What is Camden?

By James and James

This film, by directing duo James & James - comprising of film makers James Coyle and Jamie McCormack, is their homage to the borough of Camden.

Jamie McCormack grew up in Queen’s Park, went to school in Cricklewood and spent many a teenage near-nefarious night out on the streets of Camden: primarily Camden Town, Belsize Park and Kentish town. All that time he never realised just how big and varied the borough of Camden actually is. This was a project to properly explore it and try and do it justice: a paean to a place that is home to so many memories.


They spent three days walking the streets of the borough - going through its parks and backroads, along the canal and across the North London line getting about. The first day started in Kilburn and ended up in Camden and Kentish Town. On another day they walked eleven miles from Belsize Park, passed through Camden again and then continued along the canal into Regent’s Park and briefly onto Primrose Hill, dropped down into Bloomsbury to make their way across to Seven Dials in Covent Garden. They filmed as they travelled, capturing the varied faces of Camden. Everyone they met had lived big, albeit very different lives and were, if only briefly, at that moment united. By this place. By Camden.

The film is accompanied by a short spoken word piece, written and narrated by Jamie McCormack, that explains a little of where they’d been and had seen, tapping into the experience of growing up locally and now returning to Camden as an adult.

A nice final touch is the music. The directors got chatting to a local composer, James Preston, who grew up in Camden too, and immediately jumped onboard to do the music: responding to the rhythm of the borough and the people in the film.

Overall this film goes some tiny way to giving a taste of the borough and is a great starting point to thinking about Camden’s potential to be London Borough of Culture.