Liverpool doubling as New York and London in new Channel 4 drama

Viewers of It’s A Sin will be able to see Liverpool city centre transformed in the latest Channel 4 drama.

Russell T Davies’ latest offering will air at 9pm on Friday, January 22, and follow a group of friends during the height of the AIDS crisis.

Filming for the show began in Liverpool last January and saw entire areas of the city shut down to film crews.

The Pier Head and a number of other historic areas were turned into London and New York with incredible props and costumes completing the transformation.

Pictures taken by the ECHO at the time showed rows of yellow taxis on Water Street for the show which stars Olly Alexander, Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, Tracy Ann Oberman, Shaun Dooley, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells and Lydia West.

At the time of filming vintage cars and a New York-style hot dog cart were also spotted near the Three Graces.

The Cunard Building also doubled as a London hotel.

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Ahead of the show’s debut, Liverpool Film Office tweeted to say how proud they were for the city to have taken part in the show.

The tweet said: “We’re excited to see the powerful #ItsASin debut tonight, one year since production wrapped filming!

“We were thrilled to support @REDProductionCo on their visit to #FilmLiverpool as they transformed two streets into London & New York.”

A spokesperson for the film office also said: “Production filmed in Liverpool in January 2020 over two days, as RED Production Company filmed on both sides of Liverpool’s iconic Cunard Building, filming scenes set in London on one side (Brunswick Street), and scenes set in New York (Water Street) on the other.”

Filming of Russell T Davies’ drama ‘It’s A Sin’ set in 1980’s New York for Channel 4, in Water Street
(Image: Geoff Davies)

According to VFX Supervisor Nicholas Bennett, they “created a 1980s period setting using a combination of 2D and CG VFX techniques, while combatting logistical challenges caused by the pandemic.”

He said: “We converted Liverpool into the busy streets of New York by adding subtle details to every frame.

“We added iconic New York buildings into the backdrop for the wide shots, as well as classic 1980s advertising billboards, the American flag, and signature New York steam rising up from the subway.

“We also added CG traffic and crowds walking up and down the streets.”

Filming of Russell T Davies’ drama ‘It’s A Sin’ set in 1980’s New York for Channel 4, in Water Street
(Image: Geoff Davies)

Executive producer, Russell T Davies, gave his synopsis of the show and what people can expect.

He said: ““The story of the 1980s. It’s the coming-of-age story of five 18-year-old people who all converge on one flat in London, leaving home, growing up together.

“It’s the decade in which the shadow of a virus is falling across all of our lives.

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“The five episodes cover 10 years 1981 to 1991. So, as we see these young kids grow up, come out, make friends, fall in love, find work, discover who they are, at the same time the virus gets closer and closer, hitting people in their social life and heading towards the flat itself.

“And it’s about how they cope with that and it’s how they survive that. It’s about how they celebrated each others’ lives in the face of such darkness.”

Liverpool Echo – Liverpool News