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Dorset Estate in McDonalds advert

Date posted: 01.06.2013

For the latest McDonald's commercial, the production team turned to east London's Dorset Estate in Tower Hamlets as its key location. Featuring the lives of people living on the same estate, the ad explores people who live close together but worlds apart.

The concept of the ad was to find a setting which reflected the diversity of the area which would include a range of people from a young group of men of different ethnicities through to an elderly man living alone in his flat. Through a series of snapshots, the audience see their lives and routine, ultimately brought together by one thing in common.

When Location Manager Ross Kirkman from Salt Film had to find a location to fit the brief he explains "it clearly fitted well with the naturally diverse, multi-cultural nature of residents on the Dorset Estate"

With quite an extensive shoot, Ross also speaks of the challenges, explaining "we were pretty much everywhere in the estate, which is, by its nature highly residential". However, with assistance from Dominic Reeve-Tucker at the Film Office, filming ran smoothly over the course of four days. The Film Office liaised with the residents and ensured that the relevant licences and parking were approved, making the shoot possible.

Other London locations used for the commercial included Ravenscroft Park, an old fashioned barbers in Old Street, the snooker room at the Mildmay Club in Newington Green, Bethnal Green Working Mens Club plus a McDonald's and Starr Park both in Newham. Finally there was a day of shooting pick up shots from the roof tops of Sivill House on Columbia Road.

Designed by Skinner, Bailey & Lubetkin, the Dorset Estate is based on their 1940's pattern of abstract facades and Constructivist staircases. The site features the 19 storey Sivill House, two 11 storey Y-shaped buildings (George Loveless and James Hammett Houses) and lower blocks that offers fantastic vistas of east London and the city.  With its unique spiral staircases it also offers a fantastic backdrop for filming.

The estate has been a popular location and used for various feature films, such as Children of Men and TV dramas including Silent Witness and Hunted in recent years.

For all filming enquires at The Dorset Estate please contact Film Office: info@filmoffice.co.uk 0208 980 8771.