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Guy Ritchie - picture by Kathy Hutchins

Reel Life is back: TV and film, from Gomorrah to Guy Ritchie

Hello again film buffs. I’m very sorry for the year-long hiatus. Ealing has been brimming with filming for TV and film this year, so here’s a round-up of the best reasons why I haven’t been able to write Reel Life for a while.

With Amazon, Netflix et al anaesthetising the broadcasting industry and injecting it full of cosmetically enhancing budgets, one of the latest big-ticket productions to roll off the line is The Romanoffs. Based on separate stories about people who claim to be descendants of the Russian royal family, it stars Isabelle Hupert, Aaron Eckhart and Diane Lane.

In May this year the crew filmed scenes at a property on Park Hill W5, recreating a house fire with old fire engines arriving to put out the blaze. Montpelier School joined in the fun and let the location team build a set in the playground.

The TV series of Gomorrah appears on a fair few of the well-known subscription services now. Its first incarnation was as a film in 2008, which the real mafia disliked so much its creator Roberto Saviano had to go into hiding.

It delves further into the day-to-day machinations of the mafia but, if it’s anything like the film, refuses to glamorise them in any way. Instead it portrays the grim, degenerate reality of lives ruled by violence and crime.

The violence and crime-free Greenford Community Centre played host to the crew in early summer this year.

People Just Do Nothing film on South Acton Estate
People Just Do Nothing filmed on South Acton Estate

Could it be that the wave of new builds on the South Acton estate has resulted in People Just Do Nothing winding the show up after this, the fifth series? Probably not entirely, but they did tell me in our Reel Life exclusive interview last year that only the 1960s blocks worked for their ‘vibe’.

For this final series the team were back at some of their usual haunts around the South Acton Estate. They filmed in a hairdressers on Northfield Avenue W13 and round the corner in Blondin Park as well.

Guy Ritchie’s new production Toff Guys has been based in Ealing Studios for the past few months and started shooting around London lately too. We initially thought we’d get a few scenes from this one in Ealing since there was talk that the former Mr Madonna wanted a suburban feel for the whole thing.

Alas that all changed as the production developed and more central London locations were the order of the day, but we still reeled in a rollicking car crash stunt scene in Acton to entertain us.

From the world of commercials, I can bring you news that the bus stop in the M&S Christmas ad with Holly Willoughby was filmed on Bond Street, in central Ealing, recently. Shot overnight, the word on the street was that the production heavies had to escort a few jolly clubbers from a nearby nightspot out of the fake snow. Merry Christmas one and all!

West London Film Office: Be a part of it

Did you know your home or business could be a potential filming set for TV or film? Contact the West London Film Office and you could be paid good money for letting some camera crews use your property. Visit the website now. Private residential properties can earn between £500 and £2,000 per day and industrial / commercial properties can command up to £5,000 a day.

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