disturbed. We reached out to locals early on to try to and involve them. We sat down with residents from Thamesmead in South East London and listened to their concerns. They didn’t want to be taken for granted and wanted to be engaged in the process. We came out of that with some brilliant supporting artists and really friendly local residents who let us use their houses as holding and rest areas.

“… It’s also interesting to see Raza’s character going to the hipster flat in episode one and interviewing for a loft in a place that he’s been living in his entire life. These people have only been living there for a couple of years and the scenario is quite common to London now. People come in and make an area their own but that in turn pushes people out. Raza moves through those worlds and adapts himself to them every day. He rubs shoulders with members of his local communities and the newcomers.”

Karen Everett continues, “On Thamemead some of the most dramatic scenes were filmed but we don’t want to give anything away. Less dramatic scenes include Jin getting up and heading to work, Akash fixing his car by the garages, and Nasir and David meeting.

“Scenes on the fictional estate were shot across a range of locations including the Silverlock in Southwark as well as Thamesmead.

“Peckham residents welcomed the production into Birch Close and there was a generous donation to the Atwell Estate tenants and residents association by way of thanks. These were tense scenes involving the surveillance of suspected terrorists and later a raid involving ambulance and police cars.

“Still In Southwark, there’s a scene in the clothes shop Traid on Rye Lane where a couple of characters are trying on clothes. The K-I salon on Rye Lane features, and they filmed along the Thames Path by Greenland Surrey Quays Pier.

“The yard at Floyds Builders Merchants on Ilderton Road in Southwark was used.

“There’s a big scene at Nunhead Cemetery set among rows of modest tombstones where a coffin is carried through a crowd of mourners and Raza is clocked among crowd.

“Inside THRDS studio on Latona Rd, 60 cast and crew shot scenes set inside police cars.

“At the Ark Walworth Academy School, there’s a scene of children and parents heading out of the school gates. And Printworks nightclub on Surrey Quays Road plays a Deportation Centre.

“In Lambeth, the M&A Hand Car Wash on Hinton Road saw a white van pulling in, with a man tied up in the back. Further along Hinton Road at Jet Petrol Station two old friends bump into each other at the pumps, and chat after not seeing each other for a while.

“In Lewisham on Lindal Road two cars pull up next to each other. The Rivoli Ballroom on Brockley Road hosted two days of filming.

“Under cover police drop in to Luggage & Mobile Accessories on Deptford High Street. The character Dadir follows Raza along Comet Street, revealing an Zastava M57 in his waistband to show he means business.

“The Family Halal butcher on Deptford High Street features, as well as the Albany Arts Centre.

“A detached home on Luxted Road in Bromley played a country house estate, hosting a wedding reception.

“In Orpington, Bromley, a home on Fairbank Avenue was filmed over three days, including scenes of a woman escaping through a window.

Kington’s privately run Surrey County Council welcomed filming over three days. And Islington’s Mildmay Club hosted interior filming as well.”

Still stopping traffic: series three of Humans starts soon

Series three of the hit Channel 4 sci-fi series Humans begins on Thursday. Once again FilmFixer boroughs were happy to help out. Take a look at the trailer.

FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “This series takes a fresh turn, occurring in a Britain divided between synths and the humans. At the end of the last series, the synths achieved consciousness and things have not gone smoothly.

“The synth community itself is starting to fall apart, and some of the filming we supported saw this. The private location, the Peckham Liberal Club in Southwark, played an apartment where news reports about the unrest are causing concern and a synth called Agnes starts to panic inside her box.

“In this series the synth Niska, played by Emily Berrington, spends much of the time under cover. The Peckham Liberal Club was also used as a location where she heads inside a home and up to the loft to power down.

“It was Niska’s persuasiveness that led to the synths achieving consciousness in the last episode of series 2.

“Those scenes were filmed in November last year with 80 cast and crew.

“In September, 40 cast and crew were in Bexley to film a scene where two characters break into a car before heading off along Maidstone Road, North Cray Road, Edgington Way and Cray Road.

“We organised a two point road closure with a manual stop and go to make the break-in scene possible. We asked for strict controls so traffic could only be stopped for three minutes at a time and the production wasn’t allowed to cause traffic to back up.

“We deliberately permitted the filming on a quiet street, Powerscroft Road in Sidcup, which didn’t cause any problems to local traffic.

“Bexley residents are looking forward to seeing the small part their neighbourhood plays in the hit show.”

In her Channel 4 press package interview Emily Berrington said doing lots of scenes with William Hurt in the first series led her to researching AI.

She said Hurt was, “Just on another level of intelligence!… So I thought ‘Right, if we’re going to be able to have good conversations about AI, I need to go off and read some articles… I got particularly interested in the fact that the main problem with the development of AI is looking for genuine artificial consciousness’.”

Despite the politics examined in the show, Berrington isn’t sure her own campaigning qualifies her for a role in real politics, saying, “Good politicians have to have far thicker skins than actors do, and I don’t know, yet, if I have that. I definitely feel really passionate about specific causes, and that’s something I’ll stay totally involved with.”

Striking success: JK Rowling’s new TV gumshoe captured London’s spirit

Nobody seemed very surprised at who, it transpired, dunnit, in this week’s concluding episode of Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling on BBC One.

But nobody really minded and we can’t wait for Strike’s next installment this Sunday with the new two-part mystery The Silkworm. What resonated was the characterisation as Tom Burke’s grumpy private sleuth Cormoran Strike slouched his way through London, with help from Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott. Take a look at the trailer here.

Harry Potter’s JK Rowling wrote the books originally, under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith. “Galbraith” takes the writing credit for this TV series, although Rowling is credited as executive producer.

Between growling that locals can’t afford to live near their place of work, frequenting pubs, and working out of a grubby Denmark Street office, interest in Strike was well and truly propelled by the London locations, and this is set to continue over the coming two weeks.

The London filming for both mysteries included Camden, Islington, Bexley, Kingston, Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for all these boroughs. FilmFixer director Andrew Pavord said, “The Strike episodes were shot around our boroughs between November last year and April this year.

“The production took a very nimble approach, keeping cast and crew to a minimum of between 30 and 45. This worked really well.

“They also did a great job at thanking local residents, with donations to groups including the Perronet House tenants and residents association in Southwark, the Bloomsbury Association and the Go Film It academy in Lewisham.

“We were pleased to see HMP Brixton being put to work as a location in Lambeth. Now that it’s used only as a Category C Training unit, it’s becoming more famous for its filming than its history as a jail, especially after Gordon Ramsay taught 12 inmates how to cook for the TV show Gordon Behind Bars. Even Ramsay is outshone, though, by some of the jail’s former guests (of her majesty) including the likes of Mick Jagger and Bertrand Russell.

“While we’re used to hosting Sherlock in Camden, where Gower Street plays the famous Baker Street lodgings, in this series our gumshoe takes on far more modest Camden digs, in Denmark Street near Tottenham Court Road. Strike’s rather downbeat office is familiar to Londoners as Tin Pan Alley, the historic centre of London’s music publishing business in the 50s and 60s.”

Strike’s office is set above the music shops well known to Denmark Street. Other Camden locations included Afghan restaurant Ariana on Kilburn’s High Road, the SOAS library on Russell Square, Yeomanry House on Handel Street in Bloomsbury, the Japanese Canteen on Tottenham Court Road and the restaurant Pescatori on Charlotte Street.

A suspect runs from a Bedford Square doorway, before being tackled to the ground. Our detective stakes out an Argyle Street home. And we see characters walking into Kings Cross station.

Strike also crosses Eversholt Street, walking into Secrets strip club in Euston.

As the stage was set for the The Cuckoo’s Calling murder, a glamorous party was filmed at McQueens on Tabernacle Street in Islington’s Shoreditch, with the soon-to-be murder victim posing for photographers outside in the snow.

On Bunhill Row a renowned author visits his late wife’s grave, with Strike watching from a nearby park bench.

Danson House in Bexley hosted a photo shoot for the drama.

Kingston homes were key to the series, including the historic Southborough House in Surbiton, designed by John Nash. A home on Guildford Avenue was also used, and driving scenes were filmed along Kingston Road.

In Lewisham the Milford Tower estate features, along with Catford Market and the Stage Door Café and the One Stop Express on Catford Broadway.

In Lambeth a property on Holmewood Gardens plays the role of Robin’s flat, which she shares with her slightly boring fiancé.

And a number of scenes were filmed inside HMP Brixton on Jebb Avenue.

We also see Perronet House on Princess Street in Southwark’s Elephant and Castle.

New ITV series Fearless uncovered fresh locations across London

Fearless, the new ITV series starting on Monday, draws on the tense relationship between Suffolk and London locations to express the lead character’s complicated psyche.

In the show, London-based solicitor Emma has spent her early career in Suffolk. Now, she is convinced her client has been wrongly convicted for the murder of a Suffolk school girl.

Helen McCrory stars in the drama inspired by real-life lawyers Gareth Peirce and Helena Kennedy, renowned for their unflinching dedication to clients’ causes. Take a look at the trailer here.

In London, the series filmed in Kingston, Bexley, Haringey, Islington, Southwark, Camden and Lambeth from September to December last year.

Bexley
The exquisite Tudor hall and staircase in Hall Place doubles as the “Masters’ parlour” at King’s College Cambridge where scenes at a drinks function were filmed. Hall Place is a Grade I listed Tudor country house on the banks of the River Cray. It sits on 65 hectares of gardens, including stunning topiary.

FilmFixer manages the location. FilmFixer director Andrew Pavord says, “The drinks scene involved 30 extras – on top of 60 cast and crew already there – all of whom could be comfortably accommodated at Hall Place.

“The series filmed there for two days in October last year, using one room for hair and makeup, another as a green room, with space outside for tech parking and equipment access through the kitchen.

“The shoot worked really well, and showcases, I hope,the possibilities of this brilliant location to future productions.”

Haringey
In December last year Finsbury Park played an American airfield with an actor stepping down prop steps, as if from an airplane, into a waiting army vehicle, and driving off. She is flanked by armed soldiers. A plane has been added into the background with CGI in post production.

Lambeth
Waterloo plays a key role in the drama, with Emma’s office on Lower Marsh. The production filmed for five days in November last year, including some exteriors where we see Emma addressing a crowd of reporters, and some conversations held while walking along the street.

The production made a donation to We Are Waterloo to thank locals for having them.

Southwark
The promotional photo of Helen McRory was taken at Bankside, with the Thames, Blackfriars Bridge and the London cityscape as a backdrop.

Burgess Park doubles for the big skies and green fields of rural Suffolk, where two actors talk around a parked car.

At Tuke School’s playground, a prison guard walks an unmate out to the exercise yard, where the inmate is attacked by two other prisoners.

At Camberwell New Cemetery, a photographer covertly takes photos of a burial, attended by Emma.

Later, we see the body being exhumed at night, with a digger depositing earth. Police tape surrounds the area, and a crowd of press is recording the proceedings. Flashes from the press cameras light up the coffin as it is raised from the ground.

Kingston
Kingston saw courtroom scenes filmed at old Surrey County Hall.

Islington and Camden
An MP is living in a loft apartment on Warner Street in Clerkenwell, on the border of Islington and Camden. There’s an attempt on his life that sees armed police moving in.

On Wilton Square the production used a handheld camera to film a group of football fans walking through the square.

And Islington’s Arlington Square hosted a stunt scene in which a private detective watches a house on a motorbike, then follows the character who leaves.

Gordon McArthur, the chair of residents’ group the Arlington Association thanked Fearless for a donation by way of thanks, saying, “Money donated from filming around Arlington Square has been put towards the work of the Arlington Association to green their neighbourhood.

“Thanks to six years of community volunteering Arlington Square is now an award-winning example of how communal gardening can bring neighbours together, forge friendships and create a beautiful community space. In the latest national Green Flag Awards the square was voted one of the top ten best parks in the UK.

“The square is owned by Islington Council but maintained by the Arlington Association’s volunteer gardeners, who meet every month. In six years they have replenished the beds and borders with many tonnes of compost and planted more than 50,000 bulbs, shrubs, trees and flowering plants.

“What was once an unkempt, neglected space with dying rose beds and dry, compacted perimeter borders has been transformed into a much loved place of peace and beauty. The rose beds have been rejuvenated and the borders now burst with notable camellias, magnolias, azaleas, rhododendrons and shade loving plants and bulbs. What was a rubbish dump in the south corner has been replaced by a Community Garden with raised beds of fruit trees and flowers. Earlier this year the AA’s tireless volunteers cleared out the square’s ragged circular beds and filled them with 1,400 new plants.

“The success of the community gardening and its benefits in building a stronger community have been recognised with awards by the Royal Horticultural Society, the London Garden Society, London in Bloom, the Metropolitan Public Garden Association and the Green Flag Award Scheme.”

In the six-part series, dedicated solicitor Emma Banville works tirelessly to free her client, coming up against police and the intelligence services in the UK and abroad which are seeking to keep the truth buried.

The series’ writer, Patrick Harbinson has said he leapt at the opportunity of a legal series inspired by the work of real-life lawyers like Gareth Peirce and Helena Kennedy.

He said, “Much of the work I’ve done in America in the last ten years (24, Person of Interest, Homeland) has been about life in the post 9/11 (and post 7/7) world. The so-called War on Terror has put serious stress on the ordinary workings of the law. National security justifies all sorts of police and state over-reach – and the great majority of us are prepared to accept this. So I wanted to create a character who challenges these assumptions, who fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult, and completely indifferent to unpopularity and danger.”

FilmFixer’s Andrew Pavord said, “We were really happy to see a wide breadth of locations across London, as well as Suffolk, work for this series. It can sometimes feel as though the same locations are being used time and again for one production after another. This production took a creative approach. A Southwark school as a prison yard, Finsbury Park as an American airbase and Hall Place as King’s College Cambridge are just a few of the fresh ideas we saw with this shoot.”

Going out on Saturdays will be Taboo – with Tom Hardy gracing our small screens

Tom Hardy and producer Ridley Scott have joined forces to keep us at home on Saturday nights and glued to BBC One for Taboo – a new series written by Hardy and his father Chips, that starts on January 7th. Here’s the trailer.

Tom Hollander, Jonathan Pryce, Oona Chaplin and Mark Gatiss are among the prestigious co-stars. The stunning Palladian villa in Bexley, Danson House, was used for many scenes, over a few days filming in November last year with 120 cast and crew.

Concert scenes were filmed in the sumptuous rooms, including horses and carriages arriving with guests through the grounds. And the cellar doubled as St Barts Hospital.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Bexley Council, along with Southwark, Camden and Islington Councils, where filming for this lush production took place between November 2015 and June 2016.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “There’s a great deal of preparation required for filming in historic homes. Being Grade 1 listed, protecting Danson House was a major priority for us, before filming could go ahead.

“Special terms and conditions ensured the drama could be recreated in this ideal period location – while at the same time, the mansion itself would be safe and treated respectfully.

“Its attraction to the production was obvious. The restored mansion is in exquisite condition, it’s of the appropriate period, and it’s set in 200-acres of parkland (designed by Capability Brown’s assistant) including a 12-acre lake. On top of this, it was actually built for a sugar merchant and vice-chairman of the British East India Company, a Sir John Boyd. The British East India Company features heavily in the series.”

Tom Hardy is playing James Keziah Delaney, who, despite being presumed dead, has returned to London after 10 years in Africa. He must avenge his father, who has been deceived and destroyed by the East India Company.

The replica of Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde, moored in the Thames off Southwark, was used for some of the shipboard scenes.

And Southwark’s Trinity Church Square hosted horses and carriages collecting guests from a theatre performance in the Square’s Georgian, Henry Wood Hall. Generous donations were made to the residents association to thank them.

In Islington the eerie House of Detention on Sans Walk provided claustrophobic scenes of hardship. Charterhouse and Charterhouse Square were also used. And period boats pass through the Islington tunnel on the Grand Union tow path.

In Camden, filming took place in the former Central St Martin’s building.

Because you’re gorgeous – our estates renaissance

Increasingly, London’s housing estates are a canvas for uplifting, even gorgeous imagery. At last the film industry is seeing our homes through the loving, creative and aspirational eyes of those who grow up there.

Thamesmead in Bexley in particular has been brought to life in the new IKEA ad, the Lucozade ad, and Selfridges’ Shakespeare celebration.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Bexley Council, Peabody Trust – which manages Thamesmead – and Kingston Council, home to the Cambridge Road Estate that also hosted the IKEA filming.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett said, “For decades we’ve been asked for access to estates for grim dramas, and although residents have been happy to accommodate filming, particularly if it involves a celebrity they love, the end product simply hasn’t reflected the truth about the warmth, love and joy in these communities.

“The comedy Chewing Gum, shot on Islington’s Andover Estate, has been a lovely departure. And this month we’ve been particularly impressed by the beauty depicted at Thamesmead.

“These are commercial filmmakers who’ve grasped the consumer value of positive imagery. And they’ve gone one step further, in making positive benefits available to residents.”

The new Lucozade ad Made to Move brings Thamesmead alive with running, bike stunts, boxercise, zumba, a spin class and so much more – as a cast of 250 break a sweat across the estate to that pumping tune by Kideko.

Thamesmead resident Jenny Lam landed a job on the shoot. Jenny’s studying Film and TV locally at the University of Greenwich.

When she received a consultation letter about the filming, she contacted Location Manager Guy Weller-Poley, explaining that, as a third year film student, any opportunities for work experience would be welcome.

Guy went one better and offered Jenny a job, and in mid-August she was right there as a runner – while her estate was transformed for the ad.

“It was a bit mad to see all this going on outside my home,” Jenny says. “There were lots of cast members – it was very big. I really enjoyed it.

“I was mostly looking after the equipment for the art department. I learned a lot, particularly seeing how the Lucozade prop was used.”

“Guy was really nice about getting it set up for me because that sort of experience looks great on my CV,” she says, “I’m really lucky.”

Karen Everett continues, “We were delighted that a local student was able to benefit – it’s just the sort of thing we encourage, particularly from a big three-day shoot like this. In fact, two more residents on the estate joined in as extras.

“Together with IKEA and Selfridges, these ads become a fantastic showcase for housing estates.”

The Bridge writer brings Scandi Noir to London in Marcella

London’s ongoing creation of landmarks, its constant building, sits at the heart of a new thriller by the man who wrote iconic Scandi drama The Bridge.

Hans Rosenfeldt’s new eight-part police thriller, starring Anna Friel, starts on Monday on ITV. Take a look at the trailer here.

FilmFixer was delighted to support the project across six London borough film offices we support, and thrilled that Rosenfeldt was so inspired by our capital.

He recently told the Evening Standard, “I didn’t want to create something that was a translation of a Swedish show; so the places, people and colours of London are vital.

“I want it to feel like this story couldn’t be set anywhere else but London. We have quite a lot of twists and turns, but it is a faster paced show than The Bridge; you cannot really relax.”

Rosenfeldt said he, “jumped at the chance to work in London. It has been a dream to work here because London and British drama is what we compare ourselves to in Sweden.

“For me, London is a huge city. There are as many people living in London as there are in the whole of Sweden. We just can’t get those big city feelings in Sweden so that gives the drama a completely different edge.”

Filmed between November last year and March, scenes were shot across:

Southwark
The Blue Fin building acts as HQ of the construction company.

You see Moncrieff Street and Cicely Road in Peckham.

A pawn shop on Rye Lane.

The carpark on Rye Lane, Peckham where a man is led on by a woman.

D&R Scaffold Group, on Consort Road in Peckham.

And nightclub scenes were filmed in Peckham’s Rye Wax.

Lambeth
Where scenes were filmed on the mezzanine of the National Theatre, Southbank.

Randall Road, towards Salamanca Street where a character is hit by a car.

The back entrance of Ashtar’s nightclub on Goding Street, near Albert Embankment.

Brixton Market and Healthy Eaters on Electric Avenue.

Islington
Hill House Apartments on Pentonville Road where police are called to investigate a crime scene.

Camden
Be At One, near Eversholt Street; The corner shop Capital Food on Eversholt Street; Plender Street and Kings Terrace.

Haringey
Filming took place along Hornsey Lane where Marcella visits a home as part of her investigation.

Bexley
Filming on Thames Road.

In Monday’s opening episode, we see that after 11 years’ away from the force, DS Marcella Backland is drawn back. The Grove Park Killer, her last case before she left to start a family, has returned.

Her previous lead suspect, Peter Cullen, is out of prison for manslaughter and now working in a bakery on a prison placement scheme. Nobody else on her team thinks it could be Peter, and Marcella’s lone wolf approach quickly alienates her.

Marcella’s also preoccupied with the breakdown of her 15-year marriage to Jason Backland. It’s a huge blow.

Marcella is seen crying in her bath, covered in mud and blood with a nasty gash on her forehead. But how has she come to be in this state?

And then there’s The Gibson family – one of the country’s largest property developers. Tension is rife as CEO Sylvie Gibson clashes with her errant stepson Henry over the best way to manage their development plans in Lambeth. Caught in the crossfire is Head of Legal, Jason, and Sylvie’s daughter and Head of Finance, Grace Gibson. We also meet Cara, a young, spirited woman who has devised a con to steal from people using the casual affairs app, Sinnr.

Locations speed networking – a Production Guild event giving juniors a leg up

DATE: Wednesday 20th January 2016
TIME: 7.00-9.30pm
WHERE: Goldsmiths Hall

The Production Guild is running a locations department speed networking event to encourage new working relationships and opportunities.

We’re introducing location managers to less experienced locations personnel. The carousel networking format will ensure everyone has the chance to get to know each other in a stunning setting.

Goldsmiths Hall has hosted many lush productions including: Downton Abbey, The Royals, Woman in Gold, Tarzan, Mr Selfridge, and The Crown.

The evening will include tours of Goldsmiths Hall and a general networking session so everyone mingles towards the end of the night, with drinks and canapés kindly provided by Goldsmiths.

Here’s the address:
Goldsmiths Hall
Foster Lane
London, EC2V 6BN

If you have had experience as a location runner or steward for film, TV or commercials please apply by sending your CV to pg@productionguild.com.

Bexley residents joined stars in key London Road scenes, about a community coming together in dark times

The National Theatre’s musical London Road has been made into a film, opening today. Looking at a community’s response in harrowing times – the filming itself became an opportunity to bring a community together.

London Road documents the events that shook Suffolk in 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb-crawling on their street. The film follows the community who found themselves at the epicentre of the tragic events. Using their own words set to an innovative musical score, LONDON ROAD tells a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences.

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Olivia Colman, Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Anita Dobson, James Doherty, Hal Fowler, Kate Fleetwood, Linzi Hateley, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley, Howard Ward, Duncan Wisbey and Tom Hardy. A Cuba Pictures / National Theatre production, the film is produced by Dixie Linder, and executive produced by Nick Marston, Tally Garner and David Sabel. BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund, Arts Council England and LipSync financed the project.

Take a look at the trailer here.

The filmmakers were based in Bexley’s Sutherland Road between March and May last year, using many local houses as locations. Despite being based there for so long, they enhanced the sense of community in that area, thanks to a sensitive and neighbourly approach to their work. So much so, that the community is now looking forward to attending their own private screening of the film on June 14th.

The intermingling of cast and neighbours peaked in a street party scene – when actors, extras and residents all joined in, on-camera.

Sutherland Road resident Trish Elliott opened her home to the production, her front room becoming an interior for characters played by Anita Dobson and Howard Ward.

“Anita Dobson’s my new best friend,” she jokes. “We really did get to spend some time together actually and she was a lovely person. I was home from work on a day that happened to be her birthday, and we had a little celebration.

“Over that length of time, we became very friendly with the cast and crew. They were exemplary. Rufus Norris the director was so approachable, as was everyone, all the way along, to the security team.”

Mrs Elliott says filming the street party scene was a key community moment. “We tend to live very insular lives. We go off to work all day and don’t always speak to each other. So the filming was a real coming together, a real collaboration.”

Mrs Elliott and her husband welcomed the filming. Being theatre-obsessed, they understood the process, and were happy to leave for work each day, allowing the filmmakers back in to do their job, for three months.

She says, “I’m really looking forward to meeting up again with the production crew at the special screening.”

Jane Whitefield, who lives nearby on Nelson Road, was equally happy to welcome the production – which used her house as the interior of the killer’s home.

“We’d only moved in six weeks before so most of our stuff was still in boxes anyway,” she explains.

“They’d leafleted the street, looking for a specific layout. The bay widow had to be on the right of the front door. The director Rufus Norris himself came to look around, and he was just lovely. We were flexible, and we thought it was fun.

“We went away for the weekend when they were filming the first time. They dressed the house and then put everything back exactly the way we’d had it. When they had to come back again to do some filming mid-week, we went to a hotel.”

Mrs Whitefield agrees that the street party scene was a brilliant experience for the community.

“We had just moved in to the area and it made us feel very welcome. Because we didn’t know anybody it was hard for us to tell who were the actors, who were the extras and who were the residents. Lots of houses on that street had been used for the film, so there were doors open and people coming and going all along the street.

“We didn’t have to do much – we’re not about to join Equity. We just had to stand and walk. There was a lot of waiting in-between takes, so that was the chance for us to stop and get to know people. There was no ego and everyone was very friendly and very nice.

“My sons were three and six at the time. My six-year old recognised Anita Dobson from Gigglebiz – he thought it was so cool. The boys were invited to come in and look through the camera while they were filming. It was an impressive piece of kit for children to watch being used.

“Apparently we are in the final cut of the film, so we’ll look forward to the screening for residents.”

London Road’s location manager Tom Woods says, “The private screening for residents on the 14th is a wonderful way of Cuba Pictures, The National Theatre and the cast and crew saying thank you to everyone, as they were integral to the shoot being successful.”

He adds, “The help and support we received from FilmFixer, who manage Bexley’s film office, was fantastic.”