Liverpool Street Station in T-Mobile advert
Date posted: 01.01.2009
Film London was approached back in November 2008 by Saatchi & Saatchi to help coordinate a highly complex and ambitious commercial shoot for T-Mobile, which first airs on Channel 4 on Friday 16 January.
The action involved 300 dancers - dressed as commuters - spontaneously breaking into a synchronised dance sequence in the main area of the west concourse of Liverpool Street Station. With 8 cameras concealed in hides, or suspended from the 70 foot rafters, and several wireless speakers hidden in trolleys - the concept was very much one of creating an element of surprise.
Ed Sayers, Agency Producer at Saatchi & Saatchi, said: 'As soon as I became directly attached to the T-Mobile project I wanted to get Film London on board. I knew they were trying to raise awareness amongst agencies and production companies in order to make London an easier place to film - so we were keen to get them involved as early as possible.
'When the Director Michael Gracey, and Partizan as the Production Company were in place, the approach had yet to be made to Network Rail. There was instantly a positive response from them as Film London had an existing relationship in place. By liaising throughout the process - coordinating meetings; attending key rehearsals; tech recces etc - Film London has been really helpful to all parties involved.'
Network Rail remained positive and constructive from the outset. As Rachel Whitburn, Commercial Filming Manager Network Rail, explained: 'In the last 12 months, Liverpool Street Station has become one of Network Rail's most popular locations - appearing most recently in episodes of Spooks and Above Suspicion. However, this commercial shoot for T-Mobile has been the most detailed that we have ever handled and has taken months of planning to achieve such a spontaneous effect.
'It was well worth the effort, as the station looked amazing and we are delighted with the end result. This has been a really good example of the London Filming Partnership working in practice.'
Charlie Somers, Location Manager, commented: "Film London were involved from the start - helping to secure this popular location, attending all technical recces and rehearsals, as well as providing support at the shoot itself. It was also a huge comfort knowing any issues could be swiftly resolved as the locations team were constantly at hand.
"I was also continually impressed with the 'can do' attitude from everyone at Network Rail - it made my job a lot easier. Co-ordinating a large scale shoot on a weekday in such a busy public space meant there were lots of health and safety considerations and reams of paperwork, but this experience proved that with the proper planning, and enough lead time, anything is possible."
Rehearsed in the great hall at Alexandra Palace - the dancers were given just 2 opportunities to get it right in the actual location. Even then, rehearsals were conducted from midnight to 5am, to ensure exclusive use of the concourse area and to maintain the secrecy of the final shoot.
Originally completed in 1874, Liverpool Street is one of London biggest termini and underwent a complete overhaul in the mid 1980s. It is now partially buried beneath the modern and impressive Broadgate office complex. Today the station has 148 million visitors each year and remains a stunning example of the fusion of modern facilities within the traditional environment.
For filming enquiries at any Network Rail Station please contact: Rachel Whitburn, Commercial Filming Manager on 020 7904 7164 / 07887 896 411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.