Tabernacle Street in Franklyn
Date posted: 01.02.2009
Written and directed by Gerald McMorrow in his feature debut, Franklyn is an urban fairytale that jumps between the parallel realities of contemporary London and the futuristic metropolis of Meanwhile City. Tabernacle Street in the London Borough of Islington proved the perfect location to host an explosive shoot for the film.
Franklyn traces the intertwined fates of four lost souls. Jonathan Preest (Ryan Phillipe) is a masked vigilante who won't rest until he finds his nemesis - Meanwhile City's dangerous leader. Emilia (Eva Green) is a troubled young art student whose rebellion may turn out to be deadly. Milo (Sam Riley) is a heartbroken twenty-something yearning for the purity of first love. Peter (Bernard Hill) is a man steeped in religion, searching desperately for his missing son amongst London's homeless.
Location Manager, Helene Lenszner, describes the tricky location brief she had to fill for the scene which features the cataclysmic collision of these two worlds: "The preparation of a restaurant and apartment, together with the shoot and clear-up time, potentially meant asking two locations to be closed for business for around five or six days. Added to this we needed to get the borough's film officer, highways department and at least two streets of residents to allow to three night shoots - running virtually till dawn."
Marieke Cook, from Islington Borough Film Office, describes her initial reservations to Helene's request: "When we were first approached by the production we knew that this was something that might prove to be a challenge to facilitate. The shoot involved special effects such as a controlled explosion, use of rain machines mounted on cherry pickers and therefore detailed planning and organising was required in order for filming to run smoothly."
After cruising untold streets for weeks Tabernacle Bar and Grill in Tabernacle Street was chosen as their primary location. Helene continues: "It took some weeks of negotiation and meetings with all concerned, as well as a vast letter-drop of all surrounding streets, before we had a definite go ahead. Marieke was fantastically supportive throughout the process."
"To our great relief, the explosion looked impressive, the sugar-glass in the restaurant window dropped beautifully and the residents of EC1 didn't run us out of town! Islington is rich with good locations and the Film Office do all they can to help you achieve your shooting ambitions."
The cooperation of highways, police and parking departments was applauded by Marieke: "All who were involved made sure that the production achieved their goals without causing major disruption to the locale. With the professional approach of all parties we were able to iron out any issues prior to filming, so that we could enable and facilitate the production for a successful shoot. Film London was also always on hand to give their support if necessary."