Tower Hamlets Brings The Christmas Joy!

An unprecedented and challenging year for all would be an understatement.

As with all industry sectors its’ been a tough year for the Film Industry, however we’ve been proud in playing our part in a unified approach to support production restart safely to aid economic recovery and get people back to work! Since filming was cleared to continue from June this year, the desire for new content from all has never been greater and Tower Hamlets has since an upsurge in filming over the past 6 months, everything ranging from TV Dramas, Commercials to Feature Films. Here are some of our wintery highlights to get you in that Christmas mood!

Burberry

Filming scenes for their new Christmas commercial, Burberry, shot across 3 days along Petticoat Lane Market located in Spitalfields. Inspired by the 1952 classic film “Singing in the Rain”, the video features 4 dancers doing a choreographed routine, dodging incoming blocks of falling ice, while Drya Mac’s cover of the title song plays in the background. The shoot featured a multitude of different elements; liaising with the regular market traders, local businesses, council department including the Tower Hamlets Markets team and Highways department. It is key when filming in such a busy area like this to maintain the fine balance between allowing productions to push the boundaries of creativity on their shoot, whilst making sure the impact on local businesses and residents in the area is kept to a minimum in order to keep filming sustainable in the future.

Areas that accommodate filming benefit from significant ‘local spend’ by productions – through use of cafes, restaurants, hire of properties, accommodation providers, parking and green room hire, so it was great to see local businesses benefit from a shoot of this scale, especially ones that have been impacted so greatly by COVID19 this year.

Check out the shoot below, and some fascinating behind the scenes footage here.

Sky Sports

Sky Sports 2020 festive campaign came to Tower Hamlets in November filming scenes for their festive TV Spot on one of our council estates. The production approached the Tower Hamlets Film Office, managed by The Film Office, looking for a picturesque gardened area to film a scene of their child cast having a snowball fight. Located north of Shadwell Station, the Mercers Estate offered a beautiful controllable area behind the back of period properties located on Matlock and Barnes Street to film their Christmassy scenes.

Jacob Hughes-Rodgers, the Film Officer who worked on the job commented “Pulling a shoot of this nature can bring it’s challenges, especially during the current times. Working across multiple departments and with the right consultation in place the shoot went smoothly and it was fantastic to get a bit of pre-Christmas cheer in the local area, with houses dressed in a wintery feel, with the final product getting us right in the sporting mood for Christmas”.

For many the return of sport in June provided a much need distraction from the post-lockdown period, and Sky Sports is back this winter to offer up a whole host of sporting options for your viewing please. For more information and to watch the television spot, follow the link here!

EE

When the production company Independent Films (working in conjunction with Saatchi) got in contact with the Tower Hamlets Film Office looking for an East London Rooftop with a classic city skyline to feature in a new TV Spot for EE, the East London Rooftop and Car Park offered a fantastic location to film their scenes. The location features 360 degree views of London’s East End featuring major landmarks including Canary Wharf, The Gherkin, Tower 42 and more. The roof comprises of two tiers with the central block giving access via an external metal ladder where unrestricted views can be obtained for close up views of London’s classic city icons and beyond.

In the spot, Kevin Bacon surprises a fan, who, using an iPhone 12 Pro with a 5G connection, is able to enjoy a surprise AR performance from British singer Rita Ora. To the sounds of her song Let You Love Me, the star dances within a cityscape model of London, wearing a motion capture suit. Her movements are replicated by her AR avatar, which is being viewed by the fan on an east London rooftop. Check out the spot below!

Since the first lockdown in March of this year, an incredible amount of work has been done by the Film and Television industry and various bodies in drawing up a wide range of practical and safe guidelines for filming and photographing across the industry. From regular testing, to face coverings and inter-departmental bubbles the industry reacted quickly to the pandemic which meant that when filming was cleared to continue in June, productions were able to get restarted at a rapid pace.

Film London CEO, Adrian Wootton recently commented “Filming is permitted for productions in London and across all four UK nations who are operating within appropriate industry guidelines in COVID-secure settings…I remain fully confident in the UK screen sector’s ability to restart production safely and support our country’s economic recovery”.

We already have lots of exciting projects coming up in the new year, so we can’t wait to get started in 2021. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas from the team at Film Office.

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