Cast and crew were busy across the region in 2018 as Bafta-winning director Ken Loach got to work shooting his second feature film in the region.
Joined by producer Rebecca O’Brien of Sixteen Films – the company the pair set up in 2002 – and their I, Daniel Blake writer Paul Laverty, they explored more of the city for their latest look at the struggles facing ordinary people, this time in the world of work.
In what Laverty calls a companion piece to I, Daniel Blake, the film lays bare the effects of the relentless and unprecedented level of pressures caused by zero hour contracts and driven by a reliance upon advancing technology than leaves little room for human limitations.
And the family drama at the heart plays out against the backdrop of Newcastle and its surrounding areas.
When Sorry We Missed You is released UK-wide on November 1, local audiences will be keen – as they were with I, Daniel Blake – to spot locations they recognise on the big screen.
So where did the heart of the action happen?
Central character Ricky Turner, played by Kris Hitchen, takes up a franchise job as a freelance delivery driver for a company called PDF (Parcels Delivered Fast) and the base for the depot which plays a major role in the film was created in the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead .
Towards the end of 2918, The Chronicle was invited to join the set to watch scenes being shot there: Ricky’s first day of work as a white van man.
Attention to detail was extraordinary as the team kitted out the premises as a realistic-looking depot filled with vans and workers in clothing branded with the name of the fictional courier company.
Read about the set visit here:
Viewers of the film will spot several street name signs in scenes where Ricky’s wife Abbey, played by Debbie Honeywood, goes about her work as a carer calling at the home of her clients and being forced to wait at bus stops as her car has been sold in order for Ricky to be able to afford his new van.
The Turner family home, and scene of some of the film’s most emotional scenes, was in Benwell and local viewers will also see Shields Road in Byker and locations including Shieldfield and Ryton.
During the filming into 2019, cast and crew were also in Newcastle city centre, filming scenes around the Monument and outside Newcastle Labour Club.
The size and lay-out of the city appealed to the film-makers and producer O’Brien said at the time of filming: “The scale of the city is very amenable to the work that we do.
“It’s very compact and it has such a strong character – and the accent is lovely. It’s easy to get around and also it has really cinematic qualities, with its bridges and Georgian centre.”