Anger as violent TV scenes filmed in park as children were playing
BRISTOL City Council has been criticised for allowing Channel 4 to film violent scenes in a children's play area.
A production company has been filming scenes for its gritty new crime drama The Fear – which stars Richard E Grant – at Redland Green Park.
One parent contacted the Post to say she was shocked to see two violent scenes being filmed while she was at the park with her three-year-old son.
Olga Gora, who lives in Clifton, said one scene involving a man being badly beaten up was being acted out on a sunny day during the summer holidays.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Half the park was closed off for several hours on August 30 to allow a 20-strong cast and crew to film the scene, which involved members of an Albanian gang.
The city council said the council's parks team and the Redland and Cotham Amenities Society were happy for filming to take place, letters were issued to residents about the filming times and signs were put up.
But Ms Gora, mother to Adam, believes it was inappropriate for the violent scenes to have been filmed in the park.
She said: "Why does the council allow a drama with violent scenes in it to be filmed in a park? Someone was having the living daylights beaten out of him in one scene.
"We couldn't use half of the park for several hours – why is a private company being allowed to use half of it on a sunny day in the summer holidays? I will be writing to the council about it.
"Half the play area was taken up, including the swings and everything the children normally play on.
"There was a lot of grunting and shouting going on during the filming of this scene. There was an older boy in the park who was quite upset by it. One of the crew even told him that 'this wasn't the sort of thing he should be getting up to'.
"It would have been better if they had just closed the whole park."
City council spokeswoman Helen Hewitt said precautions had been taken to warn people that filming was taking place in the park, although the nature of the scenes had not been specified.
She said: "The city council's film office works closely with production companies prior to issuing a licence. A condition of the filming licence – in all cases – requires production companies to make it clear that filming is taking place in public areas through proper signage and communication with local residents.
"This is done to ensure that members of the public are fully informed of what's going on and are not alarmed by any filming activity taking place.
"In this case – and in addition to the council's conditions being met – the council's parks team and the Redland and Cotham Amenities Society were involved and were happy for filming to take place after conversations were held between them and the production company.
"It was also agreed that as the filming was set to take place during the summer holidays and the children's play area would remain open.
"Before filming took place, over 120 letters were issued to local residents and signs were posted at the park gates and on roads leading to the park.
"Anyone entering the park would have been be well aware of filming taking place.
"Filming in Bristol's parks and public spaces bring many benefits, in particular, it helps to promote the city nationally and potentially internationally, reaching worldwide audiences. Bristol has an expansive skills base in TV and film, so the council is keen to work with partners to ensure filming activity here is supported."
Scenes for four-part series The Fear, which also stars Peter Mullan and is set to be broadcast later this year, were also filmed in Eastville and in Bath.
Set in Brighton, the series is about the criminal underworld in the city. Mullan portrays Richie Beckett whose past in the crime world is masked by a new-found respectability as he tries to revamp the city's West Pier.