Thor blimey: Chris Hemsworth heads to Barking and Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham is fast becoming the go-to destination for film and video production, and a recently launched advertising campaign for Expo 2020 Dubai starring Hollywood A-lister Chris Hemsworth demonstrates the exciting production facilities on offer in the east London borough.
The location of the production within Dagenham was secured and managed by Film lbbd, the borough’s film service, which attracts and facilitates filming productions across the area and has cultivated a booming film industry across Barking and Dagenham.
Expo 2020 Dubai launched on October 1 and will last until March 31, 2022 – following a delay due to the global pandemic. This significant international event is the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. Under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the aim of the event is to inspire people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world.
A key means of attracting visitors to Expo 2020 is the recent advertising campaign from client Emirates airlines, filmed in Barking and Dagenham. The ad was produced by RSA Films, the global commercial production company founded by directors Ridley and Tony Scott, and stars world-renowned Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. When the team at Ridley Scott needed to find the perfect venue to film the ad and create Dubai in a studio setting, they naturally chose Barking and Dagenham.
Filming originally took place in 2019, but the launch of the ad was delayed reflecting the revised date of the Expo. The plot that is soon to be the home to Eastbrook Studios, known as Unit A, in Dagenham was chosen for the filming and the cast included over 100 children, animals – including real kangaroos fondly named ‘Dageroos’ – a lot of fanfare and Hemsworth for the five-day shoot. The whole process totalled over four weeks’ activity in the borough, and it was Unit A’s first big green screen production.
The use of the warehouse meant the production was able to do all the rigging required to deliver three good-sized green screen stages, ample workshop space, green rooms for the main talent, a large workshop and prop store area, photography studio for the still captures, with make-up, costume, and catering areas for the supporting artists and ample exterior unit base space.
You can view the campaign here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=o--hZLLCGp0
Darren Rodwell, Leader, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham commented: “This was a really exciting project for the borough, and we were delighted to bring such internationally respected and well-known names as RSA Films and Chris Hemsworth to the area.
“Productions like this not only help to put the borough on the global movie map, but also enable local residents to get involved and work as extras and support staff, creating a win-win situation for all. The success of this latest production goes to show that no matter where you want to be in the world, Barking and Dagenham can take you there!”
Richard Nicholas, Global Chief Financial Officer, The Ridley Scott Creative Group commented: “RSA Films were delighted to produce this film for Emirates ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai. The team at the Council and Film lbbd were a great help in making the production happen in Barking and Dagenham, providing opportunities in the local community, and bringing the Middle East to east London.”