When: November 2014 – December 2015
Where: Tilbury Docks, Teddington, Greenwich, Tower Bridge, London Eye
What: Livett’s Group helped to plan, co-ordinate and enable the filming of several river-based stunt scenes in the 2016 big-budget Hollywood movie Now You See Me 2 – a production which has broken box office records in China. The scenes and tasks for filming varied in nature depending on its location.
How: Each location provided different challenges and objectives for the film’s production. Therefore, to give the best possible idea of how Livett’s played its part, we’ll split the case study into each filming location.
The scene being filmed at Tilbury Docks – which doubled as the Chinese city of Macau – featured a large safe being dropped into the water from height. Livett’s organised the location for filming, and ensured that the derelict Queen Mary vessel – which was chosen for the scene – was fit for purpose and transported by our tugs to where it needed to be on the water.
A large crane was erected over the boat, which dropped the safe into the dock. Livett’s also provided the safety boat services for the entire operation, as well as the dive team to retrieve the safe. On top of this, we also provided another vessel, where the film crew were able to safely launch and control a drone from for filming.
The picturesque area of Teddington in south-west London, which acted as an American area for the purpose of the scene, was also one sourced by Livett’s. The opposite end of the Thames’ spectrum, this displayed our knowledge of the river.
A flashback scene to the 1980s, Livett’s provided period ex-police vessels, dressed up as rescue boats. As well as this, some of Livett’s own crew featured as the stunt drivers. A similar set-up saw the safe once again dangled over the water, this time from a bridge, and we once again provided the same services as at Tilbury – with added camera boats and pontoon.
A comparatively much simpler scene to film, Livett’s provided its Equity vessel – decorated as a current police vessel – which was filmed approaching the Naval College in Greenwich.
Here, the Edwardian vessel was used as a drone platform in the middle of the night for two separate filming days. Livett’s organised river closures and successfully sought permission from the Port of London Authority (PLA) to allow drone filming, ensuring it was safe and legal to do so.
Filmed on New Year’s Eve 2015, Livett’s gained access to the exclusion zone on the Thames which housed the NYE fireworks by the London Eye. On top of this, we arranged the safe use of drone filming for the fireworks for another scene in the film.
Marine Coordinator Ed Livett commented: “This was a really great movie to work on, with a very friendly and professional crew. The diversity of locations on this movie was a challenge, but one which was welcomed – and it helped to deliver some really great shots.”
Watch the trailer:
If you’re interested in finding out more about filming on the River Thames, please visit our River Thames filming page.