Community Benefits from Filming MotherFatherSon

Community Benefits from Filming MotherFatherSon

MotherFatherSon, starring Richard Gere, is on BB2.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for 16 London Boroughs including Southwark, Kingston, Islington, Haringey, Camden, Bexley, Barnet and Bromley, where MotherFatherSon was filmed.

Community benefits

Filming for the production took place in a number of residential areas and the production made generous donations in Kingston to Cambridge Road Estates Community Group and Cambridge Road Estate Residents association.

Residents of Thamesmead (shown in photo) also benefited, as fees from filming go to Thamesmead 50th fund, ensuring that filming activity directly benefits the local community.


Thamesmead where scenes for MotherFatherSon were filmed.

Thamesmead where scenes for MotherFatherSon were filmed (Image: FilmFixer)


The production also gave valuable work experience to local  Thamesmead resident, Riordan Tyson.

Riordan, who says he would like to become an editor, has been building up his CV and is already working on another production in Thamesmead.

As Riordan says, “I greatly enjoyed working on MotherFatherSon. The crew were more than willing to help me out with advice regarding a typical day on set, as well as more general advice for my future career in film making.  They were really appreciative of my help.”

Peabody and FilmFixer are committed to helping Thamesmead residents gain work experience or extras positions on shoots and all productions are required to work with FilmFixer to source local talent.

FilmFixer has also placed social value, employment, and skills development at the heart of its new Film Office Service contracts.


Kingston’s ‘Mayor’ turns on lights early in Waitrose’s recent Christmas ‘Too good to wait’ commercial

The ancient market place in Kingston provided the backdrop for Waitrose’s highly entertaining Christmas advertisement in which the Mayor can’t even wait to get through the count down ritual and switches on the lights early before heading to the Waitrose canapés.

The outdoor scenes were shot in the Ancient Market Place.  The indoor scene where the ‘Mayor’ gets to sample the canapés before anyone else, was filmed inside the Guildhall.

This was a large-scale production with the potential to negatively impact either local businesses, residents and the Guildhall itself.    Plenty of organisation as well as stakeholder communication was needed by the FilmFixer team to ensure everything went smoothly.

Central and outer London boroughs had roles in Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody

Locations across London’s inner and outer boroughs were called on for Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about one of the capital’s favourite sons, Freddie Mercury. Some doubled as Mercury’s renowned London haunts and others as New York or Amsterdam. Many of them can be glimpsed already in the trailer. The film opens in the UK on October 24th.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for many of the London councils that helped out with locations in Bromley, Haringey, Lewisham, Southwark, Kingston, Hounslow, and on the Union Canal in Rickmansworth.

FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “As expected, many of the residents the production came across were big fans of the band, and happy that the film was being made in their neighbourhood.

“The production itself did a great job at getting to know residents and making donations to local residents’ groups to thank them.

“In Bromley, the cast and crew had their photo taken with local fire fighters at Norman Park, during filming in October last year.

“Bromley’s Old Town Hall was put to work as Ealing Art College, which Freddie Mercury attended, and where the band gigged. It looks great in the trailer. It also plays the surgery of Freddie Mercury’s doctor.

“In Camden the production filmed band rehearsals in Air Studios on Lyndhurst Road and made a donation to the Christmas fund for the sheltered housing scheme on Waterhouse Close

“Union Street in Southwark doubled as New York. In the trailer you can see Freddie Mercury has thrown his manager out of the limo there.

“In Redcross Way in Southwark, the shoe shop Cobbler’s Nest was turned into a record shop in Amerstam – where Freddie Mercury learns his solo album isn’t doing well.

“A home on Malyons Road in Ladywell, Lewisham, which you can also see in the trailer, plays the Feltham home in West London that Freddie grew up in, in the 70s. The production made a donation to local charity For Jimmy.

“A private location on Ashcombe Avenue in Surbiton, Kingston plays the famous Kensington home of Freddie Mercury, Garden Lodge, which he left to Mary Austin. Lots of engagement with residents was important here, as filming took place over seven days, with up 100 extras for some of the party scenes.

“The back of Garden Lodge is played by Shere House car park off Trinity Street in Southwark

“Hornsey Old Town Hall in Haringey saw a lot of scenes. One of our favourites, which you can see in the trailer, is where Mike Myers as Ray Foster at EMI records says, ‘Mark these words: No one will play Queen,’ and ‘It goes on forever, six bloody minutes.’ To which Rami Malek as Mercury says, ‘I pity your wife if you think six minutes is forever.’

“You see the band leaving Foster’s office unhappily, in the forecourt of the Old Town Hall, by the fountain, looking up at Mike Myers’ window.

“In another scene there, manager Jim Beach played by Tom Hollander, is saying, ‘Fortune favours the bold.’

“And there’s another where Freddie visits Mary Austin, who became his girlfriend, at Biba clothing boutique.

“The production worked really well with local residents in Hatherley Gardens, as well as showing just how versatile Hornsey’s Old Town Hall can be.

“In Hounslow, there’s a crowd of 100 inside The Griffin pub on Brook Road South, crammed in to watch the Live Aid broadcast on TV in the 1980s.

“And Mafeking Avenue on Brentford is empty, except that through the open windows of the homes, the sound of Live Aid can be heard blaring out.

“In Rickmansworth, a lovely sunset scene was filmed at Stockers Lock on the towpath along the Grand Union Canal. We organised this permitting on behalf of our client the Canal River Trust.”

Southborough Residents Association in Kingston, McMillan Cancer Trust, street party organisers for Hounslow residents, Friends of Norman Park and Norman Park Athletics Track in Bromley, and Bankside Residents Forum in Southwark all also received community donations, as a thank you from the filmmaker.

Freddie Mercury’s parents were Parsis, Indians of Persian extraction, who followed Zoroastrianism. They arrived in London after fleeing the revolution in Zanzibar in 1964.

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.”

Courtrooms and London’s real legal centre feature in The Split

BBC One’s new drama The Split features a female-led cast playing a family of divorce lawyers. Starring Nicola Walker, Meera Syal, Fiona Button, Deborah Findlay and Annabel Scholey, it was written by Suffragette screen writer Abi Morgan.

It starts on April 24th at 9pm. Here’s the trailer.

The series filmed last year across Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Haringey and Southwark, as well as using the authenticity of Holborn in Camden for its legal office locations.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for all these councils.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett explains, “Being set around a family of lawyers, the script called for extensive courtroom scenes.

“Kingston’s old Surrey County Hall proved ideal – allowing the production to shoot over five days in total in September and November last year.

“Managed by Surrey Film Office, it’s a great location with plenty of room for a big cast and crew, and in the relatively quiet locale that welcomes filming.

“The accuracy to detail continued with law offices in Camden. Nicola Walker’s character has controversially left her family’s firm to join Noble & Hale, set in a building on High Holborn. Filming took place over the course of about a month from June to July, with more filming in September.

“The scenes filmed here include Nicola Walker as Hannah heading inside past a gaggle of reporters and ducking into a side street to shed a tear.

“Around the corner in Red Lion Square Gardens Hannah and a colleague eat lunch on a park bench.

“In Lambeth’s Railway Tavern on Clapham High Street, Hannah spots her ex boyfriend Christie, played by Barry Atsma.

“Nicola Walker, as Hannah, lives in a home on Macaulay Road in Lambeth, with her husband Nathan, played by Stephen Mangan.

“Their household scenes were filmed over about a week.

“The family home where Hannah grew up hosts a wedding reception among other scenes in the show. This was a home in Sydenham Hill Lewisham, where the production filmed for a week in October.

“The Kings Head pub in Crouch End Haringey features a stand up comedy routine in the show.

“In Canvey Street in Southwark, Fiona Button as Hannah’s sister Rose waits for her fiancé James, played by Rudi Dhamalingam.

“And in almost obligatory shot these days, we see Hannah crossing the river from Southwark’s Bankside.”

Nicola Walker has said she didn’t necessarily take to the legal power dressing for the show like a duck to water: “Abi [Morgan] refers to it as putting on her armour for the day.

“It’s a real departure for me personally, I do not possess any of those clothes in my wardrobe! I made an astonishing discovery that when I wear anything that isn’t a trainer or a welly, when I’m put in high heels, I have an ability – and it’s a real skill – to clip the back of my heels and send a beautiful high shoe flying into the air.

“There are so many outtakes of Jess the director shouting ‘Cut! Her shoe’s come off again…’ – you’d see it flying over the heads of the crew. It must be about the way I walk. It took me three weeks to master it.”

Deep in London: Deep State filmed across the capital

The new FOX drama Deep State might call to mind a phrase President Trump likes to tweet, suggesting government agencies or the military are secretly manipulating government policy, but the show itself is fictional, pure drama.

It stars Mark Strong, and was partly shot in London. Take a look at the trailer here. It starts on Fox UK on Thursday April 5 at 9pm.

Filming in summer last year included locations in Lambeth, Southwark, Kingston and Camden. FilmFixer manages the film office service for those local councils. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “A flat at Coverley Point in Lambeth played a home on the fictional East London Mozart Estate.

“Mark Strong as ex spy Max Easton gets to the estate and asks some local teenagers for help. He has to convince the character Bijan that he’s not an Immigration officer before being allowed inside the flat.

“Things escalate into dramatic scenes with a doorway splitting open and masked men breaking in, operatives watching from the street, and Max having to leave without being seen.

“Lambeth’s Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre on Glasshouse Walk played a mosque, that characters Bijan and Ashkan are leaving after morning prayer. They are approached by officials, shown a photo of Max and asked if they know him.

“In Lambeth Gardens on Albert Embankment, a character spots Max and starts to back away. He says he just wants to talk and convinces her to hold up.

“Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in Lambeth hosted scenes of two characters talking on a park bench. The production made a very kind donation to the Vauxhall Gardens Tenants and Residents Association.

“Nearby, some interior night scenes were filmed at West Square in Southwark, the historic streetscape that’s home to the Imperial War Museum.

“In Camden, the production filmed a character jogging through Russell Square Gardens, having to stop and answer his mobile phone.

“And Kingston’s Blagdon Road Carpark was able to accommodate scenes involving characters chatting inside a car.”

Kingston and Lewisham plays 80s Hackney in Idris Elba’s new series

We all love Idris Elba and we love the fact that his new comedy series co-stars Kingston and Lewisham – with supporting roles from Sutton, Southwark and Lambeth.

In the Long Run is set in 1980s London when the Easmons, originally from Sierra Leone, are living quietly on a Hackney housing estate, until the brother of Walter (Idris Elba) is sent to live with them.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for many of the London boroughs where the series was shot. FilmFixer director Karen Everett explains, “The Cambridge Road Estate in Kingston hosted a great deal of filming over a week in late October early November, filming scenes extensively around the estate, along the stairwells and walkways and in front of key flats.

“All the main characters were filmed around the estate, giving residents a bit of a thrill really, to see actors like Idris Elba and Bill Bailey at work outside their homes.

“In the series, Walter’s best friend is Bagpipes, the Bill Bailey character, and both of them work at a local factory. Walter’s wife Evelyn sells makeup door to door on the estate. Their son Kobna and his best friend Dean hang about together playing football and trying to avoid local thugs.

“Idris Elba has said it was inspired in part by his own upbringing, particularly given that his father worked in a Dagenham car factory for 30 years.

“The Czar Street Estate in Lewisham helped out with key scenes filmed in December last year, where we see a boy singing from a balcony, Idris Elba giving driving lessons and Idris Elba and Bill Bailey sitting outside a garage enjoying a beer.

“The children walk through Folkestone Gardens in Lewisham talking about how they’ve never been allowed to go past the bridge on their own.

“Also in Lewisham, we see the kids waiting outside the pub for their parents. These scenes were shot outside the Wheelshunters Club in Hornshay Street.

“Walter’s dynamo brother Valentine takes up DJing, bringing a local pub to life. Those carnival style bar scenes were shot over a many days in the Peckham Liberal Club in Southwark.

“The Times Square carpark in Sutton played the carpark at 1980s Heathrow. The stars were filmed walking through the shopping centre link tunnel and getting into their car.

“And a funeral scene was shot at Lambeth Crematorium on Blackshaw Road.

“The production made donations to tenants and residents groups across the locations. We were delighted to help with locations in boroughs outside central London such as Kingston, Sutton and Lewisham. With the extra space and quieter streets, they are often the perfect places to base a series.”

Idris Elba has explained that the biographical elements of the series are, “… a bit of a mish-mash, to be honest. It really is just a good look at the Eighties, which was when I was turning from boy to teenager. It’s looking at what London was like then, especially east London, where I came from.

“Kobna is meant to me as a kid. And it’s really weird sometimes looking up, seeing parts of my life being displayed. Remember, though, that this isn’t exactly a carbon copy of my life: this is its own thing.”

Take a look at the trailer. The show starts on Sky One on March 29th.

Real schools, fake hospitals used in ITV’s Trauma starting soon

In ITV’s new drama Trauma, key hospital scenes were filmed in fact at Regents Place a retail, residential and office campus in Camden, near Euston.

But the production had access to real schools: Highgate School in Haringey and Acland Burghley in Camden. Interestingly, Highgate School was able to act in both sides of story – as that of a wealthy surgeon’s daughter and the less prestigious school of an unemployed man’s son.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for many of the boroughs that hosted the filming. You’ll recognise some of the locations here in the trailer.

FimFixer director Andrew Pavord says, “This three-part drama centres on the heart breaking loss of a child, Alex (played by Albie Marber), and some of the remarkable locations used, work to highlight the emotional drama.

“John Simm plays the bereaved father, who is seen walking through Kingston’s Fairfield Recreation Ground, haunted by images of time spent there in the past, playing with his son.

“Adrian Lester plays opposite him as the well-to-do surgeon who operated on John Simm’s son. The surgeon is seen collecting his daughter from the entrance of Highgate School. As he starts to drive off, he checks the rear-view mirror, afraid he’s being stalked.

“Another Highgate entrance was used to depict the school of John Simm’s son. He’s on the phone to his dad amid the crowd of children leaving, at the end of the school day.

“About 100 cast and crew, including about 80 school children as extras, were on location at Highgate School to the film the two scenes in the course of one day in July last year.

“Over in Camden Acland Burghley secondary also played Alex’s school where, at the end of the day, he meets his friends and walks away, not aware that he’s being watched by a group of older boys. This shoot also involved 100 cast and crew.

“Adrian Lester’s home in the show is on Macaulay Road, near leafy Clapham Common in Lambeth.”

Adrian Lester has explained how he used the home locations as a key to the two main characters, saying, “You start with the differences in where the two characters live. For Jon you see the peaceful leafy streets with the large houses, the bright openness of the kitchen on to the big garden. Then you see Dan’s place, which is small, claustrophobic that helps you understand his worries about money. He and his family are struggling and can’t see a way out.”

Andrew Pavord continues, “For us, though, the real surprise of this shoot was the diversity of Regents Place, put to work for the hospital scenes. They were filmed over two separate days in June last year with just 30 cast and crew. You’ll see that the location worked extremely effectively.”

The series begins on February 12th.

London’s a Turkish delight for Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton in American Assassin

With the release of American Assassin starring Michael Keaton and Dylan O’Brien, it’s time for London to celebrate its role in the big-budget production.

Croydon, Kingston, Southwark and Islington all helped out with locations. FilmFixer manages the film office service for all these boroughs.

Croydon played the biggest part, arranging for the whole of St George’s Walk, including every single shop, to be bought up for a week, and transformed into an Istanbul quarter. This didn’t just include the elaborate sets and cars, it included about 200 Turkish speaking extras.

You’ll catch glimpses of the scenes filmed in Croydon in this trailer.

FilmFixer director Andrew Pavord said, “For the duration, St George’s Walk was transformed into shisha shops and Turkish restaurants, populated by 200 Turkish speakers, all in costume, serving real food and smoking real pipes. The smells and sounds were completely authentic.

“The production moved in on August 22nd last year, and set up the area ready for filming from September 13th through to September 16th.

“They established an atmospheric Turkish restaurant on the corner of St George’s Walk, and the entire parade of shops along St George’s Walk was dressed as an area of Istanbul. Pictures vehicles, or cars that appear in the film, lined St George’s Walk to make it look like a busy street.

“Dylan O’Brien walks through the bustle into the restaurant. Then the scene unfolds into an elaborate chase, with special operatives hoofing after him.

“We were happy that Croydon was able to meet this extensive location brief. And we’re even more happy that the production brought in five film students, all but one from Croydon College, for a week of work experience.

“I can’t overstate the value of real Hollywood-style hands on experience, right on the corner, pretty much, of your own film college. Seeing the cameras used, seeing how a set is run, watching all the different moving parts in action is the kind of thing that really helps when it comes to looking for paid work in the industry.”

One of the five placements went to Croydon local Amy Jones, who’s already managed to land work experience in the past with Kevin Costner’s Criminal in 2014.

Amy’s studying film at Reading College. She met the location manager herself, working in a Croydon café. After introducing herself, she was offered the work.

Amy was able to build on the experience of two years before and take on some more responsibility.

“I really hope that because this is a big scale set and I’ve been doing lots of different things, it will show just what I’m capable of and help me get work in the business when I finish my course,” she said, while on set.

“It’s really amazing to work here, in a place I know so well as a Croydon backstreet. Here it is now as bustling Istanbul. It feels like a whole village has been built in the middle of my hometown. It’s a different ambience.

“I was also helping to block off roads and talk to residents to explain why they can’t walk through for a couple of days. I’ve been changing bins, which isn’t very glamorous but it has to be done.”

After the shoot Amy added, “It gave the scene more impact when the cameras were rolling, because it felt so real there.

“I did end up standing about two metres away from Dylan O’Brien at one point, as part of the work. That was exciting. Otherwise, I was helping to sort the green room for the actors, laying the carpet, getting in drinks and making sure everyone was happy.

“Aside from the director I heard only English accents on that shoot, so it’s reassuring to think that I’d be able to work on big budget movies when I graduate without having to move to LA or somewhere. Having had the hands-on experience, I found afterwards that I was much more confident with my college work. When I was writing about the process it was with some real experience of it.”

Dylan O’Brien also made his way through Kingston for the shoot, although a tad more discreetly than in Croydon.

Over two separate days in September, along with 80 cast and crew, he was filmed walking along the Castle Street, with a determined air about him, toward a martial arts class at his gym.

Andrew Pavord explains, “This was a good shoot for Kingston, involving dolly and track, set dressing, scenery and 60 extras mixing in around Dylan O’Brien’s character.

“They filmed the scene on the pedestrian street running from Fife Road to Eden Street.”

In November 2016, 80 cast and crew filmed in Southwark’s Sumner Street, where a car pulls up at the Blue Fin building, and Dylan O’Brien gets out. He walks through the lobby in beachwear, as if he’s going to his hotel room. When he gets into an elevator, he’s joined by three others.

And December saw a big stunt filmed in Islington, in a 7th and 3rd floor apartment Canaletto, a new build on City Road, EC1.

Andrew Pavord explains, “This involved a plate shot of the building. We had to license a scissor lift taking still shots of the building, up to the appropriate floors.”

Amy Jones talks about her experience from the Croydon set of American Assassin here, here, here and here.

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.