‘Pistol’ on Disney+ is the story of a band of spotty noisy working-class kids with “no future” who shook the Establishment to its core threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever.
Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols series features a wide range of FilmFixer London boroughs and is based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir “Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol”.
As befits such an essentially London story Danny Boyle’s kaleidoscopic telling of the band’s three epic chaotic and mucus-spattered years covered all corners of the capital city. Lead singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) was an Islington boy so its appropriate that the FilmFixer borough hosted a night shoot on the Six Acres Estate where he grew up. There were large lighting cranes and rain machines on top of the entire rooftop and the estate was dressed to reference the a notorious binmen’s strike during the 1970’s.
A gift of £2000 was made to the area’s Andover Community Centre where the Community Centre Manager Chris Donovan explained that it would be directed to a number of community projects including ‘Soul in the City festival’ which is heavily attended by residents of Six Acres Estate.
Council housing estates are an integral part of the story and Boyle’s production used the Brandon Estate along with Rockingham Estate and Southwark Street Estate. Down in South London in the FilmFixer borough of Southwark filming took place on Rye Lane with exterior arrivals and departures. As the location on Rye Lane is pedestrianised FilmFixer facilitated the shoot with special permission to bring a vehicle in to it.
Meanwhile in Great Suffolk Street close to the FilmFixer office Pistol filmed a car chase sequence at night involving two of their cast in one car and a police car. The action was shot from above using a drone which rose and descended close to the Union Street/Great Suffolk Street junction.
Still in the south of the capital Ditches Lane in the FilmFixer borough of Croydon was used to film the tour bus as it travels through the countryside with a camera on the grass verge to shoot the bus passing some hitchhikers. Across in the borough of Camden Charing Cross Road features as four characters wheel an amp across the road and there are scenes in Flitcroft Street Bloomsbury Square and Goodenough College. Denmark Street with its Tin Panel Alley well established as part of the folklore of the London music scene features in a number of scenes.
In north London the borough of Barnet was used for the filming of a punk gig with the Phoenix Cinema providing the parking and Malcolm Park providing the location for drone filming.Unit bases also ranged widely across London from Islington’s Holloway Prison Chiswick House and Gunnersbury Park in West London to Ashdown Road car park in Kingston and Finsbury Park in the borough of Haringey.
Pistol premieres on Disney + on 31st May.