BBC’s Informer filmed on Thamesmead
PUBLISHED: 09:41 26 October 2018
Scenes from the hard-hitting new BBC drama Informer were filmed in Bromley and Bexley.
Locals will be able to spot locations as audiences following the harrowing story of Raza Shar as he unwittingly becomes a grass for shady anti-terror officers who have blackmailed him with threats of deporting his Pakistani step-mum.
The producers also used about 70 locals as extras appearing in the six episodes. A second series could be on the cards if early success is continued, which means the cameras may be back.
FilmFixer is a company that runs the film office service for Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark, Islington and Kingston councils – all of which hosted filming for the series.
For Informer, they involved neighbours in the filming process with about 70 residents at Thamesmead in Bexley offered roles in front of and behind the cameras.
It stars Paddy Considine as Gabe, a counter-terrorism offer who recruits Raza (played by Nabhaan Rizwan) as a reluctant informer.
FilmFixer boss Karen Everett said: “The production worked so well with Thamesmead residents that they opened their doors to allow cables to be plugged in, if need be, and made all sorts of other offers to help.”
As a result producer Julian Stevens set up a special free preview screening of the show, and a talk for all the locals who took part along with culture groups and young ambassadors groups.
Karen added: “We had about 20 locals as extras in the show, a local young person helped out with stunt ideas, it was great.”
And Peabody’s cultural programme co-ordinator for Thamesmead Lisa Drew added: “Thamesmead is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and has a rich history of filming. It was the main filming location for Misfits, and most recently featured in Sam Smith’s music video and the current Puma) fashion ad.
“We get a lot of filming requests and for us it is important that residents are welcomed in to the process – invited to take part in filming going on at their doorstep.
“This becomes a great opportunity to put their interest in film and TV into practice. We were delighted that this production was so open to including Thamesmead locals.”
Producer Julian said: “The story being set in London was one of the key things that appealed to me.
“I wanted to see my city shown in a way that it often isn’t – the less sexy, less glamorous locations go unnoticed.
“It’s in those hidden corners and in the shadows that this story comes alive. There are all shades of life, joy and happiness happening in London and we had a chance to go into those places and tell a compelling story.”
He added: “We filmed in quite dense housing areas where there are a lot of people who don’t want to be disturbed. We reached out to locals early on to try to and involve them. We sat down with residents from Thamesmead and listened to their concerns.
“They didn’t want to be taken for granted and wanted to be engaged in the process. We came out of that with some brilliant supporting artists and really friendly local residents who let us use their houses as holding and rest areas.”
Karen continues: “On Thamesmead some of the most dramatic scenes were filmed but we don’t want to give anything away. Less dramatic scenes include Jin getting up and heading to work, Akash fixing his car by the garages, and Nasir and David meeting.
“Scenes on the fictional estate were shot across a range of locations including the Silverlock in Southwark as well Thamesmead. A detached home on Luxted Road in Bromley played a country house estate, hosting a wedding reception.
“In Orpington, Bromley, a home on Fairbank Avenue was filmed over three days, including scenes of a woman escaping through a window.”
Informer is on BBC 1 on Tuesdays and on iPlayer.
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