Tag Archives: National Theatre

Not so Common

Now it’s been officially released I can let you have a peek at an extremely fun shoot I was commissioned to do for the Royal National Theatre’s production of Common back in January. It stars Anne-Marie Duff as Marianne and is set around 1800. They wanted to portray it in period and on location. Logistically it was decided to shoot it in London so I had an assistant recce  a few spots that would give us that wilderness look without an epic amount of travel. So thats how I ended up getting the sleeper down from Edinburgh to be picked up by assistant Keir then off to Chingford Plain on a chilly morning in the first week of January.

There I met up with Liam Relph and Ollie Wisner the creative team at NT. We stomped about and found the right location before Anthony turned up with his mighty fine crows fresh from a stint with Doctor Who. After a good while for costume, hair and make-up I got to meet Anne-Marie out in the field. Straight away it was apparent she’s very down to earth and great to work with. We took shots in a couple of locations , which took a while as I had to cater for  the dread, ‘side of a bus’ and ‘drop banner’ crops, every photographers nightmare!. That’s why the shot below is a stitch of about 6 shots to cater for the huge crops.

Apart from the laptop dying of cold half way through we had no mishaps. The crows performed right on cue every time which helped reduce much need to photoshop elements after. Anthony even had a choice of crow if we wanted one to fly, flap wings or just sit still. I made the shoot much less stressful than I anticipated. I think thats ‘Flamingo’ on her arm.

It’s not on till May but if you want to see it here’s the link https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/common#production-story

Anne-Marie Duff in the National Theatre's Common
Anne-Marie Duff as Marianne in the National Theatre’s Common
Assistant Keir providing me with blue screen assets – or is it an i-D magazine shoot?


Anthony Bloom with one of his crows
Anthony Bloom with one of his finely trained crows
Ollie Winser directs the birds