If you're jaded by the process of commuting in the capital (and frankly, who isn't?), this week's London Short by filmmaker Jessica Bishopp offers a different perspective. Platform 1 is a poetic short documentary that sees the early rush hour from the station's point of view.
Bishopp told Londonist: "The morning commute is a horrific first hand experience, however when you take a step back and take a moment, the whole rush hour experience is relatively surreal — with so many people crammed like sardines onto trains, all in their own worlds, wrapped up in thought, who is the person next to you on the phone, what is their story, and what if you could tap into this somehow?"
While making the film, Bishopp lived alongside Annita, whose family run the café on the platform at Palmers Green station. "We left for work together every morning for a whole week at 5.15am and I was with her when she opened the café and the first customers arrive at 5.30am. I learnt that people enjoy a little bit of interaction and conversation in the early morning. Despite the hard exterior of the commuter and closed off appearance, when they come to pick up their morning coffee they are open to a chat, if you’re willing to start it."
Jessica’s other short films about London are also worth a look: John is a study of a South Londoner who's witnessed huge social change over his lifetime, while Leathermarket is a documentary about Bermondsey. As Bishopp says: "London means a constant stream of inspiration, a network you can always tap into, people who are willing to talk to you and then be persuaded to be on camera. It sometimes gets too intense, but you’re never short of inspiration."
Platform 1 was commissioned by Short Sighted Cinema and Talkies Community Cinema for the HERE Film Festival. Thye've just announced that grants are available for four filmmakers to make a new set of shorts about North London.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see other London Shorts click here.