Rat & Dragon set out to capture 24 hours to squeeze into 90 seconds of distilled London spirit, but with all the hard work of location scouting, storyboarding, and of course performing and filming, we wondered: are we going to be able to make this look like we’re having an amazing time?
What we found was surprising sunshine, a jaw-dropping sunset from a secret Shoreditch rooftop and the largest street party in Europe. Welcome to an epic 24 hours in London.
Both a successful mini-holiday and a film shoot rely on you having an idea of what you want to see. We wanted to contrast static, traditional images with the vibrance of the living city. We also needed to show many different scenes from across the length and breadth of London in a really short time so used strong transitions. Marrying these needs together by dreaming up a cool concept that almost magically transports you, we juxtaposed the static with the live to remind our audience there is a real place behind the famous postcard shot.
Especially if you’re short on time, a chunk of work needs to go into planning or pre-production. As we set out to catch only a single 24 hour period, we needed to make sure we picked a good one. Luckily, Notting Hill Carnival was coming up so we chose the last weekend of August to show a different side to the typical tourist’s London. After drafting a tight but realistic shoot schedule we got stuck to it. Before heading on your trip, check if there are any unique one-off or annual events you can catch that will make it special.
OK, so no amount of research and planning will guarantee you good weather in London. But wouldn’t you know it, our chosen 24 hours saw gorgeous blue sky and sunshine in the daytime then just enough cloud rolling in to set fire to our sunset timelaps. A quick summer downpour in the evening for added texture and then clear skies again for our final scene, all meaning we owe a bundle to sheer good fortune. An added bonus for any holiday and production team!
Getting the shot isn’t easy when filming live action, on location, in public, to a tight schedule. In the same way, traffic on the way to the airport, sitting next to a screaming baby or missing your train could be a less than ideal start to your trip, so your attitude counts! For our team, it took concentration, and with focusing on our stunning locations and showing the camera that we’re having a good time, it’s a positive attitude to the project that ensured an epic 24 hours.