Sunday, July 1, 2012

Taking It to the Streets: Filming in London

One of my joys in traveling is to stumble across location filming, especially when that location is on a city street. Watching a crowd form and observe a television series or movie being made is as much fun as finally watching a take. Street filming is also a great way for us non-industry folk to realize just how long it takes to set up a shot and how much standing-around time is involved before we hear "Action!" Last weekend I came across two actors and a small crew filming an indie in a corner of Russell Square. The little group was efficient and, during about a half hour, captured their scene and moved on. The title is I Hate Justin Bieber, in case you'll look for it later this year. (I really will.) The following photos come from an even larger, but unnamed to onlookers, production filming along Carlton House Terrace in Westminster one fine morning a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, it was a rare fine morning that should look gorgeous on screen.) It reportedly is an ITV production along the lines of Downton Abbey that will make its way to U.S. television sometime next year. I didn't recognize the actors--yet--but perhaps when the series finally arrives I'll have some wonderful shots of the series' stars in action--or standing along the street trying not to be bored between takes. Even if you're not a fan of period pieces, you might find the costumes and cars worth a second look. Here's my perspective on some recent street filming in London:
Sometimes the automobiles had to be pushed into place, but after the scene started and people walked down the pavement or crossed from one side of the street to the next, the vehicles rolled along and past the crowd. Notice the workers and the gentleman in a far more modern suit out of frame in the next photo. They provide a nice contrast between then and now, as well as the reality of street filming with the "reality" of the filmed world.
Capturing a tranquil scene filmed in a busy section of London on a summer weekday truly is movie magic.

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