Recently, we were tasked with creating a ‘Location Profile’ of a local Liverpudlian…Location! We picked Central Perk, over on Bold Street – A quirky replica of the Friends TV Show Cafe of the same name. Everyone who worked there (and who ended up being filmed) were delightful, and incredibly friendly. A definite must for any Friends fan, anyone visiting Liverpool, or anyone in Liverpool with a spare hour or two. (I am not liable for hours lost watching Friends in Central Perk. Yes, they show it on a continuous loop – it’s like E4 a few years back, but in public..) Anyway, you can watch the video
and as always, thanks, and enjoy!
The video was tasked as a short, 90 second film. Despite this we ended up filming about an hour and a half worth of useable footage. As always though, you can never film too much! It was our first times using the cameras, or filming in a professional sense in anyway – Especially somewhere we specifically had to ask permission to film in. (Phone voices at the ready!) We negotiated access with Central Perk who were extremely invested in the idea, and wanted us to be able to film where and whenever we could, so we really jumped into the location and got some great shots.
Filming Day 1:
Our primary film day was one of many learning experiences. As we got to know the camera throughout the day, the shots got better, and more interesting aspects were filmed. We originally intended to use the theme song from Friends, and tell the story of Central Perk, so we went about getting footage of customers, workers, and the general areas of the entire Cafe. We also managed to film a few timelapses that worked really well, and were positioned excellently when played back.
Filming Day 2: Night Shoot
To get a sense of EVERYTHING Central Perk has to offer, we went back to film the Quiz and Live acts that frequent CP on a Tuesday evening. While here, we managed to get a lot more customer shots (the Cafe was packed!). It was at this point as well that we mastered the art of focus pulls, as can be seen in a few of the night-time shots.
Final Filming Day 3
After we completed our first rough-cut of the Location Profile, our feedback, and self-evaluation was that it was missing something. It focused a little too much on creating a narrative, which made the video a little over predictable, and in all honesty – boring – in places. We then returned to CP for our final day, and filmed a lot of aesthetically pleasing shots, using focus pulls, extreme close-ups, and blurring the video to give a sense of mystery and journey to the video.
Finally, we re-edited the video with the new footage, taking out the less impressive shots we’d placed in before. We also decided that with the more ‘arty’ style to the video, the soundtrack needed to be much less intense. We went for The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel, for being both lyrically appropriate, and a suitable pace for our video. Not too slow, or lacking intensity. We re-edited the film around the new soundtrack, making it work with the drum beats, and key changes. Ever since we began filming we knew how to give it a proper closure – the shutting down of the Cafe; and in essence, really telling the story of ‘A Day In The Life of Central Perk’.
Film by George Buxey, Jonty Lendill, Peter O’hagan, and Francis Harvey. // Music by Simon and Garfunkel