Disney Brings Punk to Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Film Office, managed by The Film Office as seen an abundance of shoots recently, we’ve picked out a few highlights below. See if you can spot your neighbourhood…

Pistol

Pistol, out now on Disney+ is a TV mini series based on the memoir of Steve Jones, the guitarist of the legendary Sex Pistols who helped usher a punk revolution into 1970s Britain. The show follows a band of spotty, noisy, working-class kids with ‘no future” who shook the Establishment to its core, threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever. Pistol is directed by the esteemed Danny Boyle, who is well known for this kind of gritty drama following one of his most famous directorial roles with Trainspotting.

The production contacted us back in early 2021 wanting to film a police car chase scene around the Braithwaite Street area. A shoot of this nature takes a large amount of careful planning, Jacob Hughes-Rodgers, the Film Officer on the job said, ‘”It’s great to facilitate a production of this scale across a number of months on a multitude of different shoots. The Tower Hamlets Film Office is well adversed with managing multiple shoots at any given time, and given the size and scale of what they wanted to do, the shoots weren’t without their challenges. However with the right consultation and planning Pistol filmed across the borough without a hitch and I can’t wait to see the finished product!”

The production also filmed across several street locations in the borough such as Artillery Passage, Parliament Court and Sandy’s Row, making alterations to the business fronts and street furniture to dress it as 1970’s Soho. This kind of shoot also doesn’t come without its challenges, with careful consultation of the business needed. As a gesture of thanks to the area, the production provided a donation to local groups which helps to provide opportunities and give back to the local community.

BBC Women in Sport Promo,

The BBC shot scenes for their new “Summer of Live Sport” promo on one of our council estates delivering a powerful message about the inclusivity of sport. The production contacted us looking for a suitable basketball and football caged area to film scenes of their main child contributors playing football on the pitch, and the basketball court on The Digby Estate was chosen as the perfect location. The production hired the court for the duration of a day and also brought in a crane for a brilliant topdown shot. Needless to say it ended up looking great on film.

The production additionally used a nearby community centre for cast/crew holding, The Tramshed which worked perfectly for their shoot. We also managed to obtain a donation from the production which is being put towards providing training and development opportunities for residents in the borough. Check out the trailer below!

Gangs of London

Gritty crime drama gangs of London returned to the borough at the tail end of last year for their second season. The show tells the story of London being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of its international gangs and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.

The production shot for a week at our private location engineers workshop as well as several street filming shoots in the surrounding area including a driving stunt scene on Solebay Street as a car swerves onto the Ocean North Estate to avoid a parked car. Shoot such as this involve carefully planned traffic management and Mitchell Arthur, the film officer on the job said, “Shoots that involve traffic management rarely come without difficulties but here at Film Office we are used to the careful planning that goes into a shoot like this and are always pleased to have a production of such scale to promote our fantastic locations and to give back to the community in the form of residents donation as Gangs of London did when filming on the Ocean North Estate.”

We can’t wait to see what the highly anticipated season looks like when it airs, check out the trailer below!

Silent Witness

Esteemed crime drama Silent Witness returned to the borough for filming in their 25 season! First airing in 1996 the show follows a team of forensic pathologists and their investigations into various crimes which bring bring up professional and personal challenges. The production took to Davey Road to film scenes as well as using Victoria Park as a unit base for the tech vehicles. Silent Witness Series 25 has started on BBC One and we can’t wait to watch! Check out the trailer below!

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