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

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.”

London lent zombie horror action flick Redcon-1 a big hand with its tiny budget

Hundreds of zombies shuffling through central London, military personnel tearing up to Tower Bridge in boats, helicopters: it sounds like an expensive film to make – but not so.

FilmFixer supported independent production Redcon-1 in getting its tiny budget production shot across the capital and in Suffolk, through sound advice and an inside knowledge about appropriate locations. Take a look at the trailer for the zombie action horror flick, in cinemas from today. Producer Ioanna Karavela says, “The movie looks like it cost so much more to make than it really did. There were lots of tips and tricks that we have to thank FilmFixer for.

“We would start very early in the morning, at dawn pretty much, to shoot iconic locations like Potters Fields Park and Butlers Wharf along the Thames at Bankside, and the Albert Embankment overlooking the Houses of Parliament in Lambeth. We took a tiny crew and had the cast all made up and ready to go. This meant we could film very quickly without disturbing anyone or needing to organise loads of parking.

“With just three crew, we also filmed lots of general views around London, and then cut them into scenes filmed elsewhere, so the movie gives the impression that a big cast shot complicated scenes in the capital.

“It looks like we filmed the boat scenes along the Thames, landing at Bankside, but actually they were shot outside London. And it was the same with the helicopter shots. It all looks fantastic in the final cut.

“We did manage to take 130 cast and crew into the Silwood Estate in Southwark. Eight special forces soldiers edge toward Silwood. From a distance they think that the residents are healthy, but as they approach it becomes clear they are zombies.

“We found the extras in zombie fan clubs who were all excited to be in a movie, so they came along and helped us out.

“We filmed in the Old Town Hall in Bromley for three days, which played the headquarters of the character General Smith. As well as the military backdrop, we used it for scenes showing experiments on patients, as well as a prison cell, and a shop. It’s a fantastic space to film in.

“Still in London, we also used Lewisham Shopping Centre.

“We’d filmed a load of footage in a field, and had to do some pick up shots. The problem was, our original field had changed colour with the seasons, so we needed to find somewhere else that might match.

“This was when we contacted Screen Suffolk, who put us in touch with a private location. Mike Porter at Hillhouse Farm in Walpole took really good care of us. We were so grateful for the help.”

Director Chee Keong Cheung has said, “Some years ago I wondered what would happen if zombies could retain some of their previous life skills… What if they were combat based? And how would a small troop of soldiers survive being sent into the heart of a seething mass of the undead, who don’t just bite… they fight back too.” And so began the journey toward making the film.

Take a look at the behind the scenes London footage.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Bromley councils.

FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “We helped the production with 10 key film days between August 2016 and April 2017.

:It’s to their credit that the production managed to get such a complicated film shot on its tiny budget. We would emphasise that this type of filming was possible thanks to the production’s absolute respect for our guidance.

“They turned up exactly when and where we suggested, without any unexpected vehicles, cast or crew, filming just what they needed without causing any problems. We were happy to help. And we’re really happy they have so many screenings arranged, particularly in the lead up to Halloween.”

For cinema screenings, take a look here.

“We recognise we are guests here” – Bodyguard filmed tense scenes across London

The new BBC series Bodyguard filmed tense scenes across London between October last year and February.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for a number of London boroughs where the series was shot.

Keeley Hawes plays a hard-nosed Home Secretary and Richard Madden the police officer assigned to protect her.

FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett explains, “In the show Richard Madden’s character David lives on the Stoneleigh Terrace Estate in Camden. These scenes were filmed over four days in January and were possible thanks to close liaison with residents.

“The production made it clear they recognised they were guests in the area and worked hard to film with minimal disturbance.

“They also made generous donations to tenants and residents associations including Chester Balmore, Brookfield and Whittington Estate and Brookfield Primary School.

“In Islington, a private location on Lofting Road plays the home of David’s estranged wife and their two children.

“A lot of important filming took place in Haringey as well. A fight scene was filmed on a green in the Lightfoot Estate. A private home in Broadlands Close plays a safe house and pub scenes were filmed in the Hornsey Tavern.

“In Southwark, police patrol cars leave Samson House car park on Hopton Street, and armed police are seen along Sumner Street, The Cut and Bankside near Blackfriars station. And an abandoned car is found in Bear Gardens.

“South Place Hotel in Camden was used extensively for the hotel scenes.

“Senate House on Malet Street played St Matthew’s College as well as the outside of Downing Street and Whitehall.

“The official cavalcade travels across Lambeth Bridge.

“And a plate shot of the iconic London view from Telegraph Hill was taken in Lewisham.”

The series starts on Sunday August 26th. Take a look at the trailer here.

Back for a third series – Unforgotten filmed in London

A third series of the ITV crime drama Unforgotten by Chris Lang has returned to our small screens with Neil Morrissey, Alex Jennings, Kevin McNally and James Fleet playing four friends who are all suspects.

Location filming included Camden and Lewisham as the series stars Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar try to solve the murder of a teenage girl.

Take a look at the trailer here.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for these London boroughs. FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett explains, “One of the characters is living in a home on Hartland Road in Camden, where we see Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar discussing the case.

“The characters get together in the The Enterprise pub on Red Lion Street in Camden – the same location that doubled as a French bar for Brad Pitt in War Machine that was released last year.

“Kozzy Café, also on Red Lion Street was used too, along with a restaurant on Great Queen Street and nearby Holborn tube station.

“The Pepys estate in Lewisham also lent itself for location filming. The Eddystone tower on the estate played the home of a young internet blogger whose online comments have attracted the attention of police.

“About forty crew and cast filmed the scenes there in April this year, where uniformed police lead the young woman from the front entrance to the police cars parked outside.

“We are very grateful to the production for making kind donations to the tenants and residents association at the estate, as well as to a local residents group near Hartland Road, after that location filming.

“Aside from keep us all intrigued as we try to work out who’s guilty, this production kept local residents onboard through courtesy and kind donations throughout the location shoots that we supported.”

Bromley blues – heart warming new film charts the world’s worst football club’s worst season

True to its name, The Bromley Boys, opening on June 1st, was filmed in the borough by a cast and crew also largely from the area.

The coming of age love story is set during the real Bromley Football Club’s worst season, when it was the worst team in “the world”, in the late 1960s.

It’s a combination of fact and embellishment based on the novel by the real Dave Roberts.

It stars Alan Davies and Martine McCutcheon as Dave’s parents, and Brenock O’Connor as 15-year-old Dave. Take a look at the trailer and the film’s website.

Gormless teenager Dave Roberts went to every match wearing his Bromley FC scarf, taking along a pair of football boots, in the vain hope that one day they might need to sub him in.

Director TJ Herbert, a Bromley resident, came across the book locally. During filming he managed to track down some of the real people who are embellished a little in the story. He said, “The main characters: Dave, Charlie, Peter, Roy, Derek and Alan Stoney Stonebridge in the movie are caricatures and we were fortunate to have the backing of those real people to be on set almost every day to watch and be a part of the action.

“They are sprinkled throughout the film as supporting artistes.”

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Bromley Council. FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “The production filmed around Bromley in October and November 2016.

“The family home is in Poplar Avenue on the Crofton Heath Estate, described by the production as the quintessential British suburb, offering the perfect original family 1970s ambience. Among the scenes filmed there, one involves an actor on a garage roof, and there were various scenes of newspapers being delivered on a paper round. These were the biggest scenes involving 35 cast and crew.

“After this filming the production made a generous donation to Crofton Heath.

“Rainy football match scenes were shot at Norman Park

“Two scenes were filmed in Kelsey Park, where we see two characters walking along a path, with one pushing a bike, and sitting on a bench talking, overlooking the lake. The production made a donation to the residents group Friends of Kelsey Park.

“A dialogue scene inside a car was shot along Rushmore Hill between Coolings Garden Centre and Pratt’s Bottom.

“And just across in Lewisham on Lamerton Street a boy was filmed kicking a can down the street.”

There’s more information about the local locations in the press pack on the film’s website, where director TJ Herbert adds, “It was very important to film locally within Bromley Borough.

“We were very fortunate to use two local schools: Wickham Court School, West Wickham and Langley Park School for Girls, Beckenham.

“The
 15th-century Wickham Court School was a beautiful little school tucked away which was perfect for
 Dave’s boarding school. With its wood panelled classroom and headteacher’s office, the essence of a 
strict 1970s public education could be depicted.

“Likewise, Langley Park School for Girls was used for the comprehensive school scene. Built in 1959, both the interior and exterior of the school was perfect and was the closest to the actual Langley Park School for Boys Dave Roberts actually attended just next door, but had been rebuilt in 2011.”

The film also stars Bromley local Ross Anderson, who plays footballer and David’s idol Alan Stonebridge. Ross, who grew up in Bickley, was quoted in the local paper saying: “Alan was a great character to play – he’s a great man who is so down-to-earth and I have actually had the fortune of meeting the real man himself.

“The film appealed to me because of the comedy and also the football element was a big thing.

“I sort of support three teams myself – Arsenal, Bolton and of course Bromley FC.”

Karen Everett concludes, “The film is a brilliant nostalgia trip for football fans disillusioned by the dizzy heights the game has now scaled, and missing the simple pleasure of non-league matches on modest pitches.”

Swimming With Men – The Full Monty in Speedos – filmed in London

It’s dubbed The Full Monty in Speedos and its London shoot took place in parts of Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Croydon. Swimming With Men opens in early June in Germany with a UK release expected shortly afterwards.

Hoping to win back his wife, middle-aged accountant Eric joins a men’s synchronised swimming team. Alongside Rob Brydon and Jane Horrocks, its stars include Rupert Graves, Daniel May, Jim Carter and Adeel Akhtar.

The shorter UK trailer is here and you’ll catch a glimpse of many London locations in this longer trailer.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for the above local councils. FilmFixer CEO Karen Everett says, “The filming with our boroughs took place in May and June last year (2017).

“One of the more surreal scenes in the movie was shot outside Wigwam, a toy shop on Rosendale Road in Lambeth’s SE21, where Rob Brydon, as Eric, sees a toy monkey in the shop window, waving at him, at first, and then engaged in a rather more indiscreet act.

“It triggers him to call his wife Heather, played by Jane Horrocks, and later, quite disturbed by the monkey, he hands a homeless couple the wine he’s just bought.

“In Lewisham, along Canonbie Road, Jane Horrocks as Heather is driving, with son Billy in the backseat, played by Spike White. She takes a call on the speaker phone. Unfortunately, it’s Eric in front of the monkey, wanting to discuss their sex life. She frantically tries to disconnect the phone.

“A private property in Lewisham on Longton Avenue plays the family home, where 50 and cast filmed over four days in June last year.

“During filming, the neighbours will have seen Rob Brydon acting drunk outside the home, watching his wife through the window. The location manager had to work closely with residents to make sure this filming went ahead with minimal disruption.

“Sail House on Ringmore Rise in Lewisham’s Forest Hill hosted a day’s filming with a couple of scenes shot outside on the street. Rob Brydon races home, along the pavement on Ringmore Rise up to the junction of Liphook Crescent.

“And in another scene Brydon’s onscreen son Spike White chats to him, suggesting he sees a therapist, and asking if he’s getting a divorce.

“About 50 pupils at The Charter School, an academy in Southwark’s Herne Hill, were invited to play themselves in the film, as extras in school scenes. Spike White as Rob Brydon and Jane Horrocks’ son Billy is trapped by his parents coming in to collect him from school.

“Still in Southwark, the swimmers get together in the pub at Peckham’s Ivy House where the beautifully preserved 1930s fittings are quite apparent. It’s a much-loved local, owned co-operatively by the community. It was the first pub in the UK to be listed as an asset of community value, bought under “community right to bid” legislation.

“The community has fundraised to preserve its interior including a stage that’s hosted legends including Joe Strummer, Ian Dury, Dr Feelgood and Jeff Beck. It’s a really special location that looks fantastic in the film.

“The character Kurt, played by Adeel Akhtar, works out of The Dental Practice in Southwark’s Dulwich Village, where in the film we see him performing a tooth extraction.

Croydon’s own council offices at Bernhard Wetherill House play the accountancy firm where Rob Brydon works, with offices on the sixth floor, the lift lobby and atrium space used. Other office space was used as green rooms and make up rooms for the actors It’s fantastic to have put this slick glass building on Croydon’s Mint Street to work as a City office.

“In the film Rob Brydon moves into the Best Western Plus Aparthotel in Croydon where, among other scenes, we see him looking out of his bedroom window at someone putting bottles in a bin.

“Set to be the next British feelgood export, it’s a charming film whose production behaved charmingly among residents, operating sensitively and making donations to local groups and charities.”

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.”

London locations supported the powerful performance of Orlando Bloom in Romans

Opening in the Netherlands on April 26th, Orlando Bloom’s performance in Romans has won over critics at film festivals across the world.

Here’s the trailer. Co-director Paul Shammasian has said the film boasts, “… a powerful performance by Orlando Bloom and a great supporting cast, especially from Janet Montgomery who is one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with.”

Orlando Bloom plays Malky, a construction worker raped by a priest as a child, who is currently demolishing a church. In the shadow of a large crucifix, each strike of the hammer rattles the nails in Jesus’s hands.

These powerful scenes were filmed in Southwark, with Caroline Gardens chapel playing the interior and Nunhead Cemetery’s Anglican chapel as the exterior.

The location manager on the production was Michael Panikkou. He says, “These locations came about because I was tasked with finding a chapel that we could show in various states of demolition.

“Using clever dressing and angles and very little CGI, these locations worked really well within the film and house some very atmospheric and powerful scenes.”

The Nunhead Cemetery shoot was over three days in November 2015, with Malky and his co-workers knocking down the old church, loading skips and removing the large crucifix.

The intense scenes in Malky’s flat were performed in the Islington home of Michael Panikkou’s father.

He explains, “We had looked at quite a few options for Malky’s flat but none of them was quite right. I was in a conversation with the directors, producer and Orlando Bloom when I showed them a photo of my Dad’s exterior as a reference, to see how they felt about that style and the feel of the place.

“Everyone liked it so much, it was a case of, ‘Why don’t we shoot it there?’

“My Dad didn’t mind the filming at all, he was happy to help. So we re-located him to stay with nearby family for the shoot and paid for any out of pocket expenses.

“He didn’t meet any of the stars of the film – he was relaxing with my niece and sister. But afterwards he did comment about the racy bedroom scenes performed in his flat, and he has joked about doing tours and selling some of the furniture that features in the movie as memorabilia.

“There is a nice photo that Orlando Bloom tweeted. It was taken outside Dad’s flat, with Orlando, the directors Ludwig Shammasian and Paul Shammasian and writer Geoff Thompson.”

More moving scenes were shot in Lewisham around Telegraph Hill and Ladywell Fields. Orlando Bloom as Malky repeats the bible verse from Romans, addressing vengeance and forgiveness, which the film is named after. It’s also where Orlando Bloom and Janet Montgomery as his girlfriend Emma share a moment overlooking the dramatic cityscape.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Islington, Southwark and Lewisham councils. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “Along with the extremely moving scenes shot in Lewisham and Southwark, the flat in Islington works really well. Filming took place there over two days where the intensity of Malky’s inner life, as traumatised as he is, was explored.

“It’s a very personal and powerful script by Geoff Thompson based on real events in London, so we’re hoping the film will open here in the capital sometime soon.”

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.