V for Vendetta at Whitehall
Date posted: 01.03.2006
Penned by Andy and Larry Wachowski (of Matrix fame) and directed by James McTeigue, this sinister tale is released nationwide on 17 March by Warner Bros. The film's climactic sequence, set in the shadows of Parliament, took place on Whitehall.
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V for Vendetta tells the story of a young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a mysterious masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as "V". Evey and V are an unlikely coupling, seeming to grow forever closer and yet knowing very little about each other.
V for Vendetta is set in London in the near future. The familiarity of London landmarks are presented in muted tones and the whole city seems to live in shadow. V sets out to ignite glorious revolution here, urging the people to rise up against the tyrannical government.
The art department transformed exterior locations to convey the dull pallor of the strictly-controlled society - removing advertising signage, all signs of public transportation and any splashes of colour or brightness. Additions made to these locations were minimal, surveillance cameras and mounted speakers were added to the landscape to evoke a sense that 'Big Brother' is watching.
Whitehall is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, centre of national government, towards Trafalgar Square. Along its way it is lined by many government ministries; "Whitehall" is therefore also frequently used as a metonym for governmental administration, as well as being a geographic name for the surrounding district.
It was a tricky location to shoot considering the intended sequence of events, and the sensitivity of the area in regards to security. After months of negotiation with a variety of government departments and agencies, including the Ministry of Defence, permissions for traffic management were granted. The London Filming Partnership made this a possibility, as so many key organisations have made a commitment to welcome and encourage film-making in London.
If you would like to know more about shooting in Whitehall please contact the Special Events & Filming Team at Westminster City Hall. They can be contacted on 020 7641 2390 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found on the following website: www.westminster.gov.uk/filming.