To coin the words of the bard, if the world can indeed be considered to be a stage then I can make a great case for saying the city I’ve made my home, Sheffield, makes one pretty impressive urban film set.
The fact that it’s a town built on seven hills does much to account for Sheffield’s cinematic quality. The great sweeping views to be seen from the height of many a random corner commonly contain not simply rows of terraced houses, but there’s often startling surprises too; patches of green merging with industrial enclaves, thrusting modern towers of glass mingling in the same camera frame as distant, misty ridges of the Peak District.
Last week, I got to pondering about this twice. First when I came across an interesting blog post about Sheffield’s film heritage with detailed references to the locations featured in the much talked-about, new celluloid journey into dark comedy, by satirist Chris Morris, ‘Four Lions’ – much of which was filmed here in the Steel City by Sheffield’s influential film-making powerhouse Warp Films http://warp.net/films
Still musing about this, I then went to a one-off Q & A Screening of ‘Four Lions,’ at our fabulous independent cinema, Showroom (http://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/)with producer Mark Herbert. When Mark was asked why the film was mostly shot in Sheffield, he said:
‘Even though I live and work in Sheffield, it’s the first time Warp Films have actually shot here. Filming in London is a nightmare and we just felt it was right to shoot most of ‘Four Lions’ where we lived, but we were conscious of the fact that it’s not about Sheffield as a place – it represents how we’re happy to be living and working here but we deliberately wanted the location to have a universal feel, as we always work outwards.’
Depicted this way Sheffield translates into a uniform British multicultural ‘Everytown’. That said, for those who know (and love) the city well, you’ll certainly be kept busy ticking off the familiar landmark buildings and urban hangouts. And watch out, local shopping fans, for one particular domed Mecca!
There might not always be lights and cameras – but the seven hills of Sheffield are never short on action.
And that, dear readers, is a wrap – for this week at least!