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Croydon teenager treated to work experience with Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones during local Criminal filming

At last, London’s role in a huge Kevin Costner thriller hits the big screen, as Criminal – set to be a blockbuster – opens next week on April 15th.

The excitement at the time of filming included a helicopter landing on Fairfield Gardens in Croydon, and a taxi driving off Connaught Bridge in Newham, along with even more Hollywood stars including Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones and Gal Gadot.

Croydon, Lewisham, Kingston, Southwark, Islington, Lambeth and Newham all feature – and FilmFixer managed the film office on behalf of those London boroughs. Take a look at the trailer here.

Managing the film office on behalf on Croydon Council, FilmFixer encouraged the production to offer work experience to local young people, including Amy Jones who was 17 while the production was shooting in autumn 2014.

Amy was a student at Croydon High School. She explains, “I was put in touch with FilmFixer when I said I was interested in seeing what happens on a film set. I’m hoping to go in to the film industry when I finish studying.

“Criminal was filming near Croydon College Fairfield carpark at the time, and the film officers arranged for me to go along and shadow the runners.

“Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman were in the scenes. For me it was very exciting of course. You don’t think of them as real people – it’s almost a surprise to find they are man-sized.

“But they were busy getting on with acting. If I’d just walked in I wouldn’t have recognised them necessarily, their acting looks so natural.”

Amy also enjoyed seeing, “somewhere so familiar converted into something so different”.

“It’s exciting for Croydon to have this creative stuff going on,” she says. “We love filming here. Attracting all these A-listers is good for our self-perception.”

Despite the repetition, Amy was fascinated by the minutiae of the changes in take after take, as lighting and sound specialists explained their work to her.

“I’m hoping to do something practical in the film industry and this was a great introduction. I’m a hands-on person, I like to get stuck in, so spending time shadowing runners like this was a brilliant experience for me.”

FilmFixer director Andrew Pavord said, “This movie is chock full of the action, explosions, and car chases you’d normally expect in a Hollywood blockbuster. We were thrilled to play a role in making it all possible right here in our capital. We’re particularly pleased that boroughs such as Croydon, Lewisham and Kingston play such a significant role in this big-budget movie.

“There can be a perception that filming in London is only about the landmarks in the centre – but to really hold a story together, every day London spaces and streetscapes are essential.”

Ryan Reynolds takes on a clean-cut character as top CIA agent Bill Pope, who was on an important mission before he was killed. To extract vital information, his memories, skills, and training are transplanted into hardened criminal Jericho Stewart’s (Kevin Costner) brain. The procedure is performed by a neuroscientist (Tommy Lee Jones) under the
orders of the CIA chief (Gary Oldman).

But Stewart absorbs other aspects of Pope’s memories, particularly his love for family and an overwhelming sense of responsibility. The fallen agent’s wife, Jill Pope (Gal Gadot) helps convince him of his purpose. And so, the former criminal sets out to save the world.

He has 48 hours to find a valuable CIA asset called The Dutchman to foil an international terrorist’s plans.

The scenes filmed in Croydon included the CIA, Russian Mafia, Mi5 and Jericho (played by Costner) all arriving at Croydon College where The Dutchman is hiding. There’s a shootout and Jericho escapes in an ambulance along College Road, left, across George Street and onto Dingwall Road.

The negotiations FilmFixer managed included CAA and Scotland Yard approval for the scenes.

Kevin Costner also thrilled the family who runs High Street Radio on the High Street when he filmed a scene there.

He walks along the High Street and enters the shop, which is playing a pawn broker’s.

There’s a nighttime scene where a character walks through the Park Lane underpass and into Smith’s Yard, where he enters the rear of a shop. On seeing a phone, he makes a call and slips away into the night.

We also arranged work experience for a young Kingston woman during filming on Kings Road there. Take a look at that story here.

Our favourite stunt in the film, shot again in autumn 2014, shows a Hackney cab hurtling off Newham’s Connaught Bridge and into the river, while the bridge is opening to let ships through beneath. It took significant negotiations across many authorities and resident groups to clear the way for this.

At Millennium Mills near an old warehouse, the taxi is surrounded SUVs and a van carrying armed gunmen, and the taxi driver is shot dead.

At Newham Dockside Building 100, Costner has just driven the taxi off Connaught Bridge, and now he arrives at the dockside from a pontoon. He is trying to saw off his cuffs, but he’s watched by a small boy, who is called away by his parents.

Hannah Court on Holbrook Road in Plaistow is dressed as a nursing home that Costner leaves. He’s being followed.

In Southwark’s Caroline Gardens, the production made a generous donation to the local residents’ association to thank them. The stunning Georgian chapel there plays the villain’s hideout, where he spends most of his time glued to a computer screen to track Costner.

Tommy Lee Jones is playing Dr Franks, who has been captured and is held here.

Another donation was made to Stoney Street Bankside Residents Association. We see Costner arrive by motorbike on Stoney Street, from the Winchester Walk, then walk through Borough market.

He leaves the market and, walking into Rabot 1745 Restaurant. After punching someone in the queue, he heads back onto Bedale Street, and up to a book stall next to Fish! restaurant.

Costner comes out onto Recross Way, hails a taxi, and drives off towards Southwark Street.

At Lewisham’s Newcross Pharmacy on Amersham Vale, Costner walks out the door and immediately four CIA operatives nab him. He is handcuffed and dragged to a waiting car.

In Lambeth, Costner is being chased on the motorbike across Waterloo Bridge, escaping by turning the wrong way down the slip road towards Upper Ground.

And in Islington’s Finsbury Square, we see a man at a cash machine with his motor bike parked on Wilson Street. Costner runs up to the bike, jumps on and drives off.

FAQ’s “Attracting A-listers is good for our self-perception” residents

  • Q How much would it cost me to add a location to a location library?
    This is a free service for properties in this borough. However, if you want Lambeth Film Office to manage filming in your property, we will take an agreed share of the fee to cover our costs.
  • Q Where can I apply for, or get information about, a filming licence?
    Please go to https://filmfixer.co.uk/apply-to-film/
  • Q Can a production film me?
    Yes they can, if you are in a public place. - Paparazzi film and photograph people without their consent all the time. However, any respectable film company will generally prefer to obtain consent. Film London provide more guidance in their document "Filming People"
  • Q Can I stop the production from happening? What are the consequences if I try?
    If there are legitimate reasons why the filming should not proceed, then the council and the film company will want to know what these reasons are, and will probably agree and alter their plans. However, the reason must be a legitimate reason, not just because a residents does not want it to happen. A legitimate reason may be because of the frequency of filming taking place.
  • Q Filming activities are blocking my route, or restricting access to my house or business
    Filmmakers may not block access to your house or business without your permission. Neither may they block a pavement or highway while it is in use, although in some cases we may close off an area for them. If we think a planned shoot is likely to cause an obstruction, we make sure that the filmmakers come to an agreement in advance with anyone who might be affected for example through letters and Q&A sessions with local associations of residents or traders. We can include any agreed conditions in the license and can take deposits from the filmmakers. The deposits are usually donated to local causes if the conditions are breached. We also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us if you are being disturbed without your permission, and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker or their crew does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filming activities are causing excessive noise or light
    Some filming activities make noise and bright light. The majority of filming is only licensed between 7am and 11pm to minimise the disturbance this might cause. If we think a planned shoot is likely to cause significant disturbance, we make sure that the filmmakers come to an agreement in advance with people in the neighbourhood for example through letters and Q&A sessions with local associations of residents or traders. We can include any agreed conditions in the license and can take deposits from the filmmakers. The deposits may be donated to local causes if the conditions are breached. We also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us if you are being disturbed, and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filming personnel are being rude or antisocial
    We expect film crews to film and act responsibly, and consider any rude or antisocial behaviour to be unacceptable. Before most shoots filmmakers will give their contact details to local people, so if a member of the film crew is rude or antisocial you can contact the filmmaker directly. If this does not resolve the situation, you can call us on our 24 hour emergency phone number and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker or their crew does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filmmakers are filming me without my permission
    There is no specific right under English law to not be filmed in public but you do have legal rights to privacy and data protection which might be violated by filming under certain circumstances. FilmFixer supports Film London's guidance that all filmmakers should have your permission if you appear on film, especially if you feature significantly. However, there are situations when you might be filmed 'incidentally' and it is not reasonably possible for the filmmaker to get your permission (for example if you are one of a large crowd in public). In these cases, we expect filmmakers to make people aware (for example with 'filming in progress' signs). If you have spoken to the filmmaker and you believe that they are not living up to these expectations, we also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us on and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film. For more details on your legal position, have a look at Film London's guidelines.
  • Q Filmmakers are filming my property without my permission
    Generally speaking you have no legal right to prevent your property being filmed (there some are exceptions). Nonetheless, we expect filmmakers to behave responsibly and to react positively to reasonable requests from property owners. If you have spoken to the filmmaker and you feel that the film crew are not living up to these expectations, we have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us on and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film. For more details on your legal position, have a look at Film London's guidelines.
  • Q I have received a letter about filming through my door, what is it?
    Probably it is a letter to notify you about planned filming in your neighbourhood. The letter should include the contact details of the filmmaker who can answer any questions you have about the filming.
  • Q Is there a risk of my neighbourhood becoming overrun by filmmakers?
    Our main priority is to protect the interests of the community during filming, which means making sure this doesn't happen. We monitor the amount of filming throughout the borough, as well as feedback from the community, to see if any neighbourhoods are being over-used. We often use our local knowledge to suggest alternative locations to make sure that filming is as evenly distributed as possible.
  • Q Legally, what grounds does the filming have to go ahead?
    Filming is a legitimate activity, and film makers are allowed to conduct their business in public places. UK law does not prohibit filming (anyone can take a photo or video wherever they like, though the authorities have a right to ask what the filming is for, if they are suspicious, under terrorism prevention laws).
  • Q My business has suffered because of filming in the neighbourhood
    If FilmFixer thinks that a proposed shoot might disrupt nearby businesses, we expect the filmmaker to contact the owners in advance of the shoot to reach an agreement for example through letters and Q&A sessions with associations of residents and traders. If you believe your business is suffering and you did not agree to the filming, then please contact us (using our 24 hour emergency phone number if necessary).
  • Q My child has been cast in a film or photo shoot, do they need a special licence?
    Yes, the production company must get a child performance licence for each child which they cast. These are issued by your council.
  • Q My neighbour has filming booked in, what can you do to stop it happening?
    We cannot stop it happening because it is on private property. However, we are usually able to use our influence to encourage filmmakers to act responsibly even when on private property, so do contact us (using out 24 hour emergency number if necessary) if you are concerned about this and we will do what we can. Of course, the usual rules about unreasonable noise or nuisance still apply (for example if a neighbour is having a loud party), so if you think they are breaking these rules then you can contact your Council.
  • Q Parking has been suspended for film reasons
    Parking is often needed for support and technical vehicles during filming. We proactively explore with the council ways to minimise the impact of suspending bays. Resident and Business Permits do not guarantee the holder a parking space, and the council has the right to suspend bays. When this is necessary for filming, we always give advance notice at the affected bays.
  • Q The production have suspended bays which are now sitting empty, what can be done?
    The production may need the bays to be empty, because they cannot have cars in shot, or because the unit is about to arrive. We encourage film makers to allow bays to return to service when they have finished with them.
  • Q There is unrestricted parking on my road which film makers use to park constantly. How can I stop this from happening?
    While there is no legal means to prevent parking on unrestricted roads, we will always try to find alternative parking that works for everyone.
  • Q What about if, for example, I want to make a personal video using my phone - are you saying I need a licence?
    No, this sort of filming would probably not need a licence. As a general rule, if your video involves less than five people, is not for commercial purposes and does not cause an obstruction or nuisance on public or council property, you do not need a licence.
  • Q What do I get out of letting people film on my property?
    You can charge the filmmakers a fee, which can be whatever you agree. If you ask us or a location agency to manage filming in the property for you, you will need to agree the fees with us or them in advance. To give you an idea, have a look at our fees and charges for filming on council or public property.
  • Q What if a parking bay is suspended while I'm parked there and nobody tells me, or I'm on holiday?
    If you can prove that you were unaware that the bay was going to be suspended, you will not have to pay a penalty. The matter will be dealt with by council's parking appeals process. The council follow the same procedure if parking is suspended for any other reason, such as utility works. If you do receive a parking charge notice as a result of being unaware of a suspension, please contact us and we will endeavour to get it cancelled
  • Q What if I don't want to be filmed, or my property to be filmed?
    FilmFixer expects responsible behaviour from filmmakers when they are filming people or private property, so please contact us if you are concerned about this. We enforce high standards in our client boroughs but you have no right under English law to prevent yourself or your property being filmed if the camera is on public property, although your legal rights to privacy and data protection might be violated by filming in certain circumstances. Please see our complaints section to find out more about this.
  • Q What is the best way for me to make my voice heard about filming in my neighbourhood?
    FilmFixer and filmmakers regularly consult with local resident associations and trader associations. These include but are not limited to formal Tenant and Resident Associations. The best way to be involved in these discussions is to join or create a local association like this and contact us if necessary so that we know about it. You are welcome to share any concerns about filming directly with FilmFixer via this website.
  • Q What's in it for me if there's filming in my neighbourhood?
    We encourage filmmakers to speak with the local community to reach agreement before filming. Often this agreement involves donations to local community spaces like parks or schools, or to local charities or local associations of residents or traders. Sometimes it can also involve opportunities for locals to be involved in the filming. Filming in your borough and London is also a source of revenue for the council and the government.
  • Q When are production companies required to use release forms?
    Production companies prefer to obtain written permission so that they can use any one's image without restriction in any context.
  • Q Why do you need to close roads for filming?
    Closing roads is sometimes unavoidable for health and safety reasons - for example if there are dangerous stunts - or if it is necessary for certain scenes for example in period films.
  • Q Why do you sometimes need to suspend parking bays for filming?
    Suspending parking is sometimes unavoidable to make sure there is space for essential technical vehicles, or to keep roads clear for certain shots like period shots. Technical vehicles often need to be parked right next to the location for health and safety reasons, for example reducing the amount of electrical cables around the set.
  • Q Why is my borough permitting this?
    Councils support the film industry, and are signatories to the Film London partnership agreement. Filming boosts the international profile of London as a dynamic and fascinating city. Many people make their living in the film industry so its good for employment. In general, film makers very welcome to work in the borough as long as the film makers abide by the Film London code of conduct.

FAQ’s Film Companies

  • Q Do I need a licence to film if I have 5 or fewer people on the public highway only, with a hand held or tripod mounted camera?

    Though there is no legal requirement to obtain permission to film on pavements, it is illegal to obstruct the pavement with your crew or equipment. To avoid any problems, we suggest you get a written film agreement stating the terms and conditions under which you may film and use the resulting footage for commercial purposes

  • Q Do I need to notify you if I am filming on private property or inside a private residence?

    Although we do not necessarily need to licence your filming, we do ask that you make us aware of your filming as we have a duty of care to ensure that productions have completed a sufficient residential consultation. If you require any parking or use of the public highway, you will need to apply as usual.

  • Q Do I need to provide any insurance for my filming?

    Yes, you are required to supply Public Liability Insurance of a minimum of £5million. The insurance must be in the name of the production company named on the application and valid in the UK.

  • Q How do I apply to film in this borough?

    Please complete the on line application form which can be found at https://filmfixer.co.uk/apply-to-film/ and click the borough you want to film in.

  • Q How much does it cost to film?

    Our fees and charges vary depending on where you are filming. To find the Fees and Charges for the borough/location you want to film in please go to https://filmfixer.co.uk/apply-to-film/ and select the borough/location

  • Q I am filming for a news piece, what do I need to do?

    A film agreement is not usually required for bona fide “news crews” filming on the public highway who are engaged in gathering content for broadcast news. The news crew must be in a possession of a press pass issued by the NUJ and ID provided by their employer. News crews wanting to film within council or privately owned property must obtain the permission of the property owner. This is particularly relevant on Potters Fields Park (next to Tower Bridge) and Albert Embankment (on the south bank of the Thames, opposite the Palace of Westminster). Neither of these locations are public highway and a film agreement will be required.

  • Q I am filming in a private property but require parking suspensions, what do I need to do?

    You need to complete a parking suspension application which can be found at https://filmfixer.co.uk/apply-to-film. You also need to complete the filming application as this is where the parking is processed.

  • Q I have a location brief and I would like suggestions of what will work from your borough?

    FilmFixer are happy to suggest locations within the borough which we believe will work for your brief. Please email info@filmfixer.co.uk with as much of the following as possible: A rough idea of your dates and timings An overview of your brief Any reference images you have The borough or geographical area you are looking in A rough idea of your budget Please make the subject of your email a brief description of what you are looking for e.g. ‘Tree-lined avenue’ or ‘Victorian theatre’ (NOT ‘Location idea’ or ‘Following up on our phonecall’) Please do also have a look at our locations library at www.filmfixer.co.uk and click locations search. If you find specific locations you like, do let us know in your email.

  • Q I want to hire a sports pitch or court for filming, how does this work?

    You still apply to FilmFixer who will then liaise with the relevant sports pitch/court for your booking. Some pitches/courts come with hire costs which need to paid on top of location fees and administration costs. FilmFixer will be able to advise of the costs following your application.

  • Q My filming involves a drone, what do I need to know and do?

    Any filming involving a drone will require a separate licence. Please review the application form, guidance notes and information sheet which can be found at www.filmapp.org

  • Q What do I do if I am unsure as to whether a location is in this borough or not?

    Google Maps provide a very helpful link which shows the different borough boundaries, https://www.google.com/maps/d/ viewer?mid=zbN28oaCJqBs.kMxyuMx_6_Ds please check this link before applying to film. Many boroughs have private property which the council cannot licence you to film on, FilmFixer will be able to advise if this is the case with you location following your application.

  • Q When do I need to talk to the police?

    You will need to obtain police consent when you are filming with anything that looks like a weapon (knives, baseball bats etc), any replica or airsoft firearms, when you have actors in uniform, if you are filming with replica emergency vehicles, if your scenes could seen as a criminal or violent act, if you have real or perceived nudity or when there could be an issue with public safety due to your filming. The contact details for the MET Police Film Unit are:filmunit@met.police.uk 0203 054 5555 or 07768 055 260

  • Q Who do I contact for a child’s licence?

    Any filming which involves the employment of children (whether paid or not) requires approval from the relevant council’s education department. The licence must be issued by the council where the child lives, and not the borough where the filming is taking place.

  • Q Who in your office do I need to speak to about my filming?

    If you are working on a large scale commercial, a TV drama or a Feature film, it is likely you will need to speak to Borough Film Officer who are listed on our contact us page. If you are a student, charity production, small scale filming enquiry or small scale commercial (and the shoot does not involve drones or other complex elements) you need to speak to a member of the coordinator team. Alternatively, please email info@filmfixer.co.uk and we will pass your enquiry onto the relevant member of staff who will then contact you.

  • Q Will the council charge a location fee for my film shoot?

    Location fees are what the council charge for the use of an area for commercial filming purposes. Location fees are chargeable when your filming takes place in ANY of the following locations. Parks, green spaces, square, pedestrian areas, markets, interiors of buildings, leisure centres, swimming pools, estates, river side walkways and car parks. When filming on a public highway, you will not be charged a location fee, however you can expect administration costs along with other associated costs dependent on what you are doing and the equipment you are using. Please see our Fees and Lead in Times document which can be downloaded from www.filmapp.org

Contact information

Camden Film Office representative is Juliet McConnell
Email: juliet@filmfixer.co.uk
Phone: 0123123456

24hr emergency phone: 07919 002 115
Please only use this emergency contact number if you have concerns about filming taking place at the moment. If you need to apply for a film license please go to FilmApp.