Take him to the tower

Another full-on day’s filming with Eiger Safety last Friday – this time heading to theatre land, Claridges and then on to Trinity House.

St Martins Theatre
St Martins Theatre – home of the Mousetrap

Eiger have installed and maintain various man-safe systems in theatres throughout the West End of London.  The two examples they wanted to show in their promotional video were those installed in St Martins Theatre (home of the Mousetrap) and the neighbouring Ambassadors Theatre.

The St Martins Theatre latch-way installation is located over the glass dome above the auditorium and allows for safe cleaning and maintenance.  It was a very tight, dusty space with virtually no light other than a couple of dim, coloured highlighters and the natural light coming in from the small entrance hatch.  The aim was to “show it how it was” as it was a challenging installation let alone a difficult space to film in.  Adding my own light was therefore not an option – plus like all the other Eiger Safety locations we don’t have all day to get the shot.

Admittedly, the picture below is tweaked a little in Photoshop but it’s pretty much how it looked to the naked eye.  The ISO was set to 2,500 so its as noisy as you’d expect – but I’m convinced had I used a normal video camera it just wouldn’t have given me any pictures at all (another big plus point for shooting on DSLR).

St Martins Theater above the dome
Shooting in the dark above the dome at St Martins Theatre

There was just one simple shot required at the neighbouring Ambassadors Theatre and that was of a ladder system which connects two of the roof levels – again to allow easy and safe maintenance of the roof and gutters.  The best place to get this was from one of the actor’s changing rooms in St Martins Theatre – which looks directly over the Ambassadors Theatre roof.

Ambassadors Theatre guys on ladder system
Safe perambulations on the roof at the Ambassadors Theatre

Claridges should have been a flying visit as it was a simple job of taking a couple of still photos of a specific type of latch point they have installed in this hotel.  Clients seem to think you do both stills and video these days – and whilst they’re happy to pay me for what I can do stills-wise then I’m not turning the work away!  But as usual its always the simple jobs that get you bogged down as it took nearly two hours to a/ Convince the management to allow us to film (although we’d already arranged this), b/ Find an empty room, and c/ Find a room with the right kind of latch point.  Needless to say we got what was needed in the end – but what was it Robert Burns said in his poem.. “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry”.

Our final location on Friday was the roof system at Trinity House. If you don’t know where Trinity House is there’s no prizes for guessing from the photo below that its located opposite the Tower of London.  The view was as impressive as I was hoping for and it enabled us to get some footage of the guys working and testing the walkway and latch-way system.   I think our appearance was a little shocking though for the chap who was standing in his hotel bedroom opposite the roof with nothing more than a smile on his face!

The roof system at Trinity House
Overlooking the Tower of London

Fingers crossed that we are now heading into a better spell of weather.  The list of remaining locations includes Oxford, Bristol, Bishops Stortford and at least another day’s worth in Central London.  I do love a client who keeps adding to the task at hand – especially when it is this interesting.