‘Undercover’ photography - on set with BBC1’s new drama series

It was a great day of shooting stills for this demo/riot scene in Undercover. Although it was, of course, carefully staged and the stunts wonderfully co-ordinated by Nick Gillard, it felt incredibly realistic and visceral to be at the centre of it all. Normally, as an on set photographer, you spend your time trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. Here, there was so much going on that I was able to move with the crowd and capture the flow of the scene with such freedom. It was truly exhilarating. I’ve included a set of stills of the on-screen action, followed by some behind the scenes shots which give an idea of the careful planning and detail that goes into such a big scene. (Click on images to enlarge). 

Nick (Adrian Lester) and Michael Antwi (Sope Dirisu) leading the march

Nick Gillard and his stunt team are on set early with the actors involved in the fight sequences, carefully co-ordinating the action. The actors practise their moves on crash mats, before going for a take. 

As the riot gets out of hand and we close in on the demonstrators, JoJo Williams and her make-up and hair team move in to touch up details and add injuries to the actors. Meanwhile, director James Hawes gives notes to the supporting actors playing the riot police and shares a lighter moment with Adrian Lester on set. 

Director James Hawes works with support actors as riot police.

James Hawes with Adrian Lester


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