Tower Hamlets ‘Sucka Punches’ it’s Way into the Community

As part of our holistic approach to the management of filming in Tower Hamlets, we aim to maximise benefits for the council, its residents and businesses while providing community benefits that extend borough wide. Our work brings together the film industry, local community and voluntary sectors to provide training and development including work placement and employment opportunities for local residents wishing to gain experience and pursue a career in the industry. We recognise the importance of supporting young people trying to access this challenging industry and look to help productions who are passionate about good causes or may not necessarily have the same resources as large feature films.

The Tower Hamlets Film Office, managed by The Film Office, were contacted back in October by Slick Films to source locations for an upcoming short film they were working on in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust. Entitled “Sucka Punch” the story focuses on a young girl as she takes the audience on a visual journey through the current digital age, and the cunning ways brands use social media to target the mobile phone generation. She advocates the need for a global uprising, and by the end of the film, we question whether exactly her intentions are pure…

Looking for both an empty flat and a council estate and rooftop, we provided 3 fantastic locations that worked perfectly for production. The derelict flat located above Cubitt Town Library, featuring a long corridor, original fireplaces, living room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and a bathroom worked perfectly for their interior shoot, while the Sulkin House Rooftop which overlooks the Cranbrook Estate which they also shot various scenes on, offered a great backdrop for views 360 real London urban views, with the city skyline in the distance.

On ‘Sucka Punch’, Slick Films were working alongside The Uncertain Kingdom, Signature Pictures and The Princes Trust, who placed 12  young people from difficult backgrounds on the shoot as trainees across all departments on the shoot. Olwyn Hinds, the Film Officer on the job commented “The barriers to entry for young new creatives entering the film and television industry can be off-putting to some and seem like such a far reaching goal. We at the Tower Hamlets Film Office always look to support varying productions in achieving a successful shoot within the parameters that they are operating in. When contacted by the production, and knowing the fantastic work both the Prince’s Trust and The Uncertain Kingdom we were more than happy to assist production with this tricky brief. It’s fantastic that productions offer trainees positions to young adults who may not always get the chance to show off their creative skills, I can’t wait to see the finished results when the film comes out!”

Rebecca Harris, one of the producers on the job commented, “Tower Hamlets Film Office were passionate about accommodating this and made special arrangements to make it happen even on a micro budget. Olwyn and the team went the extra mile to work around our requirements to ensure we had the locations and times we needed and worked alongside us and The Princes Trust to pull the shoot together. From liaising with the owners to arranging parking and recommending unit bases, we couldn’t have felt more at ease during a usually stressful time. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”

The Prince’s Trust, a charity founded in 1976 to help vulnerable young people get their lives on track supports 11 to 30-year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Many of the young people helped by The Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. For more information follow the link here.

The Uncertain Kingdom is a new project that uses short films – where turnaround is faster, budgets are low and creative freedom can be far greater – to ensure filmmakers have a chance to contribute to the conversation in the film industry. They have given to 20 filmmakers up to £10,000 to a make a short that’s entertaining, original and relevant to the UK in 2019. Follow the link here to learn more.

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