Set in an iconic location, this feature film sequence was shot from fixed and floating location setups within one of Europe’s busiest waterways – the River Thames.
From the outset, it was clear that a hero vessel with substantial manoeuvrability would be required, capable of precise movement at all states of tide and with an ability to hold station whilst other filming dependencies were set for each take.
All commercial filming activities upon the tidal Thames fall under the jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority (PLA) and require careful management, primarily due to the high density of both commercial and recreational river traffic operating within the Port.
We initially provided vessel charter consultation and assisted the production with negotiation of a PLA filming licence, as well as preparing navigational risk assessments to ensure filming could take place during gaps in live river traffic movements – avoiding the need for a costly river closure.
On the day...
We implemented a small team of marine specialists, to provide:
Live river traffic monitoring
Tidal monitoring and advice
Marine safety cover
Hero vessel action coordination
With a tidal range of up to 7m, the River Thames can be a formidable filming environment. Strong tidal streams influence vessel direction and drift, and changes to the available depth of water can restrict the areas in which vessels can safely operate. The visible extent of the foreshore and embankments also changes at significant pace as the tide rises and falls, which can impact continuity between takes.
For this production, we worked closely with both locations and AD teams to ensure that the filming schedule accommodated sufficient time at the various states of tide required for the scripted vessel movement, foreshore and background action, without compromising navigational safety.
Having personnel on site with detailed knowledge of tides and boat movements within this busy stretch of the river in central London was key to the delivery of a safe and efficient marine filming operation. To ensure compliance with PLA Media and Filming regulations, we additionally provided crew with commercial Local Knowledge Endorsements for the Port of London.
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