Film and London have long had history. Like New York, LA,Paris and other major cities, hundreds of films have been shot on it’s streets.As a cinephile and aspiring filmmaker, one of my favourite things to do when I go to a major filming location city, is to find areas where they filmed my favourite movies. I like to go and either recreate the scene or take a comparison photo. It is a form of a pilgrimage to me- finding a certain spot where a movie was created.
It happened to be that one of those films came out this past summer. ‘Mission: Impossible- Fallout’. My love for the M:I series is infamous among those who know me. I have watched all the films dozen of times.
While I could go on forever about movies that I love that were filmed in London, I made a point of recreating scenes from ‘Mission’ since it is such a recent release and it happens to be my top film of the year. You could say that I accepted my mission (this blog post won’t self-destruct in five seconds).
For this mission, my first stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral. I obviously had to go as I want to see as many London sights as I can during this term abroad. My friend Emily and I made our way over to the cathedral on a stunning sunny day, perfection conditions to create a short video. Being the great friend that she is, Emily agreed to take a video of me running up the front steps of St. Pauls. After making quite the spectacle of myself, we preceded to climb the insane amount of steps up to the top. Most of the people overlooking the gorgeous view from atop the cathedral were probably thinking “look at that perfect London view”. Your girl over here was eagerly pointing out the path that Ethan Hunt ran over the rooftops of London, including the one where Cruise broke his ankle.
Post Paul’s, we crossed the Millennium bridge where the next shots were to be taken. My favourite shot in ‘Fallout’ happens to be one right under Blackfriar train bridge. II knew that was the take that needed to be perfect. I glasses fell out of my pocket mid take and got scratched but we got the shot. Iconically, I ended up hurting my ankle a bit after that day- only a short distance from where Cruise famously broke his ankle last year.
Other sights that I wanted to head to so that I could finish this video included Temple Church, Tower Bridge and a phone box in Piccadilly.My accomplished mission will see me running in each of these locations set to the tune of the Mission: Impossible theme song.
London wasn’t my only stop. During my reading week getawayto Paris, I made a point of recreating images from the blockbuster film as well. I spent thirty minutes walking around the Arc De Triomphe, trying to find a certain spot.
Being such a fan of cinema, one of my favourite things about strolling around the streets of London is when I come upon a location that I recognise from a film. Not just ‘Mission’, though I have streadly found more spots over the last two months, but older or different films. There are the obvious ones like ‘Harry Potter’ and James Bond but also the older classics orthe wonderful independent British films that come out. Some of my favourite directors are Edgar Wright, Richard Curtis and Guy Ritchie, all whose films regularly are set in London. I think we all see places differently. Some see London through history while others might see London in only a business mindset. People can enjoy this city through food or music. My London is through the cinematic gaze. The one that discovers a road and sees a story already or told or one that could be told. When I find places, I don’t just see a movie that was made there, I see where a film could eventually be set as well. Going around London, trying to find these certain places, I not only got to see the sights of the city, I got to make it unique to me.