Closing streets, removing scaffolding and banners= long week at work

Grand Opera House

This is the Grand Opera House in Belfast, which is currently closed for refurbishment. In October, the BBC in Northern Ireland will be filming a gala concert to celebrate the re-opening, and at the moment I’m making some archive based films which will be included.

Each of the films is going to start with actors in costume walking past the front of the opera house to signify a certain decade – from the 1890s through to the 1970s. I thought it was going to be a straight-forward shoot, but it’s turned into a bit of an ambitious project, which caused me grief this week!

First of all I’ve had to arrange to close off a lane of one of Belfast’s busiest streets so we can put a camera on a crane there. Then I’ve had to get a cherry-picker in to remove banners from the front of the building (which would obviously not look very 1890s). I went round to let the Opera House people know what I was planning to do, only to find out that scaffolding was meant to go up all round the building this week which would have made our shoot pointless.

So it’s been a week of meetings and frantic ‘phone calls to try and get this all sorted out. Nightmare! But I have to say, everyone’s been very helpful, so hopefully we’re all set for our shoot this week. I’ll see how we get on on the day, but hopefully we should get some good stuff out of it…