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London Stories: A City in Pictures by Stephen McKenna

'LONDON STORIES: A City in Pictures' by Stephen McKenna

Photographer and film maker, Stephen McKenna, creates a unique portrait of one of the world’s greatest cities in a sublime fusion of pictures and music.

From touchdown at London City Airport to nightfall at the Albert Bridge each of the 130 plus pictures featured offers a particular impression of the capital’s moods, its architecture, its skies and its people.

This is a living, moving montage full of moments of magic and mystery.

Chapter by Chapter:

'Arrivals / Departures'

Most of our arrivals and departures to and from London are by plane and this opener portrays the comings and the goings at City Airport (LCY) which nestles close in the commercial district in the capital’s former Docklands.

Music: Glider by Bill Conti from the soundtrack to The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

'I Like London … in the Rain'

Rain is a London fact of life, but with it comes great images of glowering, laden clouds and storms that can roll across our skies only to depart as quickly again and let the sun shine through once more.

Music: I like London in the Rain by Blossom Dearie (Variety Club mix)

'A Capital People'

Crowds throng the Mall, commuters tread to work, joggers beat the pavements, tourists laugh and play and lovers love London. It’s this diversity of human souls making their way that give the city its energy and vibrancy.

Music: London Pride by Noel Coward / Happy by Pharrel Williams

'New London Blues'

There are times when London seems less and less the organic affair it once was with it’s mix of green spaces and genteel high streets that too often have given way to the anonymity of glass and chrome palaces, faceless and dehumanising. What is our world when it resembles all the other cities of the world? Who are we without a city of personality to define us?

Music: 'Spaced Out' by Henri Mancini from the soundtrack to Visions of Eight

'When London’s Day Is Done'

This almost spiritual sequence brings the city to a complete standstill, dims the noise of the city, the traffic’s roar and lets in the quiet for a moment of blissful meditation set to Eric Whitacre’s choral masterpiece, 'Lux Aurumque'.

Music: Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre

'Then On Come the Night Lights'

Our film concludes with a changing panorama of the wondrous lightshow that London becomes after dark. No other city glows and glimmers so beautifully by night.

Music: Fun City by John Barry from the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy


  • Stephen McKenna
  • McKenna White Films
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 6, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    200 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 35mm SLR
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Stephen McKenna

Stephen's first career was as a broadcaster beginning in the 90s in local radio at BBC Radio Bedfordshire . From there he graduated to network production with spells at BBC Radio 2 and the BBC's World Service before moving into independent production.

During that time he picked up a number of industry awards but by 2004 he quit broadcasting to embark on a second career as a photographer.

Entirely self-taught he matured into a studio and landscape photographer of confidence and distinction especially noted for his urban and cityscape portraits as featured in his recent book, 21st Century Thames: Changing River Perspectives.

'London Stories' is the expansion of that title in to this short but all engrossing film.

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Director Statement

I have been shooting London over the last decade and had amassed a a wonderfully varied collection of images, but what to do with them. An exhibition would have been too large and expensive and TOO SILENT. So, there I had my lead. To make a film out of them with the best soundtrack I could source. I hope the audience will enjoy this sublime sixteen minutes, preferably with the smartphone turned off, no other distractions and a glass of something special.