Feature Film: Suffragette, Work Experience & School Set Visits
The Film Office welcomed British Feature Film Suffragette to Tower Hamlets and with filming just finished we will be sad to see them go as they have been such regular visitors to the borough recently!
SUFFRAGETTE - IMDB
Directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and writted by Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) the film is inspired by true stoires of the foot soldiers and the bold and timely story of the women's suffragette movement in Britain. With a stella cast including Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw it promises to be a fantastic film. The film is produced by Ruby Film & Television for Pathé, FilmFour and the BFI in association with Redgill Productions and with the participation of Canal+ and Cine-Cinema.
Our close participation with the production and location team - who are the first to commercially film in the House of Commons! - on all aspects of the shoot, ensured filming occurred at multiple locations in Tower Hamlets including Arnold Circus and its wonderful restored bandstand; the glorious period architecture of the Boundary Estate; Princelet Street with its beautiful Georgian houses and additionally Wilton's Music Hall - the world's oldest surviving grand music hall.
Alongside the production we facilitated "on-set" work experience for 5 local residents as filming took place on the Boundary Estate. These residents gained valuable experience of the film industry and saw how a feature film is produced in real life.
In addition to this, we arranged for years 5 & 6 at local Virginia Primary School to have an exciting and inspiring visit on set.
Dominic Reeve-Tucker, director at The Film Office said
"It's a key component in our management ethos to not only enable filming in our client borough but also to create opportunities where young people can further their interests and careers within the industry.
"We constantly look for community benefit opportunities within the industry and the production were fantastic in their productive approach in this instance."
RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
For any Feature Film, due care and consideration for our residents and businesses will be a determining factor in how, when and where creative inspiration and a production's requests can be met. Working with the production we arranged for local community centres to be hired so that their footprint on location was reduced and the production gave back to the locale at the same time, all while behaving with due care and consideration throughout.
The Film Office ensured that all filming was professionally managed and took place in a safe and controlled manner causing minimal disturbance to local residents and businesses. No mean task with scenes involving big period sets, traffic management with 5 way holds, horses, carts, action vehicles, street furniture removal, set dressing, parking for vehicles and period continuity... however we ensured filming ran smoothly for all and the production were able to enjoy their filming days in Tower Hamlets.
Working with the production team was a pleasure and as we continue to manage Tower Hamlets as a film friendly, go-to London borough for filming, we're disappointed to see them leave. We have been lucky enough to get a sneak peak screening of the film which is looking fantastic, for now however, here are a few pictures capturing everyone's work and a few words from location manager Harriet Lawrence and Leila McAlister - Governor of Virginia Primary School:
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
"The help and assistance we received from The Tower Hamlets Film Office on Suffragette was amazing and sometimes well beyond the call of duty!
"Much of the story was set around Bethnal Green and the East End and many of our locations were in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. Some of them were complicated and high impact given the nature of the scenes and period film. The Film Office team helped make these locations run as smoothly as possible, always on hand to help and available to make difficult requests possible.
"I couldn't have asked for more from The Film Office and it was a pleasure for me, my team and the Production to film in their Borough."
Harriet Lawrence - Location Manager
Visiting the set of Suffragette was an inspiring opportunity for children from years 5 & 6 at Virginia Primary School - some of whom live in the flats overlooking the location.
They were introduced to technicians who explained in detail the manyfold considerations of taking the courtyard back to how it was over 100 years ago - sound, costume, streetscape.
They were especially impressed to meet the man responsible for the horses and carriages who had also supplied the horses for Warhorse.
The smell of poo was much commented on. Several came away saying they wanted to work in film when they grew up.
Our thanks go to Harriet Lawrence and The Film Office for making this possible.
Leila McAlister - Shop Keeper & Governor Virginia Primary School