For ITV surveillance thriller Viewpoint, location is key: the series centres around a single street where a police surveillance team set up a covert operation.
The five-part drama – which features Noel Clarke as DC Martin Young in its cast – takes place in a tight-knit Manchester community, and raises questions about loneliness, intimacy and the secret voyeurs among us.
Speaking about the importance of finding that Manchester street, director Ashley Way said: “We knew this street would be key so it was the first location we searched for, which set the tone for everything. A key element to the story is that there are people on varying incomes and from different social strata so we had to make sure we could show that in the location.”
He added: “Manchester is a beautiful place. It’s a modern city that is very much rooted in its industrial past, which for a filmmaker is a dream… You often see a lot of Castlefields and the Northern Quarter but we wanted to show people the concrete and glass, and the beautiful Georgian streets that it’s not necessarily known for.”
Read on for everything you need to know about the filming locations for Viewpoint.
Where is Viewpoint filmed?
The series begins with DC Martin Young setting up an observational point in a Manchester flat belonging to Zoe Sterling, a single mother (and secret voyeur) whose first-floor windows have a direct line of sight into the home of a missing woman, Gemma, and her boyfriend Greg, a potential suspect.
The scenes were filmed on a Georgian street in Manchester; the houses had large, high windows, making it the perfect surveillance location. But Ashley Way originally envisaged a rather different setting to the narrow period street.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, he said: “In its original conception, the idea was for one of those squares you see in London, you know, with the sort of the park in the middle, and the housing all around, and you can look in the window at one opposite; and that doesn’t really exist in Manchester, which was really getting in the way.”
The production team were looking for “something [that] was really unusual, but very cinematic, something with this great aesthetic, and we stumbled upon this beautiful Georgian Street, which had these great big windows we could look into, and just felt cinematic, the whole thing. When we looked at the dramas and films that use this kind of observational style, like Rear Window and so on, we were very clear that we need these cinematic views, [a] very cinematic location, and that’s what we went after.”
However, he added that “the street we chose happened to be very kind of business, commercial streets, and we didn’t have homes and we had to build studios. And there was lots of green screens that evolved but hopefully it’s seamlessly done and real credit to the cast actually, who had to imagine a lot of what they were seeing… So there was a lot of guesswork and a lot of trust involved.”