Gangs of London director reveals ‘cheap, absurd’ reality of bloody battles – and his fears they would flop – The Sun

Gangs of London director reveals ‘cheap, absurd’ reality of bloody battles – and his fears they would flop – The Sun


GANGS Of London might have been described as the “most violent British drama ever” but filming the bloody battles was often a laugh.

Not long after the acclaimed drama hit screens, people complained about having nightmares and not being able to get through episodes of the drama which follows the aftermath of the death of major London crime boss, Finn Wallace.

 Filming the gory scenes in Gangs of London was very 'DIY'
Filming the gory scenes in Gangs of London was very ‘DIY’Credit: Sky

Dubbed the “most violent British drama ever” some viewers even took their gripes to the communications regulator Ofcom.

Director Gareth Evans (Apostle, The Raid) told The Sun Online production on the gory scenes was very far removed from how it comes across on screen.

Some of show’s violence included eye gouging, and setting fire to a man hanging upside down from a skyscraper.

He even went as far to describe the on-set antics as “absurd” and recalled the infamous machete fight scene featuring undercover cop Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu) and Len (Lee Charles).

 The drama follows the aftermath of the death of major London crime boss, Finn Wallace
The drama follows the aftermath of the death of major London crime boss, Finn WallaceCredit: PA:Press Association
 It stars Joe Cole of Peaky Blinders fame
It stars Joe Cole of Peaky Blinders fame
 It captured attention for its very violent fight scenes
It captured attention for its very violent fight scenesCredit: Sky Atlantic

 

A pivotal moment in the scene sees Elliot get sprayed in the face with his nemesis’ blood, but filming that felt very “cheap”.

Gareth explained: “One of the most absurd things is an example of the levity that comes across from shooting a scene like that is it’s a very climactic shot like that, when we cut over the shoulder Len, and see gallons of blood fall all over Elliott’s face.

The reality of shooting a scene like that is that we’re trying to do something with tubes in order to kind of pump the blood out, but it wasn’t working and came out as little dribbles.

“It looked a little silly on the first pass at it and so in the end, we went quite old school with our approach .”

 Some of the scenes including burning someone alive as they fell from a skyscraper
Some of the scenes including burning someone alive as they fell from a skyscraperCredit: Sky
 Gangs of London also had major action sequences
Gangs of London also had major action sequencesCredit: Sky
 There were lots of explosions
There were lots of explosionsCredit: Sky

 

Gareth revealed: “What you guys don’t see is the fact that you have Sope lying on the floor, you have Len who’s propping himself up in order to make it look like he just impacted on the meat cleaver.

“Then you’ve got Matt who is operating the camera trying to get an angle over his (Len’s) shoulder and then in the middle of all of that, you’ve also got our prosthetics guy Connell, who’s squeezing in between all three of those people with a cup of blood in order to throw at Sope’s face.

“So it become ridiculously absurd, when you’re shooting it and everyone in the room is thinking this is cheap and DIY there is now way this is going to work.”

But as viewers know the finished product felt very real and Gareth agreed.

 Wallace matriarch, Marian, even get to try her hand at some torture
Wallace matriarch, Marian, even get to try her hand at some tortureCredit: ©Sky UK Limited.
 Actor Sope Dirisu featured in many of the fight scenes
Actor Sope Dirisu featured in many of the fight scenesCredit: Sky Atlantic

Gareth said: “When you when you call action, you see it happen ‘boom, there it is’ and it looks quite visceral and it works.

“We’re seeing all the things the cameras not and then you realise how absurd it is we’re doing this and that this is considered a job.”

But for Sope – the actor who plays Elliot Finch the hard man who works his way up the Wallace family ranks by smashing heads and taking down dangerous enemies – the violent scenes were not “harrowing” to film.

He promised he didn’t suffer any long term psychological damage while filming Gangs of London.

 Gareth Evans created and directed much of Gangs of London
Gareth Evans created and directed much of Gangs of LondonCredit: Getty Images

 

 

Gareth Evans backed his star and defended the show’s violence which included eye gouging, and setting fire to a man hanging upside down from a skyscraper.

He went on to say the viewer fills “in the blanks” themselves once the cameras panned away.

“You’re filling in the blanks that I’m choosing not to show you which obviously can result in some people finding it more offensive because it becomes what’s in their head as opposed to what’s on the screen.”

Gangs of London can be viewed on Sky Atlantic on Thursday at 9pm.

Graphic opening scene in violent British drama, Gangs of London as Sean Wallace sets a man on fire whilst hanging off a building


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