Archive | December, 2013

Lights, Camera…Islington! in the NEWS

31 Dec

Having only started this blog mid-October, I could not decently do a 2013 Review post. However, in the little time that I have been publishing posts, I have been pleasantly surprised by the interest and feedback generated.

Although the topic of film locations is interesting more and more people everyday, by concentrating on the London borough where I live, one of the smallest London boroughs, I had not anticipated such response. I am glad to see that I am not alone in being keen on such subject!

From bloggers, twitter and other social media connections commenting, providing feedback, pointing out some web pages to local people, neighbours and local organisations. I will not mention anyone in particular here – I do not want to have one of those award-winning speech moment when actors start naming everyone but then fail to mention that all important person – but you know who you are so a big THANK YOU to you all.

Local journalists and media have also shown their interest.

First, Amy Smith from the Islington Tribune mentioned Lights, Camera…Islington! and our Islington Film Locations Map on Caught on Camera published on 22nd November, only a month after the blog being launched.

NEWS - Islington Tribune 22112013 750KB

Islington Tribune
22nd November

Online version: Caught on Camera

On 19th December, Yannic Rack from St John Street News, published a very nice article From the Italian Riviera to Islington, referring at the same time to my Hollywood on the Italian Riviera project.

NEWS - St John Street 23122013

St John Street News
19th December

Online version: From the Italian Riviera to Islington

Finally, under the Christmas tree, I found Rory Brigstock-Barron’s present on Page 3 of the Islington Gazette: Lights, Camera, action…it’s Islington .Yes, Ladies & Gents, I have made Page 3!

NEWS - Islington Gazette Article 26122013

Islington Gazette
26th December

Online version from the 25th: French film buff reveals Islington’s famous flick spots

NEWS - sneak peak

With all this media frenzy going on, I’d better keep calm and carry on writing for 2014. I wouldn’t want to disappoint that lady, would I?

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

Islington Film Locations Map

Advertisements

Chapel Market: McDonald’s is Loving It

26 Dec

Having first visited Chapel Market in October for its appearance in The London Nobody Knows (1967), we are back for more for a slightly different kind of post. As anticipated at the end of that post, on Monday 28th October, making the most of the only day non-market day of the week, a film crew had taken over the street, set up a mini Christmas market and even brought in a snow machine!

Chapel Market Advert 2013

On 25th November, fast-food giant Mc Donald’s unveiled their Somewhere Near You festive TV ad for Christmas.

McDonalds - Chapel Market - Somewhere Near You 2013 Xmas ad

I know what some of you may be thinking. Like many chain outlets that we can find everywhere and anywhere across the UK, retail outlets are pretty much the same wherever you go. Asides for the first opening seconds, the Christmas 2013 advert takes place mainly inside the restaurant which makes it tricky to identify it.

However, it is not the first time that Mc Donald’s UK uses this Islington outlet. They have done so on a number of occasions and, on those TV adverts, it is possible to spot that we are indeed in Chapel Market, albeit using the ‘pause’ button. Here are a few of those adverts and the clues.

You may remember Mc Donald’s First Day advert. A young man turns up for his first day in a new job and is taken around the office at Mach 2 speed, bombarded with information, names, passwords, etc. When finally he has some time for himself, to recover from this frantic and traumatic experience, he pops in the local outlet…in Chapel Market!

McDonalds - Chapel Market - First Day At Work TV Ad FILM

Another campaign you may remember is the Great Tastes of the World one. A man, comfortably seating at home reading the paper, suddenly tells his girlfriend: “Jane I have decided to travel the word.” The adverts were there to support a ‘5 weeks – 5 Burgers’ campaign to invite you to try out tastes from Australia, Mexico, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland. Nonetheless, every single time his exhaustive journey ends up in…you’ve guessed it, Chapel Market again!

McDonalds - Chapel Market - Great Tastes of the World Commercial - FILM

In all these adverts, the clues are the black parking post outside the restaurant, the white mark above the company’s name and the windows in the top right angle.

McDonalds - Chapel Market - MRX

I know, it is not as obvious as Tower Bridge or the Houses of Parliament but this is also what McDonald’s is after: to make it look familiar to all of us independently of where we are in the country.

To sum up, out of their 12,000+ UK outlets, Mc Donald’s is Loving Chapel Market!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Chapel Market N1 9ER

Angle Tube Station: (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel

In Great Sutton Street Christmas is All Around, Actually

19 Dec

Switching on the Lights, Advent Calendars, Christmas cards, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, Ice-rinks blossoming across London, Selfridge’s Christmas windows, Christmas jumpers… In case you hadn’t notice the Christmas frenzy is upon us.

It is precisely 10 years since rom-com expert Richard Curtis, already behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, masterminded another one of his little gem: Love Actually (2003).

Using a tried and tested recipe, Love Actually tells us the story of interrelated characters and couples dealing with their love lives in the madness that is the run up to Christmas. To do this, Curtis brought together a plethora of British actors such as Emma Thomson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Billy Nighy, Rowan Atkinson to name but a few, and not forgetting his trusted accomplice Hugh Grant. All this wrapped up in a well-crafted soundtrack and song selection…Bingo! Ten years on cinemas around the UK reprogram the movie while radio stations blast away Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You.

One item missing from my list above, as you may have noticed, is the sacrosanct office Christmas party. Hate it or love it, this event is an untouchable part of office life, as regular as clockwork. Which is just as well in the present case.

In Love Actually, Harry (Alan Rickman) asks his flirty PA Mia (Heike Makatsch) to find a venue for such party. One of Mia’s friend runs an Art Gallery on the South Bank and this is where the event will take place. Well, sorry to say Richard but this did not fool Lights, Camera…Islington!  The ‘South Bank’ gallery isn’t on the South Bank at all but…in Great Sutton Street, off St John’s Street!

Love Actually - Art Gallery - Day - FILM

Love Actually - Art Gallery - FILM

In the movie we mainly see the inside of the gallery but we get a quick chance  to spot it first by day, and then on the night of the Christmas party.

Love Actually - Art Gallery - MRX

On this Christmassy note, we would like to wish you all, all the best for the festive season.

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Great Sutton Street EC1V 0DX

Barbican Tube Station (Zone 1)

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Goswell Road and St John’s Street

Claremont Square: Harry Potter caught outside Number 12 Grimmauld Place

12 Dec

So, Harry Potter fans and wizards of this world: you’ve travelled the world to come to the UK, went up and down London to visit Leadenhall Market – sorry the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley – tried your luck at Australia House – Gringotts Bank – and made it to King’s Cross Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express…or, failing that, take a picture.

Since you flew on your broomsticks all the way to King’s Cross, you’ll be delighted to know that Number 12 Grimmauld Place, the Order of the Phoenix’s Headquarters, is only a stone’s throw away from you!

Based on the book of the same name published by J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), is the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter franchise. There is probably no point in me setting up the scene of such story. Suffice it to say that, early on in the movie, a group of wizards come to get Harry and take him to meet his Godfather, Sirius Black.

What follows is a flight over the Thames that screams “Made in London” to the world: Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Blackfriars Bridge, Houses of Parliament and… Islington’s very own Claremont Square!

Harry and friends emerge from behind the trees, open an iron gate and, seconds later, Number 12 Grimmauld Place appears.

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 01

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 02

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 03

The strange shape of Claremont Square is due to the fact that, back in the 18th century, a water reservoir was there. Following the construction of a larger one nearby, houses were built and, later, the reservoir emptied and covered with grass, hence its steep aspect. A rather wizardly shape you’ll admit.

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 01

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 02

HP - Claremont Square - Grimmauld Place - MRX 05

Later on in the movie, we can spot again Claremont Square for a brief moment with children playing with the snow.

Claremont Square - Harry Potter & Order of Phoenix - FILM 04

So, Harry Potter fans of this world – what kind of wizards are you if you don’t fly to Islington?

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Claremont Square N1

Angel Tube Station (Zone 1)

King’s Cross Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Angel, Pentonville Road and St John’s Street

Frederica Street: Sweet Old Lady in £60,000 bank robbery!

5 Dec

 More than ten years ago, a few months after landing on the shores of Dorset, the landlady I was renting a room from, recommended me to join her family for the evening. By then, I had spent quite a few hours with them talking movies and cinema. She knew I was keen on the subject. That evening, she said, I had to watch that movie, a “British classic” starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers amongst others. Indeed she was right.

Watching The Ladykillers (1955) I could see how this Ealing Studios black comedy had grown to be cherished and become a national treasure, and is still regarded today as one of the best British film of all time. In many ways, it reminded me of some movies I had grown up with, and my parents before me. Post war films that year after year TV channels keep scheduling and that, invariably, get top viewing figures. Everyone in the family has their favourite characters, their preferred scene, and know the dialogues inside out. A certain melancholy, nostalgia for a bygone era hangs around such films.

I doubt there is any point in summarising the story nor should I want to spoil it should you not – really? – have seen it. Make sure you do, you won’t regret it. I am as honest as Mrs Wilberforce here…

With all this in mind, I was surprised and excited to found out that Mrs Wilberforce’s house was in Frederica Street, Islington. Although the views from her house are actually Argyle Street with St Pancras in the background, her house had been built specially for the movie on an empty plot at the end of Frederica Street with the railway line leading to King’s Cross just behind it.

The LadyKillers - Federica Street - House and Bridge - FILM

Sadly, but understandably considering the year the movie was made, Frederica Street as it was then is no more. In the following years the area underwent a major redevelopment to give way to the Nailour Estate and only a very short part of it remains.

The LadyKillers - Federica Street - MRX 02

Nearly 60 years have passed and I wonder how many locals know about this. Maybe someone out there remembers…

CALL OUT: In an interview available online Tom Pevsner, Assistant Director on The Ladykillers, recalls that in Frederica Street, the crew “used rooms in various houses as dressing rooms, rest rooms for the artists, make-up, hair and all that fitted in and we were there for quite a long time.” (…)  I should think probably 3 or 4 weeks and the people got quite used to us and enjoyed it (…) I think all the people in Frederica Street or a lot of them knew each other (…).

Pictures found online show a tea party organised by the producers and attended by the cast for the schoolchildren of Frederica Street as a thank you for their co-operation during the many weeks of location shooting.

Frederica Street - The Ladykillers - Tea Party

Do you know anyone who lived in Frederica Street or the area back then? Anyone who may have opened their doors to the crew? Attended the tea party? We would LOVE to hear from them!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Frederica Street N7

Caledonian Road Tube Station (Zone 2)

Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground (Zone 2)

Many buses to Caledonian Road

%d bloggers like this: