Portrait of a Place: Flash

We’re excited to premiere a trilogy of scene-setting new films from London-based directorial duo James & James (comprising James Coyle and Jamie McCormack). Each of the works comprises an atmospheric portrait of a person and a place; in this instance, the pair chose Louisiana as their location, leading to ten days of street-casting and filming in the city of New Orleans.The music for each film was scored by London-based musicians St Francis Hotel. Here, the creative duo behind this tender triptych talk about filming Flash and the much mythologized city that he calls home:

“We found Flash via instagram as we were searching for Bounce Dancers in New Orleans the week before heading out to the city. We messaged back and forth a few times and then met up in the city to see if we could make a film together. We only had a limited time with Flash, so in preparation we toured the city and found spots that suited our aesthetic—visually interesting areas of the city with good sources of light. Luckily in New Orleans this isn’t too hard to find, so it was a process of honing down our selection of spots to best suit the time of day we’d be there—and of those that also vibed with Flash’s own impressions and thoughts on what the city meant to him.

“When you’re allowing yourself only two days to film something like this you need a fair dollop of luck, too. One of our favourite shots is with Flash dancing with the train passing by slowly in the background. We hoped this would happen but couldn’t be certain it would, as we had no access to the timetables of these goods trains. On top of this, it was only in looking back at the footage that we realised that the floor was covered in weird graffiti.”

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