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Image of film still Black Mirror 2

Here East in Black Mirror

Date posted: 08.12.2016

Black Mirror, the cult anthology series that shows the dark side of the modern world and technology, returned for a third season in October on Netflix. Each Black Mirror episode blends themes of technology, anxiety and human relationships, usually leading to an unsettling conclusion. Previous seasons of Black Mirror consisted of three episodes each, but the transition to a Netflix Original Series brings the audience twice as many.

Many of the new episodes were filmed in London, and feature a talented crop of actors including Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Mackenzie Davis (The Martian), Malachi Kirby (Roots), Kelly Macdonald (Swallows and Amazons), Michael Kelly (House of Cards) and James Norton (War and Peace), and directors including Joe Wright (Atonement) and James Watkins (Eden Lake).

Back to the 80s

San Junipero is one of Black Mirror’s most unique episodes: while many stories take place in the near future, San Junipero is set in the colourful 1980s. Directed by Owen Harris (Kill Your Friends), the episode stars Mackenzie Davis as Yorkie, an introvert and recent arrival at San Junipero, a beach town where it’s all about fun and sex. Her life changes after meeting the outgoing and exuberant Kelly, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Series creator Charlie Brooker said “this is our most romantic episode to date, and it came about because I was wondering if we could ever do one episode that’s not set in the present day. It’s very much influenced by 80s cinema and 80s pop culture”.

One of the main locations used for this episode was the Here East centre in East London’s Olympic Park, a modern 1.2 million square feet hub for the digital and creative industries.

America in East London

The main area used for the episode was the ground floor reception, featuring a futuristic white box reception desk that perfectly suited the American hospital scene in the story.

Michael Slaughter, Location Coordinator at SPACE-2 Locations, said “they also filmed some corridor sequences on the large empty floor above; the production really liked the clean white spaces of Here East as it fitted with the episode’s story”. He adds “care was taken to ensure nothing was lent up against the walls, that the floor was protected and that all the frosting applied to the windows overlooking the canal was removed properly afterwards”.

One of the specific requests the Black Mirror crew had was the a reshoot of a bathroom scene from the previous day. “The production wanted to film this in the ground floor area, which was not a designated filming area. However, they were able to build the bathroom set in one of the corridors in the designated filming area, leaving both production and our partner happy with the outcome” says Slaughter.

About the location

Here East is London’s home for making, located in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. It is a dedicated place for individuals and companies who embrace and pioneer technology, share expertise and are creating the products of tomorrow. It includes two huge warehouse studios, four retail spaces, and a number of large open spaces. It also has a landscaped canal side and a selection of colourful outdoor areas. It is a unique campus where creative businesses growing in scale join businesses of scale growing in creativity. It is designed as a place for start-up, entrepreneurial businesses to co-exist and collaborate with global, established businesses and support genuine product innovation.

For filming enquiries contact Michael Slaughter at michael@space-2.com or +44 (0) 7983 624 191