The Authenticity of Wandering Around: Raine Allen-Miller on Rye Lane | interview

With the love and passion for representing South London on screen made by a local resident, what was the most niche detail you integrated on screen for the locals?

This is quite a funny one because I was talking to another woman, another girl who grew up in South London and who is also Black. And this is terrible, I don’t know if this is problematic to say this, but basically, when I was at school when I was maybe like 12, 13, it was mainly Black, and it was an all-girls school. Me and all my friends were all terrified of pigeons, like next-level terrified of pigeons. And so, there’s a beat in the film where there’s a group of kids hanging out, and they all just scream at pigeons. And I was talking to another girl, a journalist who’s from South London as well, and she was like, what is it with us and pigeons? Why are we all scared of pigeons? That was a little weird kind of beat that I felt quite a lot of people would relate to.

The other one that’s maybe slightly more universal but feels quite London is the kid on the micro-scooter. Like, I don’t know if you have that where you are, but like, there’s always some intense kid like scooting really seriously on a micro scooter. And I was like, I added it to the script. I was like, we have to have a kid on a micro scooter. Screaming, not with joy, just intention, like pure, “Oh, I’m on a mission.” And that feels like a really London thing.

Hey, I’m from New York, and that happened to me the other day while I was walking.

I can imagine New York would be the same. Yeah, because it’s walking culture, right? If your kids like a toddler, they need to keep up. It’s basically like cities, the parents are on a mission. Let’s get the kid a micro-scooter so they can keep up.

Out of the 22 days of production, what was one of your most challenging feats?

This is a really sort of boring but kind of funny one, but masks, basically. We shot the film during the peak pandemic, which obviously was a privilege to be able to work during that time cause so many people couldn’t. But we were on wide lenses, and there were people walking by, and there were people wearing masks, and obviously, we can’t say, “Excuse me, if you’re gonna walk past our frame, can you please take your mask off?” So, we had to say cut on every time someone with a mask came up because we couldn’t be removing masks the whole time. That was a huge challenge.