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Image of crew shoot Hackney Borough Market Nike advert night

Hackney's Broadway Market in Nike advert

Date posted: 01.06.2010

It's the 89th minute of an edge-of-your-seat England World Cup match. Wayne Rooney passes the ball to Theo Walcott for what surely must be a match saving goal, when it is dramatically intercepted by France's Franck Ribéry. The country descends into chaos; the stock market takes a staggering nose dive, tabloids announce 'England in Roo-ins', dejected England fans take to the streets and Wayne lives out the rest of his days in a grimy caravan. Or so the latest Nike commercial, Write the Future, would have us believe.

In preparation for the World Cup kick-off on June 11, this tongue-in-cheek and (lets hope) exaggerated look at the fame -or infamy- that awaits some of the world's biggest footie names filmed all around the world. Eagle-eyed viewers will however be able to spot Hackney's Broadway Market featuring in the 3-minute ad produced by West London-based Independent Films.

The difficult task of finding a suitable spot to film the crowd street scene fell to locations specialists Salt. Eugene Strange, location manager, explains: "after Rooney's misplaced pass we cut to the streets of London where people have fallen to their knees in despair. Later despair has turned to anger. We had to find a street that felt instantly London. It also needed to be somewhere that we had full control of."

Finding locations that are happy to allow a lot of noisy extras to descend can be a difficult task, but Strange was happy with the choice. "With the support of Rebecca Staffolani, Film Officer for Hackney, we decided that Broadway Market offered everything we required. The action, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu [Amores Perros, 21 Grams], was extremely authentic and the street really looked like Armageddon had struck", explains Strange.

Despite only appearing in the ad for a couple of seconds, a huge amount of time and planning went in to getting the perfect shot. "We managed to persuade the local businesses, residents' association, councillors, Highways department and Police that we could manage this scene effectively and safely. We closed the road through Broadway Market and took over a number of businesses on the road for dressing and used the Cat & Mutton pub as a location and holding area" Strange elaborates.

The scene, which was shot back in February, involved 300 extras, police vans, dogs, action cars and 100 crew. It rehearsed throughout a whole day, with filming finally wrapping at 11pm. It was a case of all hands on deck, but Strange found the shoot had plenty of support in Hackney: "typically there was very little time to pull this together. Rebecca and I managed to turn this round in just over a week. The locals were really supportive and the police as useful as ever, proving that with planning, careful management and a supportive borough anything is possible."

The area's Film Officer Rebecca Staffolani, fully aware of the potential disruption the shoot could cause and the sensitive nature of the scene's content, was delighted how things went on the day of the shoot. She credits the success to Strange and the local community: "Broadway Market is a very popular film location and it is only through the patience and co-operation of the local residents teamed with an exceptionally professional Location Manager that this type of request is possible."

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