Award-winning Thamesmead filming site still a draw for crews
12:30 29 November 2012
For decades the Tavy Bridge estate has been a favoured location for television and film crews, including most famously A Clockwork Orange.
Now Thamesmead has been named filming location of the month for November by Film Fixer, a company which works with London boroughs to arrange shoots in their areas.
Thamesmead won the accolade to coincide with the start of the fourth series of award-winning E4 supernatural drama Misfits, which is filmed on the Tavy Bridge estate.
Film Fixer is run by Andrew Pavord and Karen Everett who have been working with Bexley Council to advertise places which would make interesting sets.
“It’s a very graphic location,” says Andrew. “Directors love it because there are so many possibilities with the Tavy Bridge estate and Southmere Lake. The scenery opens out beautifully.
“The views over the river are wonderful and it has iconic, distinctive architecture.
“The Misfits crew love it and in some ways it has been the making of the programme – the setting is synonymous with the show.”
Petra Fried, one of Misfits’ executive producers, agrees that it was an easy decision to choose Thamesmead as the show’s backdrop.
“It looks so good on camera. When we were scouting locations in 2009, we wanted something that would appear almost movie-like and Thamesmead fits the bill perfectly.
“When people flick through the channels we want them to say ‘oh yeah, that’s Thamesmead’.
“The interesting architecture and the sweeping expanse of the lake were the perfect combination for a superhero series and gives us a very distinctive setting, while the hospitality we’ve received from the people of Thamesmead has been outstanding.”
Mrs Fried, whose television credits include ITV dramas Persuasion and Losing It, says Misfits has tried to maintain its two-way relationship with locals by holding competitions to allow residents from the estate to appear as extras in the show.
The crew try to allow the public as much access as possible but if they need to shoot a specific scene on a certain part of the estate, they politely ask people to wait for filming to finish or take another route.
As Misfits has become more popular, so it has become harder for the crew to go about their business without members of the public noticing.
Andrew says: “At the start of the last series we had the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse riding BMX bikes across Southmere Lake. It was quite a spectacle and shows the great opportunities Thamesmead provides as a filming location.
“We’re trying to get more film crews to come to Bexley. Gallions Housing Association in Thamesmead and Bexley Council have been happy to co-operate and we’ve started a really good relationship.
“It’s still early days but hopefully we’ll be able to get more film crews into Bexley. There are so many great possibilities such as Danson House and Hall Place.”
For more information on filming in Bexley visit www.filmfixer.co.uk.