Skint, recovering from a terrible cold and no annual leave or flight out of here until May (Brexit pending). I’m currently stuck in dark grey cold Birmingham. But it is a new month so time to pull myself together and think positive! Instead of wasting my time day dreaming about visiting other countries and cities I have been watching on TV, I should make the most of what is around me every day.
For starters Brum is home to day-time soap Doctors, it is filmed all over the city. Every time I see a temporary no parking sign in the city centre for filming reasons, I get excited, maybe someone famous is in town…but 9 times out of 10 it’s the filming of this soap. And before Doctors there was Crossroads, a bit before my time during the 1960’s to 80’s and the reboot in 2001 didn’t last as long. It was famous for is shaky sets more than its storylines.
In the most recent decade there was the first series of the BBC’s Line of Duty (now on Netflix). An excellent cop drama and each series is better than the previous excellent one. However, with series one I spent most of the time looking at the scenery, back when Birmingham City Centre was not the one massive building site it currently is. Who knew Morgan from the Walking Dead was filming outside my office around 2012?
Currently the biggest Brum related TV show is Peaky Blinders, a story based on 1920’s Birmingham gangsters but it mostly filmed in Liverpool, some scenes were filmed in the West Midlands at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley and there also a few scenes from this museum in the film Stan and Olly, and they also filmed inside the Old Rep Theatre in the city centre. I haven’t been to the living museum for years probably because it was the annual boring school trip for most of my school years.
Brum is not just a location for TV in the last few years Hollywood has come here. Spielberg was here filming Player One Ready which came out last year, it looks like most of the scenes outside of the game where in the rough parts of my city. Not sure of the exact filming locations but I do know Spielberg and this cast and crew stayed at the Park Regis hotel during their visit.
I knew going to work was turning me into a zombie and The Girl with All the Gifts proved that point. As Glenn Close filmed part of her film in the next road to my office, not many special effects were needed as I feel like it’s the end of the world on my daily morning walk though these streets. With the sad dead between the eyes look on every other workers’ faces, I think we all feel like a zombie or ‘hungies’ they are called in this film.
Then there was the car chase at the beginning of Kingsman 2 (Man! that film was way too long), in the film it was supposed to be London but it was Colmore Row and the back streets of Brum city centre. None of the big stars where there, just their stunt doubles and the scene in Brum is around a minute long.
Spot the roads in the first minute of this car chase around ‘London’.
Will Spielberg and his fellow movie makers be back so I can update this post? Well there is a place in Birmingham called Hollywood…